DAILY LIFE Downward dog takes on a whole new meaning
Up for stretching with pups? Puppy yoga is the latest fitness craze sweeping the nation
UNEMPLOYMENT It’s a sunny autumn Sunday and yoga instructor Charmaine Pang is leading a class of 30-odd students on the 15th floor of One King West in Toronto. Positioned on her forearms and knees, she arches her back then curves it in reverse to demonstrate a classic move known as cat-cow. But there’s another animal making its way into the pose — a 6-week-old Australian shepherd puppy is crawling between Pang’s legs to seek shelter under her arched back.
A collection of “awes” escape from the class a the adorable scene unfolds. Pang gives the pup a quick pat and it emerges from beneath her to greet the class.
This puppy is one of eight stars of the latest fitness craze — puppy yoga. Much like it sounds, it’s a regular yoga class with the addition of cute, adorable puppies that roam the studio during practice.
Keith Mitchener ran goat yoga classes in Ottawa before he switched to puppies in January 2018. He brought puppy yoga to Toronto 10 months
My boyfriend’s mom is a bully
I’m 13 and my mom’s dumb rules are taking a toll on my social life
My daughter’s lazy boyfriend lives with us. How do I get him to smarten up?
A Sunday one-hour puppy yoga class — 40 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes for extra cuddles and photos at the end — at the event room at One King West in Toronto. go and has hostedabout 1,000 students so far with every class sold out weeks in advance.
Mitchener connects with rural breeders online then checks out their facilities himself before partnering with them. The breeders drive puppies in for each day of classes. They’re as young as
6 weeks old and participate in classes for two to three weeks before they become old enough to be sold to their new owners.
Mitchener runs four classes a day most Saturdays and Sundays, working with a roster of local instructors to lead classes.
Canine yoga is clearly catching on. In March the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology hosted a one-off class in Edmonton with foster dogs from a local rescue. In Montreal the Dogue Shop offers “doga” classes but its BYOD (bring your own dog). And in Toronto, Mitchener’s idea has spawned competition. In September, Pups Yoga began holding weekend classes at the dance studio Lindy Hop Revolution.
For Pang and most participants, dog ownership is unattainable, A Vancouver casino has apologized and is investigating Drake’s claim of being racially profiled.
Scan for the story at thestar.com/entertainment The puppies, which are as young as 6 weeks old, are brought in by local breeders. Students cuddle up with the puppies in the latter portion of the class.
whether it’s the lack of space, finances or time to give a furry friend.
But puppy yoga provides dog lovers an opportunity to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits pets can provide.
Pang recalls a recent class when a puppy fell asleep on a participant’s chest.
“He just had the biggest smile on his face,” she says.