Yoga has long been known for its calming benefits, but did you know that incorporating your furry feline friend can enhance your yoga experience? That’s right – cat yoga, or “cat-ssisted” yoga, is a growing trend that allows you to deepen your mind-body connection while spending quality time with your beloved pet. In honor of International Pet Day, we’ve compiled a guide on how to practice yoga with your cat for a purrfect wellness routine.
Benefits of Cat Yoga
- Helps reduce stress and anxiety
- Improves flexibility and balance
- Strengthens the bond between you and your cat
- Provides a fun and playful way to exercise
- Promotes relaxation and inner peace
Preparing for Cat Yoga
- Choose a quiet and comfortable space for you and your cat to practice in
- Use a non-slip mat to prevent injuries
- Have toys or treats nearby to keep your cat engaged and focused
- Ensure that your cat is willing to participate – forcing them can cause stress and anxiety
Cat Yoga Poses
- Cat-Cow: Start on your hands and knees with your cat nearby. Inhale as you arch your back and look up, then exhale as you round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest. Repeat for several breaths.
- Downward Dog: From the Cat-Cow pose, tuck your toes under and lift your hips up and back. Keep your knees slightly bent and your heels reaching towards the floor. Your cat may choose to walk underneath you or hang out nearby.
- Seated Twist: Sit cross-legged with your cat in front of you. Inhale as you lengthen your spine, then exhale as you twist towards your cat, gently placing your hand on their back. Repeat on the other side.
- Warrior II: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your cat nearby. Step your left foot back and turn it out, then bend your right knee and extend your arms out to the sides. Gaze over your right hand as you hold the pose for several breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Tips for a Successful Cat Yoga Session
- Follow your cat’s lead – they may choose to participate or simply observe
- Allow your cat to approach you on their own terms
- Use positive reinforcement with treats and praise
- Don’t force your cat into any poses – they will naturally move and stretch on their own
Cat yoga is a wonderful way to improve your physical and mental well-being while bonding with your furry friend. Give it a try and see how the purrfect practice can benefit you and your cat. Happy International Pet Day!