The cats and kittens did not seem to mind at all the people doing yoga around them at the Hinsdale Humane Society.
As part of Adopt-a-Cat month in June, the pet rescue shelter in Hinsdale hosted a yoga with cats class Saturday to give people an opportunity to meet and interact with felines available for adoption.
The class filled up instantly, said Robin Carroll, the humane society’s director of marketing.
“We told the class, ‘This is for fun. We are not sure how much yoga will get done,’” said Lauren Dembek, a yoga instructor with CorePower Yoga in Hinsdale, who led the session.
Some individuals were regular yoga practitioners, others were trying yoga for the first time, and some people simply sat on their mats and played with the cats and kittens, Dembek said.
The animals were allowed to roam freely through the room.
Doing yoga with animals is not as much a stretch, so to speak, as it may seem at first, because there’s a natural connection.
“A lot of yoga positions emulate animal movements,” Dembek said, such as the cat-cow position or downward dog. “We talked a lot about slowing down and embracing that catlike nature throughout our yoga practice.”
Not only did class members appear to enjoy the experience, the humane society also accomplished its goal, with many people bonding with and adopting a cat, and even some dogs, Dembek said.
During June, the humane society offers reduced prices, $25 to adopt a cat over 6 months old, and $75 to adopt a kitten younger than 6 months.
Earlier in the year, the humane society held a yoga with dogs class, when people were encourage to bring their own dog to the class.
In comparison, the cat class was much more manageable, said Dembeck, who volunteered to teach the class.
“The dogs were barking and wagging their tails in your face and sniffing your ears,” Dembeck said.
The cats were more suited to the calm, quiet atmosphere of a yoga class, she said.