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    Monday, July 15, 2024

    Three little piggies at a yoga class = maximum happiness

    In this image taken from video, piglets interact with yoga class participants, Friday, May 17, 2024, in Spencer, Mass. (AP Photo)

    Spencer, Mass. — Three little piggies went to a yoga class.

    Their human companions had a blast.

    Wilbur, Charlotte and Bluey fit right into a growing trend of yoga with animals, adding some fun to the usual physical and mental wellness exercises at a class in central Massachusetts.

    Darting and strolling among the yoginis making downward dog, crow and cobra poses, the piglets also dug up a backyard with their soft pink snouts as two rabbits and a goat named Munchie searched for the tastiest shoots.

    The experience was well worth a nearly two-hour drive to the town of Spencer for retired New Hampshire dentist Stacey Delbridge and her daughter.

    "The best thing about the piglet yoga was, of course, the piglets and how cute they are,” Delbridge said with a jubilant smile. “They were funny, you know. Just when you were getting to a point where you needed a break, you had a great visitor come see you, and you could quit without looking like a quitter. Yeah. They’re adorable.”

    Beyond Yoga & Wellness owner Ashley Bousquet teaches piglet yoga, and says there is such demand that online registrations typically sell out within hours.

    The classes begin with Bousquet inviting participants not to fret over interrupting their flows to interact with the piglets, who come from a friend’s farm.

    “During the class you have piglets causing mischief and running on you, on top of you or cuddling with you," Bousquet said. "It's super cute.”

    Amy Finkel brought her two daughters with her, smiling broadly while snapping photos of piglets as the girls hugged a rabbit.

    “Seeing them so joyful and happy” was the high point, she said. The low point? "When it was over, because it just seemed to go so quickly.”

    Practicing yoga with animals can produce unexpected benefits. If done with shelter animals, it may even encourage adoptions, said Rebecca Purchase of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell.

    “Is yoga stressful to animals that join? It can be if it’s not the right animal," Purchase said. “But for animals that really thrive being around people and getting to socialize with them, it absolutely can be a benefit.”

    Finkel is a big fan of animal yoga — she said it helped keep her mind from wandering. "I’m really focused on to what’s going on presently around me. And I think in today’s day and age, that’s very hard to do.”

    “I just wanted to sit with them,” Delbridge said. “I could have skipped yoga and gone just piglet. All piglet.”

    In this image taken from video, piglets interact with instructor Ashley Bousquet during an outdoor yoga class, Friday, May 17, 2024, in Spencer, Mass. (AP Photo)

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