Bag of Bones Barkery is offering KittYoga classes, professionally instructed yoga courses featuring adoptable cats from Trenton Cats Rescue. As instructors from Zephyr Yoga lead the yoga course, cats roam freely around the room, possibly interacting with yogis during their movements and poses.
The majority of the cats at the KittYoga classes are up for adoption, Gregg Bernhardt, co-owner of Bag of Bones Barkery, said. The ultimate goal of KittYoga is to provide participants with a relaxing, stress-relieving activity while helping cats find their forever home.
These classes offer participants a chance to meet the cats in a more relaxed, casual environment. “It’s very different when you meet a cat in a cage versus in a room where they can run freely and interact,” Bernhardt said.
A Trenton Cats Rescue volunteer originally pitched the idea to Bernhardt. Bag of Bones Barkery has a large room at its Route 33 location, which provided the ideal spot to practice yoga with cats in a secure, safe space. Allison and Nick Pyle, owners of Zephyr Yoga and longtime customers at Bag of Bones Barkery, immediately agreed to lead the classes when approached by Bernhardt.
“They were on board from the get go,” Bernhardt said. “The stars all kind of aligned and came together for us.”
The classes began in March and have been regularly attracting six to eight participants. Bernhardt said the room can hold up to 20 people, and he hopes the classes will grow overtime. The more yogis who attend, the better the odds are of finding the cats a home.
The Trenton Cats Rescue picks a new group of cats to join each yoga session. “Pretty much all of the cats are extremely curious about what’s happening during the yoga classes,” Bernhardt said.
Some of the cats enjoy interacting with the yogis, walking under and on top of them as they move from position to position. Other cats are new to an environment with so many people and are little shy. Cat trees and toys are lined up around the room to provide the shyer cats privacy during the class.
While the yoga class itself lasts about an hour, participants can meet and play with the cats 15 minutes before and after each class. Bernhardt said the feedback so far has been positive.
“They say that it’s a great break from the hectic stressful week they’re having,” he said. “Everyone loves that it’s something that’s unique to our area.”
Classes are held on select Saturdays from 5:45 to 7:15 p.m. at Bag of Bones Barkery, located at 364 Route 33, Hamilton. Classes are available for beginners to longtime yogis, and cost $20 in advance or $26 to pay in-person. For more information, visit bagofbonesbarkery.com/kittyoga.