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Crunch Gyms Offer 'Ruff Yoga' Classes

By: M Dee Dubroff - Published: Nov 15, 2008 • References: crunch and abcnews.go
The ancient practice of yoga has always led to peace and enlightenment, but not even the masters could have expected that its modernization would apply as much to creatures with four legs as those of us blessed with only two. Already popular in Japan, dog yoga has also caught one in some bigger American cities, notably New York.

Also known as 'Ruff' Yoga, this new American craze may well prove that a dog’s life isn’t all that bad. More and more, owners are taking their dogs to yoga classes--a chain of gyms has actually started offering yoga classes specifically for dogs. The trend is quickly catching on, but started at “Crunch” in New York City.

During a recent session held at Madison Square Park, the class attracted nearly twenty people and their pets. In these classes, owners read "pooch stories" to their pets, give them big kisses and place them into yoga positions so that the dogs can concentrate. This is all supposed to make the walk in the park easier for both pets and their owners.

The benefits of dog yoga include the reduction of stress for both owners and animals. According to most animal behaviorists, people who have stressful and nutty animals are usually stressful and a bit nutty themselves. Break the cycle. It helps to create a happier, healthier human-dog bond.