cat yoga

Cat Yogi

One night last week I decided to treat myself to a Yin class. Usually I go for Vinyasa, because I adore the active flowing movement of this practice.

But, I’m also a firm Yin believer—especially with go, go, go people like yours truly.

I’ve been incorporating Yin into my practice for the past three years. I stumbled upon it accidentally, since I had a teacher that specialized in that particular style.

I remember the first class I took was so different from anything else I tried. In fact, I was confused.

Because though it looked like we weren’t doing much, it was one of the most difficult classes I have ever taken.

Mentally and physically Yin is ridiculously challenging. The poses are usually held for five minutes and rather than fighting the emotion and the body, you have to surrender.

For you Type A people like me, surrendering is just something we don’t do. Which is why I love Yin. It is a true test of what I am capable of, when I explore this unfamiliar stillness.

Well, there’s someone else that loves Yin in this house. Someone that looks a lot like a stuffed animal.

For any Yogi with pets out there, you understand the struggle with having a regular home practice.

When you’re on the floor, you’re fair game. You will be licked, mounted, and humiliated.

Aphrodite the cat usually gets kicked off my Yoga mat once sun salutations are in full swing, but she always comes back at the end of class and we do Savasana together. (It’s her favorite pose.)

So, when I took an advanced Yin class the other night—meaning seven minute holds instead of five—she took the entire class with me.

No, she wasn’t stretching next to me. She was on me.

I realize that grabbing an iPhone to snap pix and take videos during any Yoga class is taboo. But I needed to show proof to the world that humans aren’t the only ones that like Yoga.

Cats like it too.

I know, I know. We’re the cutest.

To tell you the truth, even though I’m usually irritated with my cat for “disrupting” my Yoga class, the other night I was fascinated with our time together.

She moved with me, from pose to pose, because I let her be. It’s an interesting concept—to let things be and see what happens.

(Some of you have seen this video already on social, but in case you missed it, here we are in Pigeon Pose together. Being awesome.)

33 thoughts on “Cat Yogi

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Maybe she’s doing yoga with you as a way to show support for your efforts. But I bet she’d never admit it. Cats have a reputation to uphold, after all…

    Some of my power yoga DVDs hold poses for a long time, but if I’m in one position too long I get cranky. Yin would be a battle of the mind for me, I’m sure.

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      LOL! When Mr. H and I are practicing, the cats sit in our chairs and sleep in front of us. Just trying to help us relax. 🙂

      Yin is more of a relaxation practice. You rarely do any standing poses, if ever. I took a Vinyasa class once where we did SUPER long holds in each standing posture, and despite my non-violent ways, I wanted to punch her a little bit.

  2. danniehill says:

    You being still for 5 minutes sounds very hard. In my case I’ve been poked to make sure I’m still breathing. My Mom’s cat, Sam, loves me and follows me wherever I go. When I stay there I have to close the bedroom door at night and I hear him banging on the door to get in. I do like your cat.

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      It is extremely hard for me, Dannie. That’s why it’s so important for me to dedicate some time to stillness.

      Haha, Sam the cat sounds a lot like this one. If we ever shut her out of our bedroom, she would dig her way in. 🙂

  3. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Oh, I just want to cuddle with her, too. You are sooooo lucky! I don’t know why I became allergic to cats at age 25, but it happened. Haven’t been able to live with them since. Do you have the Cat Yoga t-shirt? My boys gave it to me for Christmas.

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      That’s too bad, Jilanne doll. I never new if I was allergic or not, since I was around dogs my whole life. We took a chance and got a kitten many years ago and I was relieved to be able to keep her around.

      Cat Yoga t-shirt?! Oh, man. I need that immediately. 🙂

  4. Letizia says:

    This is so so so cute! I’m not familiar with the different types of yoga and holding one pose for five minutes sounds incredibly challenging indeed. The energy that a pet can bring to the practice must be wonderfully profound. I do stretches everyday and Baffi always manages to intertwine herself in them making me laugh while feeding me her calm energy at the same time. Wonderful post, my friend.

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      It is challenging to hold poses in Yin, but as I told Carrie, none of them are standing poses, arm balances, or anything crazy like that. It’s more restorative.

      I can totally picture Baffi in downward dog. 🙂

      • Letizia says:

        She stretches carefully every time she wakes up from a nap and often before going in the garden. A good reminder for us to do the same!

  5. Sheila says:

    That’s so funny – I’d love to see her do some of those really tough poses! It’s nice of her to keep your feet (and back) warm. Cats must be better at yoga than dogs. A dog would just jump all over you and lick your face like crazy.

  6. Roy McCarthy says:

    Brilliant Britt. I’d love to know what cats are actually thinking, or indeed if they even think in the way that we understand. In my experience they do tend to take a keen interest in anything that’s going on, even if they don’t always join in 🙂

    I’m firmly a Type B so I’m quite happy not to look for difficult stuff to achieve at, apart from work (I need the money) and running (which is a drug).

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      Tell me about it! I’d love to know what these crazy creatures are thinking too. I feel like they know things. 🙂

      LOL! I never thought of you as Type B. Not with the way you dish out those novels.

  7. jmmcdowell says:

    Given how lithe and supple cats are, I guess it’s no surprise they’d take to yoga. 😉 But I think I’d find them a bit too distracting if they were practicing their poses on me while I tried to do mine!

  8. Andrea Stephenson says:

    You two are definitely both awesome and cute! Cats are attracted to spiritual energy, I think that’s why they always come and have a look when we’re doing something of that nature (or she could just be supervising!) I haven’t actually done any yoga for quite some time – not since I got my dog, I’ll have to try it out and see how he reacts – I suspect he wouldn’t be as zen as Aphrodite 🙂

  9. Browsing the Atlas says:

    This is so funny. I like to do crossfit DVD’s at home and my cat often comes and walks across me if I’m on the floor doing anything. I can’t call her movements yoga-like. (Mine neither, for that matter.) But she crosses me and I try to get fit. 🙂

  10. Kate Johnston says:

    Pets are too funny. I don’t do yoga, but I often stretch out on the floor when I’m watching movies. My cat will cuddle with me, and my dog will get right up next to me. It’s like you’ve entered their domain by being on the floor, and they’re welcoming you into it.

    You and Aphrodite are the cutest!

  11. Karin Van den Bergh says:

    Haha, yes I’ve seen your video on facebook. Same here. First frustration but soon enough they crack me up.
    Wow, never heard about Yin but that sounds like a mind struggle class for me, but if it’s ridiculously challenging I might just need that 😀

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      I don’t allow Aphro the cat on my mat when I’m going crazy with a Vinyasa class, because it gets too dangerous. She honestly doesn’t care, but I don’t want to jump back into Chatturunga and knock her in pink nose.

      Karin doll, you would LOVE Yin. Try it some time. There are different levels just like anything else, so a beginner class would not hold the postures as long. As I said to a few others, this is more restorative than heated, but the depth of the poses is a workout in itself for the body and mind.

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