SOUTH BEAVER TWP. — Cat, cow and downward-facing dog yoga poses take on new meaning Oct. 10 when Kindred Spirits Rescue Ranch hosts “Yoga With the Animals.”
Beginners and experienced yoga enthusiasts 10 and older are welcome to bring their mats and practice spiritual and physical disciplines in an outdoor pasture surrounded by farm animals.
This is a first-time event for the nonprofit ranch that provides sanctuary for neglected, abused, or abandoned animals.
“I have no idea how it actually is going to go since I’ve not done it before,” said owner Lisa Marie Sopko, but she expects it to be fun for both humans and animals. “It could be chaos, but hey, we’re used to that.”
Kristen Hannan, a registered yoga instructor from the Pittsburgh area, will conduct the 45-minute session beginning at 11 a.m.
Cost is $25 and participants are asked to register online through Eventbrite, an event management and ticketing website, at eventbrite.com/e/yoga-with-the-animals-tickets.
Proceeds will help to build a multi-use barn to serve as a temporary emergency shelter for humane officers statewide to house hoarded or neglected animals or as a pop-up shelter for animals needing housing due to natural disasters, Sopko said.
The barn is being built to honor and memorialize the late Gabby Newman, a 20-year-old summer intern at the ranch, who died in an ATV-rollover accident Aug. 5. Newman lived in Mars, Pa., and attended Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky., where she studied pre-veterinary medicine.
Sopko and her husband, John, purchased the 20-acre property in 2014 and received nonprofit status last year.
Kindred Spirits Rescue Ranch cares for well over 100 animals, Sopko said, and estimated that at least 65 were rescued in the past year.
With 20 acres, Sopko said there will be plenty of room for people to spread out and maintain safe distancing that’s recommended during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Goats, sheep, and likely chickens will be among animals participating in the yoga event and Sopko said she may “walk a cow down the aisles. It kind of depends on what looks safe.
“Even if you don’t want to do yoga, you can sit on the mat and play with the animals as they walk by you,” she added.
All of the animals are very interactive “and they do like to be petted. I fully expect they’re just going to interact on their own,” said Sopko.
Various merchandise including prints and other artwork an artist made of the animals will be available for purchase and T-shirts can be ordered. Light snacks and refreshments will be served, too.
“We have no idea what will happen but it will be fun,” said Sopko.
IF YOU GO:
What: Yoga With the Animals.
When: 11 a.m. Oct. 10.
Where: Kindred Spirits Rescue Ranch, 500 Hodgson Road, South Beaver Township.
Note: Bring your own yoga mat.