pet yogaThere have been some questionable pet trends in recent years, but like many hot new ideas, they often fade to the background fairly quickly. When The Pet Experts first heard about practicing yoga with (or in certain cases on top of) various animals, we held out to see whether the concept would stick around. At this point, we’re fairly certain this pet trend won’t be going anywhere soon. Instead, pet yoga offers meaningful opportunities for animals and pet owners alike.

It’s a Priority

Exercise is one of the most important aspects of pet health. In fact, you can’t really have a healthy pet without it. Dogs love to walk and run, but often the weather precludes outdoor exercise. The answer to this is – you guessed it – pet yoga!

Cats are also known to enjoy some of the deep stretches and poses in yoga (called asanas). A quick glance at their anatomical structure illustrates why yoga might make sense for your pet. In fact, there’s an asana called Cat Pose where the practitioner is on all fours, arching the back as much as possible.

The Bond

Cats and dogs have been known to gravitate toward the yoga mat as soon as it’s unrolled. Perhaps not surprisingly, they seem to enjoy the asanas in which their owners are laying down or stretching out close to the floor. Pets watch their owners flow through the poses, and when their eyes meet, that special human-animal bond is strengthened.

Yoga also lends itself to a bit of stroking, scratching, or petting while their human is engaged in this particular form of exercise.

The Trust

There are studios and teachers around the globe who promote pet yoga. Some pets may not necessarily want to leave home and travel to another location for an exercise class, but who knows? There are pets out there that could get into it!

There are also opportunities to practice pet yoga with animals that are up for adoption. Swoon! Truly, what better way to see if you’re compatible with an animal than to stretch out, play together, and relax?

Dog Poses

The Pet Experts are willing to bet you’ve heard of Downward Facing Dog and Upward Facing Dog. It’s no coincidence these poses were named after the canines we love and adore. There are actually many asanas named after and inspired by animals, such as fish, camels, turtles, cobras, crows, and more.

Pet Yoga Galore

Cats and dogs are excellent potential partners, but the pet yoga trend doesn’t stop there. Many yogis incorporate goats and horses into their practices. Mostly, goats are allowed to wander around near a yoga class, but some people actually go through their poses while on the backs of horses (not unlike yoga on a stand up paddle board).

Be sure to join at Elmhurst Animal Care Center on Wednesday, February 21st from 7pm – 8:30pm for our next Yoga: Cats & Mats session. Whether you decide to pursue pet yoga or try something else, The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center are always here to answer any questions about your pet’s health and wellness.