Yoga classes are often on the amenity list at hotels and resorts, and some have even added classes that incorporate animals. The addition of friendly critters can provide an extra layer of calm and comfort to yoga participants, helping with relaxation and reminding them of the true meaning of yoga: mindfulness and forming a deeper connection with nature.
In some cases, the animals can help with balance, pain relief, anxiety, stress, depression, loss, grief, illness or injury. Other times, they can be just plain smile-inducing, mood-boosting and fun. Practice your Downward Dog among a variety of adorable creatures both big and small at these hotels and retreats.
Flamingo yoga in the Bahamas
Try flamingo yoga at Baha Mar, a resort complex in the Bahamas (which includes Grand Hyatt, Rosewood and SLS Hotels). Helmed by the CFO (Chief Flamingo Officer), the class takes place in the Rosewood’s Rose Garden and allows guests to practice poses alongside four flamingo ambassadors: Baha, Lynden, Indy and Luca.
Guests flow through meditative poses as the birds mimic them. In addition, they learn about the Bahamas’ national bird and how to preserve the population. Pre-booking required; cost approximately $80. Guests must be at least 16 years old to participate.
Hummingbird yoga in St. Lucia
Windjammer Landing, a beautiful hillside resort set on St. Lucia’s northwest coast, boasts miles of powdery sand and idyllic villas all with ocean views. The resort has introduced a wonderful new yoga program where guests can practice yoga in some of the resort’s most beautiful spots – and these areas are often home to colorful hummingbirds.
Stretch, bend and breathe as you gaze at the water and listen for the flutter of hummingbirds. Hummingbird yoga is by appointment only at the current time, making it a truly personalized group experience. The cost is approximately $25.
Yoga with adoptable puppies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
For the past several years, the Logan Hotel in Philadelphia has worked with a local animal shelter to host a yoga-with-puppies fundraiser. A yoga teacher donates teaching time, and animals come from the shelter to the hotel’s outdoor courtyard. The event is ideally held at least once or twice a year with two to three classes to cover the weekend and during-the-week crowd. Guests and locals alike are invited to purchase tickets (typically under $20) with proceeds going to the shelter.
More yoga with puppies at Miami Beach, Florida
You can also participate in yoga with adoptable puppies at Eden Roc Miami Beach. Animal Lovers Rescue (ALR), a local nonprofit, visits the hotel with furry friends that want nothing more than attention and a permanent home. Staff from the spa lead guests in a class that focuses on making a joyful connection to oneself, others and the friendly animals that come to class. 100% of the proceeds collected benefit ALR. Classes are $15 and they cater to yogis and novices alike.
Goat yoga in Switzerland
Do goat yoga at Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina, Switzerland. Friendly and curious goats wander about while guests move and stretch in stunning scenery. The goats may climb, nudge or simply lie peacefully on a nearby mat. Having goats in the session can reduce anxiety and stress and boost mental health. A 90-minute class costs about $39 with a minimum of six participants, available upon request to the staff. Not baaad…
Llama yoga in Georgia
Atlanta Alpaca Treehouse (which was featured on Netflix’s “Love Is Blind” and “World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals”) offers llama yoga classes with expert instructors in a beautiful, light-filled reclaimed Bamboo Barn that’s also home to alpacas and other animals.
Figgy, their spotty empath llama – and sometimes Queen Dali Llama or Llyra – assist with class. More than just a fun activity (although it is that too), the yoga is a main focus, and can help participants in dealing with all kinds of physical, emotional and spiritual challenges. A 1.5-hour class is $50, with 15% of the cost going to a local pet charity. Ages 12+, reservations required.
Yoga with fish in the Maldives
Do yoga surrounded by an array of colorful sea creatures at Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives. Classes are held the first Tuesday of the month in the resort’s 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, the largest all-glass underwater restaurant in the world. Gaze at the fish as you twist and bend, letting them mesmerize you as you hold your poses. Classes are offered to a max of six participants, so guests are able to spread out. Reservations required, cost approximately $95.
Yoga with marine life in Dubai
Partake in underwater yoga and meditation classes surrounded by a huge aquarium filled with colorful, soothing swimming sea creatures at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. The yoga class at The Lost Chambers Aquarium is perfect for guests of all levels looking to improve their strength, flexibility and balance. Mats are available for purchase the day of class or you are encouraged to bring your own along with a towel. Advanced booking required, with max 15 guests per class; cost approximately $44.
Goat yoga in South New Berlin, New York
Practice being in the moment at Gilbertsville Farmhouse, an incredible weekend destination venue in beautiful New York. Popular as a wedding, retreat or special event venue, goat yoga is available for guests here as part of their experience. Themed yoga events are also held here to add to the fun. Classes start at $30.
No matter what kind of yoga makes your wellness routine complete, sharing it with creatures can bring a sense of connection and wellbeing – and make your hotel or resort stay truly unique.