A woman in a yoga pose with her cat.

Flexible Felines: Why Yoga With Cats is Purr-fectly Zen

If you love yoga and you love cats, then you are going to go purr-fectly crazy for the newest exercise trend: that’s right, cat yoga is now a thing and it’s popping up at yoga studios all over the country.

Here are a few things you need to know about cat yoga before you sign up for your first class.

Cat Yoga Benefits Cat Adoptions

Most cat yoga classes are a joint effort between yoga instructors and local animal shelters and cat rescues. Cat yoga classes let participants meet and interact with sweet, adoptable cats in order to promote and increase cat adoptions. Have you been interested in adopting another cat or do you have a friend who is in the market? Why not take advantage of this cute and novel way to check out cats looking for their forever home.

Even if you’re not interested in adopting a cat right now, most cat yoga classes are offered on a donation basis, with your donation directly benefiting the animal shelter. You get to do something charitable, play with sweet cats, and get a good yoga stretch in all at the same time. You can even promote the classes on your social media accounts, helping connect fellow yoga and cat lovers with a class where they just might find the perfect feline friend.

Cat Yoga is Good for Both Humans and Kitties

Yoga is known to have many emotional and physical benefits for humans, including stimulating the natural release of feel-good hormones like endorphins, which naturally lower anxiety and promote a happy mood. While cats are unlikely to follow along for most of the yoga poses, they often surprise participants by taking the cue to stretch out their limbs and core, which is good for them in the same way it’s good for humans. Chances are that both human and feline participants will leave their cat yoga class with a renewed sense of calm and well-being.

Don’t Expect a Typical Yoga Experience

It’s good to know what you’re getting into before you show up to your first cat yoga class. If you are used to ultra quiet, meditative yoga classes, “meowga” will be a big change from the norm. Cat yoga is usually joyful, fun, and full of unexpected moments since cats are known for both their independence and their playfulness.

You may be deep in a Warrior II pose when a playful kitten decides to bat at your toes with their paws or attempt to climb up your leg. You can expect plenty of purring, lap sitting, rubbing up against you, and a sudden desire to interrupt your vinyasa flow to pet a cat. Just go with it: cat yoga is exuberant and will let you get in touch with your inner joy, as long as you don’t cling too closely to the idea of how yoga class is “supposed” to go.

Expect to Get to Know Lovable Cats

For those in the market for a purry new family member, cat yoga offers a chance to interact and play with adoptable cats outside of the sometimes stressful and noisy environment of an animal shelter. You will have a better feel for your prospective new pet’s real personality as you watch them stretch, play, and show affection during your cat yoga class. You will also get the chance to see them interact with other people and cats, giving you a clear idea of how they will fit into your family.

Have you tried cat yoga yet?

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