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  • Yoga with Cats

    Yoga with Cats - Modkat

    CNN calls it the “newest exercise trend.” We call it true nirvana.

    It’s yoga + cats. What could be more peaceful?

    We can only suppose that yogis and cats have been stretching together for a few millennia. Modern cat yoga enthusiasts, however, got started when local animal shelters teamed up with yoga studios to raise awareness about the plight of shelter cats.

    Since most yoga studios are sensitive to people suffering from cat-related allergies, yoga practitioners take the class to the cat shelters. Yogis set out mats in the cats’ recreation rooms and practice there. Sometimes, a yoga practitioner will bond so deeply with one specific animal, that they make the relationship permanent through cat adoption. At the Good Mews shelter in Marietta, GA, class participation fees help fund programs for resident cats.

    Since cat yoga has become a thing, entrepreneurs started incorporating a cat on a mat into their animal lounges. KitTea Cat Cafe in San Francisco, for instance, offers hour-long Hatha yoga classes that include the presence of ten zen cats. These weekly events are so popular they require reservations and command a $34 per class fee.

    When it comes to cat yoga, the puns are inevitable:

    • Downward facing cat
    • Mew-maste
    • Cuddlecatasana
    • Crescent Purrior

    But the exercise is real. Yoga combines strength exercises, stretching, and breathing for a full workout that’s good for body and soul. Doing yoga with a cat doesn’t change the poses or the style. It does, however, create some challenges. A yogi with a ponytail may find she’s given a cat a new toy during downward dog. A talkative cat can interfere with the serenity of a pose. And during savasana, the final resting pose, cats may find a new nest on the prone body of a peaceful yoga student.

    Cat yoga can be comical as well as fun, though. Rob, a yoga instructor and cat enthusiast who blogs at The Shoko Show, created a cat yoga video for YouTube with his friend Shorty. It’s earned more than 1.2 million views. Rob created another cat yoga video, this one with his friend Kodi. It’s earned 855,000-plus views. About half of those view came from me clicking replay over and over.

    Shorty, Kodi, and Rob also crafted a book called The Kitty Yoga Sutras: The path to enlightenment in paw prints. The book offers cat-inspired enlightenment for a healthy, happy life. Other writers and designers have taken up the cause, too. You can load up on cat yoga posters, books, and calendars for your home or office. And cat yoga clothes are making it chic to be a cat lady. Take a look at some of these options on Pinterest.

    If your cat is taking up the yoga craze, why not outfit her with her own mat? Paige Guthrie Hodges designed a catnip yoga mat and is selling it on the Grommet. She realized the market potential for the product when her own cats wouldn’t leave her yoga mat alone. If you have ever tried doing yoga with a cat, you may empathize with Paige’s struggle and choose her solution.

    Whether you and your cat intend to try doing a pose together or you just want to watch the cute cat yoga videos on YouTube, we can almost guarantee you’ll find the blend of cats and yoga to be pure ananda.

    “It looks nicer than any other hooded or open option we considered.”