Cat Yoga: A Pretty Purrfect Way To Relax The Greater Birmingham Humane Shelter in Alabama hosts yoga sessions — for people — right alongside the shelter's cats.
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Yes, Cat Yoga Is A Thing Now, And It's Pretty Purrfect

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Yes, Cat Yoga Is A Thing Now, And It's Pretty Purrfect

Yes, Cat Yoga Is A Thing Now, And It's Pretty Purrfect

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now, towards the end of what has been a cat-tentious (ph) - I mean contentious - very contentious political season, we have something to help you relax - cat yoga. Really, it's a thing, at least in Birmingham, Ala., as Melanie Peeples reports.

MELANIE PEEPLES, BYLINE: I bring you today the Greater Birmingham Humane Society's first-ever cat yoga class.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAT MEOWING)

PEEPLES: Yes, it is filled with women - 13 of them, to be exact, not counting the instructor. And yes, someone is wearing cat leggings. Another has cat earrings and cat ear barrettes. And someone's boyfriend is sitting over by the door, on his phone. The women have paid $10 each for yoga instructor Carla Jean Whitley to lead them through poses like downward-facing dog.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAT MEOWING)

PEEPLES: Sorry - downward-facing cat - set to, well, not your average yoga music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A CAT")

CARLA JEAN WHITLEY: (Singing) Everybody, everybody, is a cat. Everybody, everybody wants to be cats. Meow, meow, meow. Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow.

PEEPLES: Singing breaks out occasionally, but that's OK because everybody who came here is here for more than just yoga, which is good because cats make really terrible fellow yoga students. They scamper on your mat, drink from your water bottle and decide to sit down and bathe themselves underneath you during poses. Speaking of poses, remember the guy in the corner whose girlfriend dragged him here? Josh Scarborough spent the whole class texting his roommates about the kitten named Sweet-ums that camped out in his lap.

JOSH SCARBOROUGH: I'm trying to convince my roommates, but...

WHITLEY: You know, the adoption fee is only $10 today.

SCARBOROUGH: I - I have $10, so it's probably going to happen.

WHITLEY: Today is the last day of that special.

SCARBOROUGH: All right, it's happening, yeah. They haven't told me not to, so I'm going to.

PEEPLES: So he decided to take Sweet-ums home. And that, along with fundraising, was really the whole purpose of cat yoga.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAT PURRING)

PEEPLES: Don't you feel better now? For NPR News, I'm Melanie Peeples.

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