You had us at Kitty Yoga. Needless to say, we love cats and we love yoga. Combing the two? Why, ’tis one of our dream scenarios!
For those unfamiliar, a cat cafe is a cat sanctuary/adoption center paired with a cafe – like it sounds, right? Meow Parlour, currently NYC’s only cat cafe (we say currently because in dreamland we’re hot on their tails), together with non-profit organization Kitty Kind, set up a space on the Lower East Side where cat lovers and potential forever humans can interact with the adorable felines in their comfy, kitty-friendly habitat and hopefully (ideally) adopt. It’s really a genius idea and a much better setting than the oft depressing and unwelcoming shelters, for humans and kitties, alike.
We’ve learned that Meow Parlour is now following in the paw steps of the awesome shelter cat yoga we recently purred about by offering their own cat cafe yoga classes, a more creative and meditative way to interact with the cutie fluffballs. The hour and a half sessions include 45 minutes of yoga, 15 minutes of cool down/relaxation and 30 minutes quality kitty hangout time (the amount of allotted time for a regular scheduled visit).
What’s a cat cafe yoga class like? We had the chance to check in with Meow Parlour co-owner Christina Ha about their new Yoga & Kitties classes, what they’re like and what practitioners should expect – hint: cats will be cats!
YD: How did the idea come about to have yoga classes at Meow Parlour?
Christina: I used to attempt yoga at home, but my personal cats kept getting in the way. You want to put your hand on the floor? Touch this belly instead! You paid $40 for this mat? I love scratching it! Therefore, I thought the two were incompatible, but then Emilie and I saw that places all over the world were offering yoga classes with cats and it turns that only my cats ruin yoga. When a yoga instructor applied for a job at Meow Parlour, we were immediately excited by all the possibilities.
Why not yoga? One of the funny things about cats is that the more you ignore them, the more curious they are about you. Our instructor, Amy, loves getting the students to do animal poses as it feels very appropriate to start off with a cat pose in an environment surrounded by cats. We like to think that visiting Meow Parlour is great for reducing your stress level and reinvigorating your soul, and yoga just seems like an extension of that.
What should yogis expect in a Meow Parlour kitty yoga class?
A relaxing environment to do yoga in an intimate setting. Well, mostly relaxing. The cats always look like they’re judging us. Probably because they do yoga poses all day on a regular basis. So far, they are really weirded out by the whole thing and they very cautiously walk through the whole class.
Anything else we should know?
The spot in the front row closest to the cat room gets the most traffic from the cats. That back room is their safe zone and they like to peek out from there and trample all over the mat of the person closest to the door. It can get very distracting! And the cats do leave claw marks on the mats, which is why we provide our own. If you want a souvenir cat scratch on your personal mat, you’re welcome to bring your own!
Meow Parlour’s cat yoga classes are held on Tuesdays at 3pm. They’re so popular, July is already sold out, but stay tuned for August classes to be posted soon. In the meantime, there’s no reason why you can’t sign up for a regular visit to find your furry yoga partner a little earlier.
image credit: Ethan Covey