Yesterday, I ended the workweek in one of the most playful ways possible. Yoga is already a satisfying way to relieve stress, but when puppies are added to the mix it becomes an even more delightful experience. Beth A. Wolfe, an Arlington based yoga instructor, leads puppy yoga classes at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in Virginia when puppies are available at the shelter.
We began by reflecting on three principles of yoga- joy, wonder, and gratitude for the present moment. One by one, four puppies rescued from Mississippi were brought into the room with us. Instantly, the puppies’ energies were infectious. Happiness permeated the room.
Our yoga instructor was fluid with her instructions about how to perform traditional yoga poses. She incorporated downward dog and fire hydrant, which added even more lightheartedness. Intermittent laughter was a frequent sign that a puppy had wiggled between a participant’s arms, hopped over someone’s back, or nibbled on an enticing ponytail. It was difficult not to display a toothy grin.
Towards the end of the session, Beth turned out the lights for our mandatory shavasana. We relaxed on our backs in quiet thought. One puppy in particular mirrored how we all felt when the lights were turned back on. He was dozing on a yoga mat displaying a look of nirvana.
He peacefully rested without blinking an eye as we gently passed him around the room in order to capture a keepsake photo of the experience.
The puppies that were present during our session are available for adoption in about a month, after they are spayed and neutered. Keep an eye out on the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s website if you are interested.
You can also subscribe to Beth’s mailing list in order to be notified about future puppy yoga sessions. These events seem to sell out quickly! Next on my list: her kitten or goat yoga sessions.