When I told a friend I did Yoga with Cats at M Power Yoga Studio in Baltimore, she had one question.
“How do you do downward facing dog with cats?”
Pretty easily, it turns out. Kittens love to run through a tunnel of yogis all positioned in an upside-down V shape, to everyone’s delight. I’ve never heard so much giggling in a yoga class. Usually, yoga classes are pretty quiet, with only the soothing voice of the instructor and gentle music in the background.
Not this class. This class was like a party with yoga mats and rambunctious kittens.
For the second time, Animal Allies Rescue Foundation teamed up with M Power Yoga in Canton to offer Yoga with Cats. The idea was to showcase adoptable felines and hopefully find each of them a new home.
Most of the cats were adopted after M Power’s first cat yoga class last November.
“I feel like a lot of people who do yoga are cat people,” said Jess Gill, AARF’s communications coordinator.
I’m only a sporadic yogi, but I am definitely a cat person. So when I found out about Yoga with Cats, I signed up immediately.
Gill said 34 people signed up for the class, and there was a wait list to join.
Cat yoga is a growing trend. Shape Magazine said it started with cat cafes, which are popping up all over the place. In February, The Daily Burn recommended it as one of several types of niche yoga movements to try.
At M Power, instructor Courtney McKeon guided the class through a robust workout as kittens ran and played around us. The vinyasa flow class included plenty of planks and core-strengthening exercises, and I definitely worked up a sweat.
The kittens got their workout in, too! M Power and AARF provided balls and other cat toys that participants could use to play with the kittens in between (and sometimes during) poses. Many class members would scoop up a kitten as they tried to balance in tree pose. At one point, as I was in chaturanga, a kitten ran right over the back of my legs. Another kitten began to play with the strings on my yoga mat.
(I badly wanted to take a cat home with me, but my cat already freaks out when she sees her reflection in the window, so it wasn’t worth the risk).
As we went through the different sequences and poses, McKeon reminded us to soak in the kittens’ energy, and think about the unconditional love that pets give us.
That part was easy. Now, if only I could be as flexible as a cat!