ELYRIA — Moments earlier than the yoga class started, “Belcher” claimed his spot within the room.
He didn’t want a yoga mat, water bottle or towel.
He simply wanted area.
And he discovered it — entrance and middle, in entrance of all the opposite college students simply as yoga teacher Julie VanMeter-Moffitt started her class contained in the Friendship Animal Protective League on Murray Ridge Road.
Belcher didn’t keep in his spot too lengthy; and nobody appeared to thoughts that he got here and went as he happy.
But Belcher isn’t your typical yoga scholar; nevertheless, he has perfected the “cat pose” as a result of properly, he’s a cat.
On Tuesday, Belcher, together with a few of his feline pals at Friendship APL, took half in Meow-Maste Kitty Cat Yoga through the first such class on the adoption company, spearheaded by VanMeter-Moffitt.
VanMeter-Moffitt, who teaches yoga at LaGrange Yoga and Keystone Schools, has been a yoga teacher for six years. A number of years in the past, she noticed kitten-cat yoga on-line, and observed it having success in locations like Colorado and California.
Knowing it might be profitable in Northeast Ohio, again in 2015, VanMeter-Moffitt contacted a pal on the Berea Animal Rescue Fund and held a kitten-cat yoga class there. Seeing that it was profitable, she needed to convey it nearer to her house and contacted Friendship APL.
“I was the first to bring kitty cat yoga to Northeast Ohio,” VanMeter-Moffitt stated.
Friendship APL program coordinator Cathy Belt was thrilled with the thought introduced by VanMeter-Moffitt.
“Julie has such a big heart and she makes it a great experience for everyone,” Belt stated. “And, for a small fee of $15 these people are saving animals’ lives, it’s great for the cats, plus a cat or kitten can get adopted.”
Before the category started, Belt knowledgeable the scholars that Meow-Maste Kitty Cat Yoga is “a very hands-on activity.”
“The cats will explore, but if you don’t want them by you, just let us know,” Belt stated. “But, we are here for the cats. And, if you fall in love with the cats, they are available for adoption tonight.”
It was as if that was the cats’ cue to turn into playful.
Throughout the 45-minute class, Belcher, a 7-yr-previous black home brief-hair cat, and his pals roamed across the makeshift yoga studio. A number of hid behind blankets and chairs, poking their heads out occasionally. Other cats opted to lie on yoga mats as if that’s the place they belonged.
The kittens have been probably the most energetic of the group as they pounced and rolled round on the ground in between yoga mats. On event, whereas the scholars remained targeted and quiet, a ball with a bell inside might be heard sliding throughout the ground.
“Oh, look at them go!” VanMeter-
Moffitt stated, laughing as she tossed catnip on the ground.
In between cat and kitten playtime, VanMeter-Moffitt switched from cat lover to yoga teacher as she advised the scholars: “Be aware of the space around you. Open up your chest and picture what brings you happiness … like cats.”
Toward the top of the category, Nicole Hickey, 30, of North Ridgeville, was trying to stretch and on the similar time a kitten discovered a brand new climbing toy — her leg.
Hickey didn’t even flinch.
“I love cats, but my husband is allergic so this is the chance for me to get my ‘cat-fix,’” she stated.
Like Hickey, Kathryn Stewart, of Lorain, is a cat lover, however she has opened to her house to many stray cats who want a house.
Even although she has cats and kittens at house, Stewart needed so as to add her love of yoga into the combination, and that’s what led her to the Friendship APL on Tuesday.
“It’s wonderful to help out the APL,” Stewart stated.
And that’s the important objective behind Meow-Maste Kitty Cat Yoga, VanMeter-Moffitt stated.
On prime of being a yoga teacher, VanMeter-Moffitt has been a foster mother for puppies left at Friendship APL. However, her objective all the time has been to make sure all animals on the APL discover their endlessly residence.
VanMeter-Moffitt admitted Meow-Maste Kitty Cat Yoga isn’t your typical yoga, however that doesn’t imply it’s any much less of a follow.
“Practicing yoga in an environment that’s all about love and play is also a wonderful way to introduce the practice to those who have never tried yoga,” she stated. “It’s super trendy, and of course it’s not what some would call ‘authentic yoga,’ but it brings people together for a good cause and the sweet little animals get all kinds of love.”
The subsequent Meow-Maste Kitty Cat Yoga is scheduled for Oct. 26.
For extra info, or to enroll, go to https://bit.ly/2A8O8F4.