The idea of performing the Sirsasana position to perfection, with your head anchored to the floor mat and your feet in a candle, with a tomcat balancing on our toes, quickly crossed our minds when we discovered a session of “Cat Yoga”. The course promised to be funny. Direction, the Gentle Cat of Lyon, a cat bar, also a coworking space. It is the first establishment in the city to offer this relatively new discipline.
In the upper room, Guillemette, Alberte, Jeanne, Louise and Elizabeth have already taken their places on the mats, rolling on their backs while waiting for the participants. If Diane, a small Bengal feline, prefers to observe the scene from afar, crouched under one of the chairs, the Persian Nicole quickly climbed the stairs, driven by curiosity. A first. “generally, she does not move from her chair. She stays in the same position, like a statue,” laughs Jimmy, co-manager of the premises.
Concentration and tickling
Every Tuesday evening, the establishment now offers yoga sessions with its ten cats. “In principle, they walk around you, they hide under the carpets come, they are petted”, underlines Camille Bertrand, yoga teacher. However, the risk of disconcertion remains palpable when Louise rubs against your legs, in full warrior position. Or that Charline sniffs your forehead and tickles your head in meditation, before trying to lay on your face. But in the end, the tomcats “remain relatively discreet” even if they circulate throughout the room.
“By doing yoga, we calm them down. And they, thanks in particular to their purring, gave us more serenity”, observes Camille for whom the benefits of the discipline “are tenfold”. “Chats are also a vector of exchanges, they make it possible to create links. At the end of the session, a shy person will spontaneously, for example, go and talk to others about the cat that sat on his carpet”, adds Jimmy.
Our yoga file
At the end, Anna and Laurane are conquered. The first, who discovered the cat bar last week, convinced her friend to give it a try. “I didn’t think the cats were going to stay with us for the whole course,” she explains. It’s nice because they come to see us, they hug us, we walk on them”. “It’s very pleasant when you have your eyes closed and they come to rub against you, Laurane agrees. Yoga allows you to reconnect with your body but there, you feel even more in touch with nature. »