Shelter cats are the latest accessory at yoga class, and you can take one home afterward. 
Cat Yoga is a thing, and it’s come to Minnesota.
Forget downward dog. Yoga is all about the cat pose now.
Animal shelters are teaming up with yoga enthusiasts across the country to put a little purr into people’s exercise routines. On Sunday, Minnesotans can try it out at Yoga with Cats, a stretch class at Rio Grooming, a pet salon in Hastings.
Hastings shelter Animal Ark is putting on the event, which sold out weeks ago. The shelter is bringing three of their residents to mingle with yogis — and the hope is to get the cats adopted.
The fact that it’s happening at a dog grooming facility is “a little ironic,” said Lauren Erickson, Animal Ark volunteer and events coordinator. But no yoga studio would accept the fur-covered allergy balls, she said.
Erickson got the idea from a shelter/yoga studio mash-up in California, and the trend has since swept the nation, from New York to Portland.
For the first go-round, the lucky kitties who get to weave in and out of people’s asanas are Benson, a “vocal” orange and white former stray; Pepper, a black-and-white kitten who loves “balls and mice with bells”; and Mr. Kelly, a white and gray tabby with a Cindy Crawford mole. All three are available to take home for a lifetime of eating and napping.
Rio Grooming is clearing out its haircutting studio to make room for 30 squishy rectangles — ahem, yoga mats — for the cats to dig their claws into. The waitlist is long enough, Erickson said, that future classes are in the works.
“It’s fun and relaxing,” said Erickson, who, admittedly, hasn’t yet tried to do yoga with a four-legged creature doing everything in its power to get a belly rub while you’re just trying to meditate, thankyouverymuch.
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