Mew-ga aka Cat Yoga in Mumbai
Roger, one of the regulars at Cat Yoga at Cat Cafe Studio, Mumbai. [Image: Cat Cafe Studio | Facebook]

Yog with cats is a great way of combining the health benefits of yoga and pet therapy, and it has come to Mumbai’s first Cat Yoga cafe where you can not only do mew-ga with the resident kittens, but adopt one on their special adoption event too.

The Cat Café Studio in Versova, Mumbai, hosted its first ever cat yoga, or “mew-ga,” session on March 22. The class was led by yoga instructor Priti Jhavar, who trained at the The Yoga Institute in Santacruz in East Mumbai.

Dr Charu Khosla, who co-founded Cat Café Studio, considers it very lucky that Jhavar proposed mew-ga classes.

“We had heard of the concept, but it’s not easy finding a yoga instructor who likes – and lives with – cats. So it was amazing when Priti came to us with the idea,” Dr Khosla told Mid-Day.

In addition to teaching yoga, Jhavar parents two cats of her own—Simba and Spiky—and she is an ardent advocate of animals. She has volunteered with several animal welfare organizations, and she believes that her two passions of animal rights and yoga mesh well in mew-ga.

“At home, I am surrounded by my cats during my asana practice all the time, so it just seemed like a good idea to have a yoga session with the beautiful cats at Cat Café Studio. And mew-ga helps me bring together two of my greatest loves,” she said.

She added that she had an epiphany while doing her yoga teacher training about the natural yogic characteristics of cats, which is what led her to explore cat yoga and eventually lead mew-ga classes.

“They know how to concentrate fully; focus comes naturally to them. And on the other hand, they also know how to relax and completely let go,” she said.

Cat Yoga and Cat Adoption Camps

Dr Khosla revealed that Cat Café Studio is hosting the mew-ga classes with the aim of finding good homes for the cats.

“Being around cats while performing activities like yoga helps you envision cats in your own environment. We’re hoping this will make people think about adopting a cat, which is our ultimate goal,” she said.

The first ever mew-ga class was fully booked. The 25 felines living in the studio joined the class by wandering among the participants, and in one case, doing the feline version of Savasana (Corpse Pose) in between the legs a human doing the same pose!

An adoption event for the Cat Yoga kitties will be held at the Cat Cafe Studio in Mumbai on April 1 and 2.

Other popular forms of animal therapy yoga are goat yoga and pig yoga.


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