WHAT IS IT: Meow Parlour‘s Cat Yoga Class in N.Y.C.
WHO TRIED IT: Grace Gavilanes, PEOPLE.com writer-reporter, @gracegavilanes
WHY WE DID IT: Cats. Yoga. Do we need a reason?
It’s been a few weeks since N.Y.C.’s first-ever cat café Meow Parlour (launched in December 2014) hosted its inaugural yoga class for feline lovers and yogis alike.
The fitness class has been well received so far, with bi-weekly classes—held on Tuesdays—filling up super fast. Seriously, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to attend in July because each class had been fully reserved. But I was lucky enough to snag a coveted spot in this week’s session.
Dressed in leggings and a tank top, I made my way to 46 Hester to take my first-ever cat yoga class (and second-ever yoga class for that matter) at Meow Parlour.
The classes, while yes, technically take place in a cat café, are set in a totally sanitary space. In order to avoid any problems with the Health Department, Meow Parlour actually has two locations: a boutique-style bakery that sells cat-shaped treats and drinks, and the main location, which houses six to eight cats at a time. The latter is where customers are welcome to bring their just-bought goodies and lounge with their furry companions.
Once I made it inside, I took off my socks and sneakers (mandatory for all visitors) and plopped down near a napping cat.
The first half-hour didn’t involve downward dog or sun salutations, but instead encouraged playtime with the cats. I spent most of my time admiring the cats chilling by the bookcase and petting the snoozer. Instant mood booster, guys.
The next 45 minutes consisted of actual yoga. The instructor, Amy, let us know in advance to “be mindful of your movements. You don’t want to accidentally kick a cat.” Noted.
At the start of class, the cats looked somewhat concerned and curious. They peeked from hidden spaces and began to explore while we stretched and posed. One in particular stretched a few inches away from my face, while another decided to lie down on someone’s mat. Needless to say, I failed in form because I couldn’t stop laughing. I’ve never come across a more adorable distraction.
While I prefer kickboxing over yoga, I have to admit: Vinyasa with kittens is highly entertaining, especially when you spot an ambitious cat attempting to mimic your movements. It’s a feel-good time and is guaranteed to fulfill a much needed kitty fix.
Cat yoga classes at Meow Parlour are offered every other week. Each class is priced at $20. To book a class, visit meowparlour.com.