Deep breath in, and out. Lift your hips up to downward dog. It’s a familiar mantra if you practice yoga, but this simple phrase is well-known to another member of your household: your cat.
It seems that no matter what time or place you’re flowing through your vinyasa, kitty will rush to join you. Let’s discover some of the reasons she loves yoga as much as you do.
Cats love yoga mats
Roll your mat out, and a couple of seconds later, your cat is perching on it. It’s a little-known fact that pets adore the squishy, scented goodness of yoga mats. Your smell lingers on them after you use them, and while we may not be able to detect our own unique fragrance, our furry friends can. Plus, cats like the soft texture of the mats, allowing them to knead, claw and paw at it in comfort.
Kitty likes watching you exercise
Cats are curious creatures, so seeing their human move into unusual poses is likely to arouse their interest. You’re likely to find them wandering under your perfectly formed plank pose or sniffing your extended feet. They find it stimulating – their senses are engaged, and the human shelters and hurdles created by yoga poses are like a pop-up jungle gym.
They want attention
There’s a reason kitty only wants to sit in the middle of the mat or rubs her face against yours as you desperately try to maintain calm. She wants to touch you – and get some love in return. She may dislike not being the center of attention and wants to win back her place as the object of your constant affection.
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Of course, our cats may simply want to show us how it’s done. Cats are born yogis – they stretch their bodies to keep flexible and contort themselves into all sorts of shapes. Seeing you emulating their movements might inspire them to join you. Perhaps they think they’re helping you out!
What to do if your cat is bothering you
Your cat probably just wants to see what you’re doing and is trying to enjoy it with you. Should you find that kitty interrupts your flow, distraction is always the best tactic – try keeping them entertained with a toy before you start or practicing yoga when they’re in a deep sleep or elsewhere. You can even purchase special yoga mats for cats to keep them off yours. But if you can’t prevent it, embrace it. The joyful feelings released when you spend time with your cat are a fantastic bonus to an already mood-enhancing yoga practice.