By Lynda Shadbolt
Published Feb. 27, 2018
Yes, puppy yoga is a thing. And I did it.
It was our annual Family Day weekend with friends in Ottawa. This weekend always begins with us all sitting down on Friday evening and watching Mamma Mia and singing as loudly as we can. It sets a joyful tone for all of us for the weekend, kids and adults.
Saturday we go downtown and skate on the canal. I’m totally obsessed about Canadian Olympic ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and so was trying to do a triple Salchow (really, I tripped on a crack) when I fell and badly bruised my knee, hip and broke my glasses. I was a little tender afterwards to say the least.
It is when I am injured that my yoga practice really kicks in. The yogis have always said that we work with whatever is going on, we accept all parts of ourselves and everything is part of the practice. And so even though I was sore and stiff from the fall, I kept my date to go to puppy yoga.
It was a fundraising event for the Ottawa Dog Rescue organization. A breeder of Australian shepherd dogs brought 10 puppies aged six weeks to four months to the class. We arrived early in hopes of a little extra cuddle time and were rewarded.
As soon as I held a puppy I felt better. They were the most beautiful little dogs. There is nothing like a puppy’s belly, breath, or little pink paws to make a girl feel better instantly.
There were 40 people in the class and we made a big square of yoga mats around the instructor. There were plastic sheets for the puppies to pee on. These playful little puppies moved around the room and played with our yoga bags, or slept on our yoga mats or cuddled up into our sweaters. They chased each other and rolled around. It was just so delightful. And we did yoga.
We just came in and out of poses as puppies came around. Of course, I modified poses to respect my injuries. At the end my friend Kaitlyn was in the relaxation pose and a puppy fell asleep on her chest. Life just doesn’t get any better.
And even though I was still sore from my fall, I was more relaxed after the yoga. That has to help with the healing. That, and coming home to Lance who always fixes everyone’s glasses when they have these kind of situations!
These puppy yoga classes are always sold out and so far they are happening in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. I’m on the lookout for someone in our area to do this special class. It was just so fun and a great way to raise some money. Maybe I should do kitty yoga, or black fly yoga! The possibilities are endless.
The rest of our weekend was filled with some beautiful walking, going to the theatre to see Les Misérables and lots of good food with friends. As always I am so grateful for these little mid-winter getaways.