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Downward dog meets wagging tail: puppy yoga unleashes happiness

By: Country Meadows |

Wyomissing campus residents and co-workers enjoyed the dog days of summer while stretching, smiling and snuggling during a puppy yoga class.

Resident Barbara L. cuddles one of the pups visiting for puppy yoga

“It was more like 5% yoga and 95% puppies, but that’s okay because it was 100% smiles!” says Country Meadows’ Fitness Director, Vi Schultz.

It is just like it sounds: puppies from PA Pit Stop Rescue in Berks County wandered around Country Meadows’ enclosed courtyard while residents and co-workers enjoyed outdoor yoga classes. Puppy yoga combines the benefits of yoga, such as stretching, relaxation and mindfulness, with the joy and therapeutic effects of being around dogs.

“People love coming out and doing yoga with the puppies,” says Kat O’Mara, fundraising coordinator-PA Pit Stop Rescue. “The puppies usually crawl all over them, and it’s just a fun time.”

As a pet-friendly retirement community, several residents have dogs, cats, birds and other critters living with them in their apartments. “I love dogs! I ‘m going to be in trouble because I have a Papillion and toy poodle mix in my room,” laughs Country Meadows resident Barbara L, adding, “Dogs feel for you and with you. This is like therapy!”

Puppies from PA Pit Stop Rescue wander around during a co-worker session of puppy yoga

Residents have taken yoga classes with baby goats, but this was a first with puppies. Schultz says she is looking at other creative ways to use animals to engage residents in fitness classes.

All the puppies who attended the yoga event, as well as several others, are available for adoption through PA Pit Stop Rescue. O’Mara says, “Once people meet them, it’s hard to say ‘no’ to taking them home!”

 

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