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Cats on the Mats yoga coming to South Berwick

Sarah McDowell and Cassie Doucette of MoonCoast Yoga are hosting a special Cats on the Mats session in support of the Kings SPCA April 21.
Sarah McDowell and Cassie Doucette of MoonCoast Yoga are hosting a special Cats on the Mats session in support of the Kings SPCA April 21. - Submitted

SOUTH BERWICK - Forget about downward dog.

On April 21, MoonCoast Yoga’s studio in South Berwick will be all about the feline kind during a special Cats on the Mats session.

“We wanted to offer a yoga class with cats in the studio because it’s something that isn’t really done around here. There are a few classes that have been offered in the city,” said Sarah McDowell, who runs the yoga studio along with fellow animal lover Cassie Doucette.

“We thought it would be a great idea to bring two things that people seem to love together – animals and yoga.”

The event will be a fundraiser for the Kings County SPCA branch, with half of the proceeds going directly to the local animal rescue organization. The cats in attendance will all be adoptables awaiting rehoming through Kings SPCA.

“People can kind of make a bond with the animals inside the studio,” said McDowell.

“It brings them into a neutral ground where people can play and interact.”

Pre-registration is required for the class, which will be capped at 25 participants.

“We’re hoping that the cats don’t just hide,” said McDowell, laughing.

“We’re hoping that they’ll feel comfortable and mingle around and add an extra level of playfulness to the yoga class.”

She admits that they expect the cats to steal the show at this gentle flow class for all levels.

“In our yoga practice, we’re simply there to guide people through the postures, but they are very much encouraged to make the practice their own,” she said.

“We’re fully expecting some people to not do any yoga and just hang out on their mats with their cats.”

The goal of the event is to help the SPCA at a particularly trying time of year for the organization and boost the profile of the yoga studio within the community.

A call for help was issued on the Nova Scotia SPCA – Kings SPCA Facebook page April 4.

“Kitten season is upon us! We have already accepted several litters into our care and are anticipating more in the coming weeks,” the post reads.
“With this time of year being our busiest, we are looking for donations in preparation for the season. We are low on several items around the shelter.”

MoonCoast yoga is proud to give back to the community that continually supports their studio, McDowell said. They regularly donate a portion of the proceeds from $10 drop-in Saturday morning classes to the breakfast program at the Berwick and District School.

“They feed over 100 kids a day with their breakfast program, as well sometimes they buy groceries for specific children to take home,” said McDowell.

Reservations for the April 21 Cats on the Mats session can be placed through emailing mooncoastyoga@gmail.com or calling 902-698-2826. The cost is $20.

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