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Your first question: who were the puppies?

On April 22, I cuddled not one, not two, but eleven Rottweiler puppies! They were soft and snuggly and had those little beige spots above their eyebrows that all Rottweilers do.

Puppy looking at the camera while in Intrepid Emma's arms.

How it came to pass

Over a month before, I’d seen a (deeply compelling) ad to buy advance tickets to a puppy yoga experience in Toronto. The company puppyyoga.com has hosted several yoga classes with rescue puppies in the Ottawa area, and they were planning special days in Toronto too. The only catch was that they had no date and no location at the time I bought the tickets! Instead, they offered a full refund if it turned out I couldn’t go.   

So a few weeks passed, waiting in anticipation of the day my dream of getting covered in puppies would come true. Finally, a week ahead of time, I found out that Puppy Yoga would take place on a Sunday in Vaughan, at the north end of the city. Unfortunately, my other friend who’d bought a ticket was devastated that she couldn’t make it because she works Sundays. After a cry on her behalf, I grabbed another friend (and cousin) to attend Puppy Yoga in her honour.

Puppy Yoga Day Arrived

A yoga participant petting a puppy.

We packed cold water bottles, our own yoga mats, and dressed in cute exercise attire since we’d take a billion photos of course. When we arrived, the previous class was dreading to leave, and the puppies were hidden behind closed doors. The calls of “accident!” let us know the puppies were real.

Finally, it was time. We hopped into the Puppy Yoga classroom and immediately snuggled up to the seven-week-old Rottweilers stretched out on the floor. One christened my mat which was promptly cleaned up by staff. I took it as a good sign, like when you’re going to pick out your very own puppy and they pee on you to say they’re comfortable. Or possibly that they just couldn’t hold it anymore. Either way, I don’t really care because I will ALWAYS take it as a sign of their undying love.

After squeezing into the sold-out classroom, the staff strategically placed toys, dog beds and food so that the puppies would wander around the entire space. There were tuggy wars, impromptu naps on top of people’s bellies and lots and lots of chewing. I was blessed enough to have a long snuggle with a puppy who settled in my lap.

And the yoga?Intrepid Emma hugging a Rottweiler puppy.

What there was not, was yoga. Well, there was some yoga, more of the stretching kind. We flowed through boat pose, downward dog (duh) and tree pose, always return to forward fold because it let us sweep our arms down to pet a pup at our feet.

It was soul fulfilling. I will remember staring into the little puppy eyes and hearing a jingling collar run by while in child’s pose for the rest of my life.

Puppy sleeping with chin on a participant's cellphone.

Finally, after a 15 minute puppy photo session at the end of the 45 minute class, it was time to go. We said goodbye to the now sleeping pile up puppies. The staff almost had to check our bags at the door to make sure none went home!

Should you try Puppy Yoga?

Puppy sleeping on a yoga mat.

So would I recommend puppy yoga? Of course! 3000%. It was no more than $30 for an incredibly fun, lighthearted experience. The stress relieving benefits of yoga with puppies should truly be studied. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for the pups who need to develop their socialization skills and can do so while being watched over by their current, responsible caregiver. I loved every minute of puppy yoga and will happily go again when I have the chance.

Want to try it? Check out puppyyoga.com and look for an event in your city.


Looking for more stress relief? Check out the dog-themed podcast on my post Five Positive Podcasts to Brighten Your Day, or pick one of Five Easy Tips for Emotional Relief.

Stay brave, folks!