Last Updated: April 30, 2021
“Alright, everyone, let’s close our eyes and start with some meditation”, Audrey Sin, our yoga instructor, says in a soothing voice. As someone who practises yoga regularly, this was a pretty routine start to the class. Except, this time, there was the scurrying of four paws in the far corner of the studio and a little growling from a hyperactive poodle behind me.
So, this wasn’t your typical yoga class. Depending on who you ask, it was better. Of course, puppy yoga or doing any kind of yoga with animals is not new—there is even baby goat yoga. I know, what will the world think of next? While the idea is not new, doing yoga with furry friends has only recently become available in Singapore at Puppy Yoga Singapore.
As my Editor would encourage me to fill my lifestyle assignments with things that spark joy, yoga with dogs is at the top of my list (much to his chagrin).
For a class at Puppy Yoga Singapore, it is priced at S$35 per session and S$25 if you bring your dog to the class. The 50-minute class is split into two parts; 35 minutes will be dedicated to yoga, while the last 15 minutes will be pure playtime with all the doggos that come to class. Does that not sound like utter bliss?
The idea came to Audrey in London after attending a puppy yoga class herself. “I felt that the concept would be really well-liked in Singapore, so we held one trial class & have never looked back since!” Audrey enthuses.
Indeed, it looks like we were not the only ones who caught wind of doing puppy yoga. Despite it raining (pardon the pun) cats and dogs that Sunday afternoon, the class was full of excited people clad in tights ready to have some fun and maybe some exercise as well.
The class begins, and we do some simple warm-ups. You know the drill, some cat-cow poses to loosen up your spine. While doing these stretches, I feel a lick on my arm, and I see two brown eyes staring at me. I laugh it off and reach down for a pat which turns into a full-on belly rub.
I look up and realise that the class has moved on to the first round of sun salutations. As someone who practices yoga religiously, I was a little thrown that for once, I was not following the sequence and hanging onto Audrey’s every instruction. I tore myself away from the said poodle and returned to my Warrior II pose.
Audrey shares with me that the number of dogs per class is purely dependent on the availability of the owner. So, some classes could have more dogs, and some could have fewer canines. Not to mention, each class would change depending on the dogs’ character and personality.
Audrey explains, “Some dogs are more friendly, while others are really chill. So even if I were to teach the same flow to different classes, the classes would look very different”.
Yoga is all about being present and having that mind-body connection. Of course, these classes do advocate the same thing, but when you have a little love bug like I did, who constantly asks for pats and neck scratches, you do what you must.
For all those serious yogis looking to work on your inversions and backbends, you won’t get that here, and that’s okay. “In your typical yoga classes, they have a higher emphasis on focus and being mindful. For our classes, we are here to have a fun time together with the dogs”, Audrey continues.
We continue to move through the class, and Audrey keeps the sequence simple and accessible. So, if you’re feeling intimidated about yoga, perhaps puppy yoga is a place to put you at ease and dip your toes.
The class moves through the sun salutations, and you constantly see furballs bouncing up and down, their nails tapping on the floor, and the dogs weaving in and out of your legs for fun. And yes, it was fun.
As we take our final pose of savasana, I notice how I feel compared to my regular yoga class. At the end of a sweaty yoga session, I feel ready to take my well-deserved rest after powering through a challenging sequence. Now, as I lie on the mat, I also feel ready to take a moment to rest from all the flurry of activity.
I have to admit, with a renewed focus on fitness as of late (thank you, Circuit Breaker), there is pressure to always get the most out of a class. Whether it is CrossFit, spin, or boxing, if you didn’t come out of the class burning a million calories, you feel that you have failed somehow.
Perhaps, it’s the years of being in a school system that taught us that results and accomplishment are the only things that matter. We are always on a constant climb to achieve more, be greater instead of just learning how to be. Here, there are no goals or targets you need to achieve. You are just here to move a little and have fun with the dogs. So, a class like this might seem frivolous at first, but it’s not.
It’s an exercise in letting go and learning how to do something just for the fun of it. Plus, the classes here benefit the dogs too. With such a safe space, dogs that are shy or nervous around other dogs learn how to come out of their shell, and after a few sessions, they are much more comfortable around people. Moreover, a portion of Puppy Yoga Singapore’s profits also goes to dog shelters, so if there was ever a better reason to go puppy yoga classes, here it is.
As the last 15 minutes of the class rolls around, I can’t help but fully immerse myself in getting the attention of the dogs in the class. Armed with treats that Audrey supplied, I’m a rather hot commodity until I run out. Still, I manage to grab a couple of selfies, so I still consider that a win.
The class came to an end, and I walked out of the studio feeling a little lighter and refreshed. There is value in having fun that is just for the sake of it, and it’s even better with a couple of adorable dogs too.
Other articles you might like:
Price: $ $
9 Tan Quee Lan Street, Singapore 188091
9 Tan Quee Lan Street, Singapore 188091