Up until this point, we’ve covered goat yoga, and cat yoga, but never puppy yoga. And if you stop to think about it, what could be more fun than doing some downward dog with puppies floppily clamoring about? Especially when those puppies are in need of some love and a forever home. What better way to meet a new best four-legged friend? Or simply to get your puppy fix?
If puppy yoga is something that you think you might want to try, then Corina Stammworthy and Abby Spindelman have the perfect furry fitness routine for you. Stammworthy is the owner of The Laundromutt (dog grooming) in Kenmore. Due to the success of the dog grooming business, she opened up Kindermutt (doggy daycare) right next door. Looking to add to her playful pet programming, Stammworthy felt that she wanted to try out a new routine – dog yoga (bring your own dog). Hence, she put a call out for yoga instructors for help. Spindelman responded that she would handle the yoga, if Stammworthy would wrangle the pooches.
That’s how BYOB Dog Yoga started. But it only lasted for one session, because someone brought along a dog that was a bit territorial and marked his territory during the class. That was not how the class was envisioned. It was then that Stammworthy and Spindelman decided to revisit the class dynamics. What if there were puppies instead of dogs? And what if the puppies needed homes, or even foster parents? That sounded like a much better yoga class.
In 2018, every Puppy Yoga class offered by Stammworthy and Spindelman sold out in a matter of days. Class participants could not get enough of the puppies, and the yoga classes were terrific. Spindelman, who has a 250 hour yoga teacher certification and has taught for four years (currently at Shakti Yoga) designs each class depending on the level of puppy energy in the room. “She reads the room,” said Stammworthy. “It’s a wonderful moment when Abby gets everyone situated and beginning meditation…
“… and after a while I get the puppies and let them into the room – there’s that first really big laugh, and immediately the energy shifts into the playful energy…
“… That’s why we’re doing this – Abby does an amazing job at tailoring the yoga flow to adjust to the playfulness of the puppies and the participants.”
Puppies and yoga sounds like its a barrel full of monkeys, but it’s really not, at least for Spindelman. “People want to know how I stay so focused with all of the puppies running around,” she explained. “I have the ability to be playful and serious at the same time – it’s one of the reasons that I do it. Yoga is about coming back to yourself and the things that bring you joy. Puppies and yoga are two of my favorite things – to help people have that moment of true bliss is a wonderful thing. Everyone assumes that all yoga has this intensity, which it can, but there’s something about the puppies that lowers the threshold and makes it more approachable. Yoga as a healing modality. And so is interacting with animals. The classes are still designed to be zen and relaxing – then there’s the bonding aspect which is very natural, but it’s more along the perspective of play. There’s a lightness and aliveness when it all comes together.”
“The puppies just love playing,” added Stammworthy. “And if a puppy makes a mistake, it’s no big deal. Abby takes care of everything yoga related, and I coordinate the space and the rescues. It’s a prefect match. At every yoga session there are at least three adoptable puppies. Some people just come to get their puppy fix… a percentage of the class funds goes towards the rescues, so no matter why someone comes, he or she can feel good about helping out the animals at the shelter. Also, if a person don’t want to have a full time dog, a dog can be fostered – a person can take care of a dog for a week or two, then take a break, and then in another month or so, that person can do it again. Some people can’t have a full time dog, but miss the companionship.”
If you’re not sold on puppy yoga yet, be sure to take a look at the photo gallery by Danielle Richter Photography below. There are some fantastic shots of yogis and the puppies having a blast and getting fit.
For those of you looking to get some puppy yoga in your life, there are two upcoming classes to choose from.
Sunday, June 23, 2019 | Puppy Yoga – Buddy’s Second Chance Rescue | 5 PM – 6:30 PM | Hosted by Kindermutt and Buddy’s Second Chance Rescue | Kindermutt – 2962 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14217 | All levels welcome | Puppies from Buddy’s Second Chance Rescue | Tickets are $30 with proceeds supporting BSCR. Please bring your own yoga mat and towel | See Facebook event
Sunday, June 30, 2019 | Puppy Yoga – City of Buffalo Animal Shelter | 5 PM – 6:30 PM | Hosted by Kindermutt and City of Buffalo Animal Shelter | Kindermutt – 2962 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14217 | All levels welcome | Puppies fostered through the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter | Tickets are $30 with proceeds supporting CBAS. Please bring your own yoga mat and towel | Facebook event