I had closed my eyes, centered my breath, and prepared to begin my yoga practice when I felt something fluffy brush my leg followed by a scratchy lick on my big toe. I opened my eyes and Tulip the cat was contentedly sitting on my mat unfazed by the nine people in the room trying to get their zen on.
The Scoop: The yoga class was one offered at River Kitty Cat Cafe, located at 226 Main St. in Downtown Evansville, and the first in a series of classes held at 6 p.m. every other Wednesday and 9 a.m. on Sundays. On Wednesdays the yoga is a lighthearted hatha class that includes a beverage afterward while the Sunday sessions are more meditative — but both days offer the added bonus of furry friends roaming throughout the class.
“The fun thing about the cat yoga and other specialty classes is it makes it a lot more accessible, fun, easygoing. There’s not as much pressure,” says yoga instructor Brooke Armbruster. “If you want to pet a cat, pet a cat.”
During the class, I couldn’t resist dropping out of downward dog a few times to pet a cute kitty strolling by, and I wasn’t the only one during the practice who paused for some feline fun. The cats especially loved playing with my long ponytail anytime I was in a downward position.
The Verdict: Yoga and cats individually are both great, but put them together and it’s even better. I left with an uplifted mind, body, and spirit and feeling a little more like my furry friends — curious, adventurous, and playful.
“We all need some fun in our lives,” says River Kitty Cat Cafe co-owner Annette Gries. “This is just lighthearted. It’s whimsical. It’s fun.”