As far as fitness trends go, you will definitely get bored of your HIIT and Power yoga sessions someday. But add a bunch of cute animals to this mix and you will get a leaner body faster than one can say ‘Woof!’ Here are some fitness trends that give you the best of both worlds: A full-blown workout and lots of licks from your favorite animals!

#squatyourdog

#squatyourdogchallenge seems to be the perfect workout that combines your love for squats and fluffy dogs. (Image: Blackayako on Instagram)

Sometimes walking your dog is not enough. Sometimes you have to squat with them! Yeah, you heard us right, because who needs kettlebells and sandbags when you have a ball of fur? Not only are dogs heavier and furrier than your regular gym weights, but they seem to be loving the lifting as much as we are loving the gains.

This trend was started by Alyssa Greene, a Texas based blogger who teamed up with her fur baby, Colonel, to create the #squatyourdogchallenge.She posted a video of Colonel draped over her back instead of a sandbag and doing a set of squats. Since posting her initial video, hundreds of other dog parents have joined her by sharing their own videos of working out with their furry friends.

“Disclaimer: if they’re too heavy, don’t try it. If they don’t like it, put them down. Know your animal before partaking!” says Alyssa Greene who started the #squatyourdogchallenge with her video with pet Colonel.

And the dogs don’t seem to be complaining as one can see from the images. In fact, they seem to be enjoying by not having to get their paws dirtied and the pet owners seem to be loving this trend because there’s nothing like lifting a 50 Kg- ball of fluff instead of a typical inanimate weight. Not only is this trend getting people closer to their fitness goals but it is also bringing them closer to their dog’s heart. Because seriously, who needs a gym when you’ve got a dog to lift?

Goat Yoga

Love Yoga? Imagine successfully managing to get yourself into the contorted cobra pose, only to have a couple of baby goats doing a balancing act on your back! Say hello to Goat Yoga, that’s sweeping the United States, where participants are lining up for this adorable mix of dwarf goats and their love for yoga.

Danette McReynolds, whose family owns a herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats, which are miniature goats of West African origins, decided to host these classes to raise money for her 16-year-old daughter and a friend who were planning to showcase the animals at a farm show in Wisconsin. Along with Yoga instructor Meridith Lana they started conducting classes at Lavenderwood Farm in Thousand Oaks, California.

Goat Yoga is a favorite among the participants as it acts as the perfect stress buster ( Image: Goat Yoga on Instagram)

Many of the people who sign up here don’t want to leave. 53-year old student Shabnam Afari says, “At first, it was a bit scary because I didn’t know the goats were going to jump on my back. But then they were there and you felt the warmth of the animal and you’re on the straw, in the sun, with the trees and the blue skies around you, and it just felt so calming and peaceful.”

Set amidst the tranquil setting of a farm and 11 kids and 4 moms to hop around, this place is a perfect stress-buster and is booked-solid for the season. Because, who can be upset when you have a bunch of baby goats climbing on your back and being silly!

Meowmaste

Ever heard of a Downward cat? Well then pull out your yoga mats for a yoga session with cats! Animal shelters like Good Mews cat shelter near Atlanta, Georgia, are beginning to offer yoga classes with cats that not only help the physical and emotional well-being of the human participants, but provide the shelter cats extra socialization.

Good Mews Shelter offers you to sign up for their yoga with cats sessions. ( Image: Good Mews Cats on Instagram)

So we know that cats are not the social butterflies of the animal kingdom and usually don’t get adopted in shelters for their unruly or anti-social behavior. With these yoga classes Good Mews aims to provide a healthy environment for the cats to approach more humans and increase their likelihood of adoption.

Humans do well in groups and social gatherings. The same is true for animal companionship. It has been noted that the presence of animals in a room alone is enough to calm a person down by decreasing their blood pressure. Cat yoga comes with all these therapeutic perks and a place for felines to get comfortable with humans, making them better pets in the future.

Horsing around

Horseback yoga is tricky as it requires a good sense of balance to perform asanas on the back of a horse ( Image: The Wholesome Journals on Instagram)

La Donaira is a farm estate in Spain that has a stable of beautiful Lusitano horses which has grabbed the attention of several yoga enthusiasts. Horseback yoga seems to be increasing in popularity, which is evident from it’s more than 10, 000 followers on Instagram.

Resorts like La Donaira offer people to live on their estate and strike adventurous poses with their equine friends. Though this trend might sound like one is just horsing around, it is in reality quite difficult to maneuver such moves as it requires one to be perfectly in sync with the horse’s movements. Very much like the basic principle of yoga that involves the body being one with the soul.

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