The idea of animal yoga is incorporating animals into a yoga class. The class would run as a normal yoga class with the addition of cats, dogs and other domestic animals being in the studio. The animals are not considered props or to be used in the class but are rather free to wander and interact with participants as they please. Animals are used commonly for theruaptic programs so the benefits of incorporating animals into a yoga class would be vastly beneficial to the community and the well being of individuals.
The benefits of yoga are many. It increases and promotes a healthy lifestyle while allowing individuals to grow and improve their physical well being. Yoga also helps improve mental health. It is a relaxing, meditative practice and largely benefits anyone under alot or stress or those who suffer from mental health aliments. Adding animals to yoga practices benefits mental health. Animals are very theraputic and calming for people. Those with anxiety, autisum, depression and so many others largely benefit from being around animals. Allowing interactions between clients and animals freely while practing yoga allows for a stress free environment for people to relax and unwind. Elderly indivduals could also particpate in the classes tailored to them. Chair yoga is a concept that has modified yoga positions to be done while seated. This would allows elderly individuals the chance to be active and interact with animals that could combat lonliness that alot of elderly people experience. With hopes of partnering with a local animal shelter the benefits do not stop at physical and mental health. By using animals from a shelter we would be exposing them to people which would help the animals get use to being around people. It would also expose the to potential families looking to adopt in turn helping to keep animals moving out of the shelter so new rescues can come in. It would also be benefical to anyone who is scared of dogs or cats. It would give them a relaxing environment where they can begin to build relationships with these animals to help ease their fears. Overall the concept is widely beneficial to the community and animal shelters and would provide a service that is theraputic to everybody. I have attached an example video for a studio in Australia that has tried this concept.
The goals for this program would be to build a partnership with my local animal shelter and find a space to hold the classes within the next year. My end goal is to eventually be able to build/buy a building to implement the programs. I would use the money from this contest to either invest in a space for the program or to obtain the necessary tools and transportation (i.e. animal carriers, vans, animal supplies, etc) to bring the program to facilities (i.e. community centre, retirement home, etc). I would home to start the program in the next year.