I Did Yoga With My Cats (and My Cats Weren’t Having It)


I’ve always wanted to incorporate my cats into my exercise routine, but I wasn’t sure how to do it without getting my face ripped off. I’ve seen people with more docile cats lift their furry friends overhead like freeweights, the cat holding still long enough to allow for a set of 20 skull crushers.

My cats, however — especially Phoenix, my neurotic calico — would never allow for this. The minute I suggest an activity that is not their idea, they’re outta here. In fact, they’re not coming out from under the bed for at least two hours, so I might as well forget about it. This seems unfair, because it certainly was not my idea to watch me use the restroom this morning, nor was I consulted before the decision was made to vomit on the kitchen table.

But then I saw this exercise video on YouTube in which a buff dude and his uber-zen kitty do several yoga poses together. The cat rests calmly in dude’s arms while he does the “Lion King” pose, a modified version of sun salutation, and “crescent purrior,” a derivative of warrior I.

I’ve been doing yoga for four years, and cats are naturally flexible. This seemed to be a natural progression of my yoga journey — right? Maybe not. Here’s what happened when I tried to do yoga with my cats. (And yes, I totally know my form is not perfect. Trying not to get murdered in a flurry of claws and fangs adds a new element of difficulty to the practice.)

1. Prayer pose with Bubba Lee Kinsey

My handsome old man did not mind this one too much. He sighed deeply after we’d been in the position for about 30 seconds, which meant he was either practicing his Ujjayi breath or he hated me.

2. Lion King pose (aka sun salutation) with Bubba Lee Kinsey

He wanted down. I laughed at him.

3. “Cuddlecatasana” with Bubba Lee Kinsey

I think this one counts as a rest posture — for me at least. For Bubba, it counts as fuel for his rage.

4. Utcatasana (chair pose) with Phoenix

Considering Phoenix is perhaps the least zen creature on the planet, I’m amazed she allowed me to do this for the 10 seconds it took to snap this picture.

5. Crescent purrior (aka crescent pose or warrior I) with Bubba Lee Kinsey

Bubba glared at me during this pose. I mean, GLARED at me. He hadn’t looked at me this way since the last time he dug his fangs repeatedly into my calf with the speed and precision of a sewing machine.

6. Purrior II (aka warrior II) with Bubba Lee Kinsey

By the time we got to this pose, Bubba’d had enough. He tried to attack me; then he prepared for savasana.

7. Savasana (corpse pose) with Phoenix

Yep — she nailed it.

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More by Angela Lutz:

About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she’s an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.

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