Yes, you read that right. I tried cat yoga!
… And it was exactly as you would expect – absolutely amazing!!
If you’re a dog person – Adios, I’ll see you on the next post! I totally understand if you don’t want to hear me gushing about how cute cats are. If you’re a cat person or a dog person who *understands* cats or cat people or just a general animal lover like me, keep reading and thank you for your support!
I stumbled across a local cafe here in Houston that hosts cat yoga once a month on Sunday evenings. The cafe is called El Gato Coffeehouse and it’s absolutely amazing. The coffeehouse has been around for a few years and they collaborate with the Friends for Life animal shelter. All of the kitties in the cafe, there’s probably around 10-20 cats, are adoptable. During the day, the coffeehouse is open to the public to spend a chill afternoon hanging out with some cats and drinking coffee from the truck outside. There’s also really cute merchandise, if you’re interested in cat shirts.
The cat yoga usually sells out in the days leading up to the yoga sessions because there’s only about 20 spots, so if you’re interested in going, you should probably try to reserve your spots at least a week in advance. It’s $20 for adults to attend and $18 if you’re a student. The cafe does not have extra yoga mats, so you must bring your own. (The cheapest yoga mat option is usually ~$8 at Wal-Mart or maybe even cheaper at some shop like Ross.)
Inside the cafe
The class begins with a 15-minute “play” session with the cats, followed by 45-minutes of yoga. I put play in quotations because, if you know anything about cats, you know that they are very aloof creatures and don’t take too kindly to new people. This play session is for the cats to get comfortable with you and for you to get comfortable with the cats before the yoga begins. The cats were all pretty well behaved, all things considered. They weren’t too aggressive or mean and I totally wanted to take some home. The kitten that the cafe had, named “Bean,” was absolutely adorable and definitely the crowd favorite. He fell asleep in the lap of one of the ladies at the beginning of the yoga session.
The kitties loved my jacket (Probably because it smelled like my kitty?).
After playtime came yoga time. The instructor said that her style of yoga was “restorative.” It was very slow paced with minor stretching moves that mostly focused on breathing. I’m used to a little more difficult yoga practice, so this was a welcome change of pace for me. (Side note: I think that the instructor I had usually runs the cat yoga class, so this is likely what you should expect, if you go.)
While we were doing yoga, the cats would come and sit on our yoga mats, come sniff us or have a little petting interaction. They were also quite rambunctious and a few of them noisily ran around in circles in the studio, which was hilarious when it was dead silent except for their shenanigans.
Unfortunately, it was quite cold in the studio so I couldn’t fully stretch because we weren’t moving fast enough to keep my muscles and joints warm. At the end of the class, during shavasana (when you lay down and basically fall asleep), my feet and entire body were freezing. BUT, I did have a kitty come and lay in between my legs, so he/she helped keep me warm. That was definitely my favorite part of the class.
Also during shavasana, the yoga instructor gave everyone a little neck and temple massage. Oh my goodness, it felt sooo good. And, she used this incredible vanilla and argan (or tea tree?) oil mixture that she makes and it smelled sooo incredible.
Overall, I absolutely loved cat yoga and plan to go again. It’s probably one of my new favorite things to do in Houston and I highly recommend a visit to El Gato Coffeehouse!
Thank you for reading! Have you ever tried cat yoga or visited El Gato Coffeehouse? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!