The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

Paws and poses: The rising trend of puppy yoga

Photo courtesy of Olivia Lawrence
Puppy Yoga at Brassy Buddha in Downtown Westfield.

Sweat. Meditation. Heavy breathing. Difficult poses. And puppies. Puppy yoga has become increasingly popular over the last few years and for good reason. The workout is intense, the workout is rewarding and the workout partners are adorable. 

Puppy yoga is a trendy, fun and effective workout that has increased benefits for internal and external health. A typical class consists of a regular yoga flow during which a number of puppies run and play throughout the area. While the actual flow itself has its own advantages, the addition of the puppies makes for an even more enjoyable and healthy experience. 

Japheth Brubaker, founder and owner of an animal based yoga studio in New York called Water and Rock Studio, said that when participating in puppy yoga, “cortisol is balanced in the body and the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged. Respiratory and cardiovascular rates are normalized and optimized as well.” 

Additionally, according to, participating in puppy yoga boosts one’s immune system. They state that blood pressure is lowered as well. 

Not only are there physical benefits to puppy yoga, but there are mental health benefits as well. “It boosts your attention, focus, and concentration, and improves your cognitive functions,” said

Brubaker also said that puppy yoga leads to “improved mood, sense of happiness, sense of community and connection to nature and to oneself.” 

It makes sense that, between the mental and physical benefits of puppy yoga, it would attract such a large audience. Carmen Chicola, owner of Brassy Buddha in Westfield, said, “I used to host these events once a month over the summer, and people were getting upset. They just wanted to keep coming back for more.” 

Chicola is not the only studio owner who feels this way. Sophie Hessler, founder and owner of Woof Wellness in New York City, said “We have a lot of yogis who say they will never take a normal yoga class again.” 

The enjoyment of puppy yoga classes extends to people of all ages and experience. Junior Mia Ebel took her first class a few months ago for her birthday and said, “It just put me in such a good mood that I carried with me throughout the rest of the week.” 

Contrary to popular belief, puppy yoga is not harmful to the animals. Not only is it a positive experience for the people involved, but it is also a positive experience for the puppies. 

Hessler said that when starting her business, she went out of her way to make sure the puppies were well cared for in her studio. “We built a studio with everything a dog needs, hired staff that is experienced in dog care and we developed strong relationships with rescue shelters. We feed the dogs, walk them, play with them, let them nap, give them toys and treats…our studio is practically a luxury puppy daycare,” she said. 

Water and Rock Studio, Woof Wellness and Brassy Buddha all partner with adoption shelters when hosting their puppy yoga events. Chicola noted that while not all yogis take the class looking to adopt, more often than not she has someone that cannot resist taking their workout buddy home. In fact, many puppy yoga events are held with the intention of finding the puppies in the adoption shelters their forever homes. 

Furthermore, noted the importance of puppy yoga for the socialization of the puppies. The classes make them more amenable to being around people and other dogs. 

Between the love and support given to the puppies and the mental and physical benefits for the yogis, there is no doubt that puppy yoga is the perfect mix of fun and physical movement. According to Brubaker, “Animal yoga is the gateway drug of yoga, fitness, mental and physical health. And we simply love doing it.”

View Comments (1)

Comments (1)

All Hi's Eye Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    Maureen FinelloDec 9, 2023 at 12:57 am

    Sounds like a wonderful experience for all. Animals are known to have a calming effect on most people. Hence, the use of therapy dogs in hospitals and nursing homes. Puppy yoga can add a new dimension to relaxation and exercise. Great Idea.