I know what you’re thinking…what?! Yoga with cats?! Last week, I started an initiative with two local rescuers in Dubai & pet lover’s app Flopster to hold Dubai’s very first ‘Meowga’ (Yoga with cats in Dubai) class. We decided to fundraise money for rescue cats through combining yoga and interaction with these poor cats that were either picked from the street, surrendered or dumped.
After adopting my cat Maple in August last year (he was a dumped cat) and seeing the sorry state of animal welfare here, I decided to dedicate some of my time every month towards helping rescue animals. I figured it would really help to put my yoga teacher training (Yes, I’m a certified yoga instructor now!) to use and at the same time giving fellow cat lovers a chance to interact with these lovely animals and possibly even finding homes for them, so for people doing this and if they’re a first time cat owner, they can learn everything about cats in blogs online. Each class costs AED 100, with 100% of the proceeds going towards the care & vet bills of over 40 rescued cats.
We had a completely sold out class and a very encouraging response during our first session! I really hope we will have started a movement and we hope to find the right support and homes for these lovely cats. If you’d like to know about more about the sessions and schedule, do reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook.
What to expect at a Yoga with Cats class
The class is going to be an hour, consisting of yoga-influenced stretches and poses akin to feline movements to keep in theme with the class. During the class, you are free to interact with the cats whenever you please. I do sometimes facilitate interactions with the cats and you as the cats might be a bit shy as they’re new to this. An hour might just be enough time for some lovely cats to come out of their shells, revealing some wonderful personalities.
Why do yoga with cats?
Yoga with cats has very little to do with a workout, but it sure is great for your overall health & mental well-being. There’s so much we can learn from them, not only their graceful movements, but also living in the now and improving focus. Besides this, the presence of animals helps to lower blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate, and drops in levels of cortisol. What more could you ask for? You can always linger behind and ask our rescuers about the cats & even adopt or trial foster some of them to see if they could be a good fit in your home.
What to bring
- Your own yoga mat
- A water bottle (refills are available)
- Donation amount of AED 100 (has to be paid in advance to secure your spot)
If you have any questions about Meowga, let me know!