Lent Term can be extremely stressful with summer exams looming over everyone’s head. I usually destress by doing creative mini projects or walking around London, but this year I wanted to try something new. I had seen a lot of advertisements for yoga studios holding yoga sessions with puppies, so I recently decided to try it out.
There are several studios that do these types of events, but the one that I chose to go to was at MoreYoga near Cannon Street where I booked from the Puppy Yoga website. Fair warning: if this is something you want to do, they have a limited number of days (on which they hold multiple sessions) and tickets sell out faster than you can click! When they release new tickets, be sure to have your payment information to hand because the spots will fill up within the first ten minutes. Once I secured my tickets, I was asked to fill out a health and safety form before attending the class and notified of the type of puppies that would be attending two days before my class. It was fluffy French bulldogs and Labrador puppies! I think I was on a high of anticipation for the full two days before my class even began.
Coming to the session, the studio recommends bringing an extra change of clothes because some of the puppies are not yet potty-trained (so some accidents may occur, although the staff is very quick to clean up and make sure the puppies are behaving). There are some changing rooms, but because of COVID I would recommend that you show up to the class already dressed. You can put your stuff in cubbies and have your phone with you for photos. Be sure to put your things in a cubby that’s not too close to the ground, as the mischievous pups will try to grab your things!
In the studio, the staff explains how the session works: some yoga, but mostly puppy play. Your yoga mat will come with a toy for the puppies to play with, and you’ll begin by having a puppy brought to you so you can already begin the cuddling. Then the puppies have free reign. They will run all over the place, play with the toys, and some will even curl up in your lap. If a puppy is laying on you, don’t attempt to do any yoga. If you do follow along with some of the yoga, take care not to step on any puppies!
Our yoga instructor was charismatic and the very little yoga I did was still fun. The main event of course were the little bundles of serotonin; I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole day. The staff also made sure that everyone got a fair amount of puppy time. When I didn’t have a puppy, they’d bring one over or try to direct them towards me. Puppy yoga is also beneficial for the puppies. It’s not done just to be fun for us, but also to socialise the puppies. When the puppies are that young, they need to become used to being away from their mothers and learn to socialise with people before they can be adopted. These yoga sessions help to acclimate them to playing with people.