Whit’s End: Colorado Animal Rescue to host cat yoga Saturday | PostIndependent.com

Whit’s End: Colorado Animal Rescue to host cat yoga Saturday

Eleanor Swagler befriends a cat during a cat yoga class at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Alabama. Her parents have yet to allow her to bring a cat home from the class.
Carla Jean Whitley / Post Independent


Cat yoga at Colorado Animal Rescue

2801 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs

Saturday, 2:15-3:15 (sold out) and 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Cat adoption fees will be $25 from 2-5 p.m.

Save the date: May 13, yoga for hikers and bikers; June 24, opening hips and hamstrings

Admission: $20 minimum donation



Some may argue that cats make terrible yogis. They don’t take instruction well. They’re on and off the mat at unexplained intervals. They’re flexible, yes, but they’re likely to throw a leg over their heads just as the yoga teacher guides the class into savasana. (Show offs.)

But they sure do make for entertaining classmates.

You can see that yourself Saturday during Colorado Animal Rescue’s yoga with cats class. It’s the third event for the shelter, where Faith Lipori introduced the concept last fall.

“I think they do such an amazing job up there that I wanted to do something to bring in some money and bring in some publicity,” she said. Lipori has volunteered with the organization in other capacities for two years, and she’s now its newest board member.

The classes themselves are fairly straightforward; the cats don’t do yoga, the people do. If you want to stop and play with cats instead, cool. If you’re into the yoga, great! Lipori has planned a series of classes tailored to specific needs: Saturday’s class will focus on twists for detoxification. May’s class will be yoga for hikers and bikers, and in June, Lipori will offer a hip- and hamstring-opening class.

“I think people will look at it and say, ‘I’m spending $20 and I’m getting a great yoga practice and I’m benefiting CARE,’” she said.

Cat yoga classes have become increasingly popular across the nation. Shelters have said it’s a way to not only familiarize people with their facilities, but also to help socialize the cats. CARE will reduce the adoption fee from 2-5 p.m. Saturday to provide participants even more motivation to take home the cats they meet.

Lipori is also well positioned to lead the class. She’s owned by two cats and has taught yoga for more than 15 years.

“I’m an experienced 500-hour — oh, none of that matters,” she said. “I love cats.”

I can relate: My cats like to nap and purr in my lap when I meditate, and they help root me in the present.

Take a cue from the felines: Calm down. Slow your breath. Let go of the day’s worries and perhaps even the teacher’s instruction. Exist in the moment.

You might say cats are model yogis after all.

Perhaps Carla Jean Whitley’s greatest legacy is founding the cat yoga program at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Birmingham, Alabama. You can send her cat photos at cj@postindependent.com.

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