Downward Dog with the dogs

The Downward Doggin Puppy Yoga class is just what it sounds like yoga with the added benefit of these adorable puppies scampering around the room. The first-time event is being held at La Gota Coffee on March 17. CONTRIBUTED
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The Downward Doggin Puppy Yoga class is just what it sounds like yoga with the added benefit of these adorable puppies scampering around the room. The first-time event is being held at La Gota Coffee on March 17. CONTRIBUTED

Fun, fitness and a new furry friend — the Downward Doggin’ Puppy Yoga class checks all the boxes.

“It’s perfect for dog lovers and yoga lovers,” said Sarah McLaughlin, a volunteer with Paw Patrol Dayton. “And all of the proceeds go to help care for the dogs, so it’s a win, win, win.”

Paw Patrol was established in 2012 to improve the quality of life for outdoor dogs living in the community. Among the many tasks the local non-profit performs is rescuing and rehoming neglected, abused or unwanted dogs.

The Downward Doggin’ Puppy Yoga class is just what it sounds like – yoga with the added benefit of adorable puppies scampering around the room. The first-time event is being held at La Gota Coffee on March 17.

Yoga with animals has become a fitness trend in recent years. SICSA's Yoga with Cats program is popular – their next date is also March 17 (https://www.sicsa.org/). And goat yoga – yes, yoga with goats – is also gaining in popularity. Honey Sweetie Acres, in Goshen, Ohio (http://honeysweetieacres.com/) and Goat Yoga at Flat Rock Farm in New Castle, Ky. (https://newcastlekentucky.goatyoga.net/) both offer classes complete with adorable baby goats.

Exercising with animals offers some unique advantages. A study conducted by the National Institute of Health highlighted the many benefits of human-animal interaction which include, but are not limited to, lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduced levels of depression and anxiety and improved mood.

Three recent litters at Paw Patrol Dayton sparked the idea of the puppy yoga event. It’s about more than fun and fitness – although both are pretty much guaranteed – as the puppies are up for adoption.

“They are looking for their forever homes,” McLaughlin said.

If puppy yoga is new to you, you’re not alone as it will also be a first time for yoga instructor Tracy Moser.

“I have never taught a class with puppies, but this is my dream,” Moser said. “It combines two things I love – dogs and yoga. I think it’s going to be awesome.”

Moser, in fact, adopted a dog from Paw Patrol Dayton, and the organization is “near and dear” to her heart.

The class is designed to be beginner friendly – lots of floorwork and no inversions. And the wagging tales of the playful pups should help reduce the intimidation factor for first-time yogis.

“It will be an easier practice – simpler and lower to the ground,” Moser said. “I want it to be safe for the people and the puppies.

“There’s a place for everybody in yoga and not just human bodies,” she added with a smile.


DOWNWARD DOGGIN’ PUPPY YOGA

What: Paw Patrol is partnering with La Gota Coffee to host puppy yoga. The puppies are also looking for their forever homes at this meet-and-greet yoga event.

When: March 17, 9-10 a.m.

Where: La Gota Coffee, 804 E. Monument Ave.

Cost: $20, must be purchased in advance. Visit Paw Patrol Dayton on Facebook for details.

More: Bring your own yoga mat

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