Three little piggies during a yoga class = maximum happiness

SPENCER, Mass. — Three little piggies went to a yoga class.

Their human companions had a lot of fun.

Wilbur, Charlotte and Bluey fit right into a growing trend of yoga with animals, adding some fun to the usual physical and mental wellness practices at a class in central Massachusetts.

Walking among the yoginis and doing downward poses of dogs, crows and cobras, the piglets also dug out a backyard with their soft pink snouts while two rabbits and a goat named Munchie searched for the tastiest shoots.

The experience was well worth a nearly two-hour drive to the town of Spencer for retired New Hampshire dentist Stacey Delbridge and her daughter.

“The best part about the piglet yoga was of course the piglets and how cute they are,” Delbridge said with a cheering smile. “They were funny, you know. Just when you got to a point where you needed a break, you had a great visitor, and you could quit without looking like a quitter. Yeah.

Beyond yoga & Wellness owner Ashley Bousquet teaches piglet yoga and says demand is so high that online registrations usually sell out within hours.

The lessons begin with Bousquet inviting participants not to worry about interrupting their flows to communicate with the piglets, which come from a friend's farm.

“During class you have piglets causing mischief and running up to you, on top of you or cuddling with you,” Bousquet said. “It's super cute.”

Amy Finkel brought her two daughters, smiling broadly as she took pictures of piglets while the girls hugged a bunny.

“Seeing them so happy and happy” was the highlight, she said. The low point? “When it was over, because it just seemed to go so fast.”

Practicing yoga with animals can bring unexpected benefits. If done with shelter animals, it can even encourage adoptions, says Rebecca Purchase of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell.

“Is yoga stressful for animals that participate? That can happen if it's not the right animal,” Purchase said. “But for animals that really thrive on being with and interacting with people, it can definitely be a benefit.”

Finkel is a big fan of animal yoga; she said it helped her not to wander. “I'm really focused on what's going on around me right now. And I think that's really hard to do these days.”

“I just wanted to sit with them,” Delbridge said. “I could have skipped yoga and just become a piglet. All piglets.”

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