5 Things to Know Before You Try Puppy Yoga

For our March pop-up event, Be Well Philly Underground did puppy yoga with Morris Animal Refuge at Amrita Yoga & Wellness.

Puppy yoga. Photograph by Susan Nam.

Every month Be Well Philly Underground pops up for a (surprise!) workout around town, and this month was no different. Well, this one was a little different, because this time we had some REAL, LIVE, SNUGGLY puppies involved.

That’s right, for our March Underground event, we did puppy yoga with Amrita Yoga & Wellness’ Heather Rice and adoptable pups from Morris Animal Refuge.

Sad you missed out? Thanks to our sponsors Independence Blue Cross and Verizon, we’re able to host crazy-fun events like these for the community every month — for free! Anyone can join the sign-up list at our BWP Underground site.

Our winners of the Verizon prize drawing went home with Bose SoundSport headphones and a Samsung phone case. Photograph by Susan Nam.

But back to puppy yoga. We had ten teeny, tiny two-month-old puppies that joined our practice last night. And oh, you’d better believe we had a ball.

The night was also pretty educational. I mean, for someone who writes about puppy yoga as much as I do, you’d think I’d have tried it before. But nope, this was my first time doing downward dog with actual dogs. Here’s a few things I learned.

1. Don’t bring your favorite yoga mat.

Photograph by Susan Nam.

Photograph by Susan Nam.

Here’s the thing about teeny, tiny puppies: They have teeny, tiny bladders. And when they arrive at your event all piled up in a literal wagon (like they did at our BWP Underground event), they may need to, uh, relieve themselves once they’re given room to roam. Lest your favorite yoga mat become that puppy’s favorite yoga mat, we suggest bringing your old, crappy, reserved-for-outdoor-workouts, $10-at-Target mat.

That said, you’ll be amazed at how you don’t even care when that puppy pees right by your mat. Because all you’ll be thinking is wook at his widdle face!

2. Don’t bring socks, mat straps, or anything else with you into the studio.

Photograph by Susan Nam.

As stated in #1, puppies like to pee on things. They also like to chew on things. To minimize choking hazards and tiny teeth holes in your favorite studio wrap, leave all personal belongings outside.

3. Don’t plan on doing much, um, yoga.

Photograph by Susan Nam.

Yes, it’s called puppy yoga. But probably a better name would be “Puppy OMG-Look-At-That-Puppy-Wait-Is-It-Coming-Over-Yes-It-Is-Wait-What-Did-The-Instructor-Say-Oh-Now-We-Chaturanga.” While Rice’s ability to stay focused in leading us through an all-levels flow while there were ten ACTUAL puppies running around was nothing less than heroic, we can’t say the same for the rest of us.

While you can get in a full (albeit beginner-level) practice in a puppy yoga class if you have a will of steel, you can also spend the entire class sitting on your mat with a puppy in your lap. And either is fine. There’s no judgement in puppy yoga.

4. Do take a lot of photos.

Photograph by Susan Nam.

The use of your phone in most yoga studios is frowned upon. As it should be! You’re there to unplug, not Instagram, after all. But all rules are off in puppy yoga. You’ll want to take selfies with the little fluff balls, videos of their clumsy paws scampering across the floor, and Boomerangs of their adorable puppy yawns. Snap away, my friends.

5. Do plan on leaving in a seriously good mood.

Photograph by Susan Nam.

We don’t need to tell you that snuggling a puppy feels amazing. And it’s good for you too! Having pets around has been shown to do wonders for humans — everything from helping to lower blood pressure to improving self-esteem. Plus, given that proceeds from these events go to benefit organizations like Morris Animal Refuge, you’ll leave feeling good about your contribution to the animals’ well being as well.

Want to get in on the next BWP Underground event? Sign up here.

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