News / Vancouver

Forget downward dog— Richmond studio offers yoga with bunnies

Ten fluffy rabbits joined students on their mats at Sunberry Fitness in Richmond on Sunday.

A bunny hops around a student at Sunberry Fitness on Sunday. The studio offered a yoga class with bunnies to raise funds for Bandaids for Bunnies, a non-profit rescue group in Richmond.

Courtesy Sunberry Fitness

A bunny hops around a student at Sunberry Fitness on Sunday. The studio offered a yoga class with bunnies to raise funds for Bandaids for Bunnies, a non-profit rescue group in Richmond.

Yogis in Richmond are putting a new twist on rabbit pose, and it’s already proving to be a hoppening trend.

On Sunday, Sunberry Fitness teamed up with Bandaids for Bunnies, a non-profit rabbit rescue group in Richmond, to offer a yoga class with bunnies. The sold-out class saw 27 students joined on their mats by 10 fluffy animals hopping around the studio.

The goal of the class is to find homes for the rescued animals and to raise awareness about Richmond’s rabbit overpopulation crisis, said Janet Keating, a board member for the rescue group who also took part in the class.

Students at Sunberry Fitness do yoga while bunnies hop around their mats on Sunday.

Courtesy Sunberry Fitness

Students at Sunberry Fitness do yoga while bunnies hop around their mats on Sunday.

“(The bunnies) made a lot of friends and we got a lot of interest in adoptions and fosters,” Keating told Metro.  “With rabbits being a prey animal, they’re a little bit skittish, but we take rabbits that we know are going to be a good experience for the class.”

The rescue group came up with the idea of bunny yoga after one of its board members, who is also a regular at Sunberry Fitness, joked about the idea with studio owner Julia Zu.

The studio held its first bunny yoga session last November. When that class sold out,  they decided to host another class last weekend.

A bunny rests on a mat during a yoga class at Sunberry Fitness on Sunday.

Courtesy Janet Keating

A bunny rests on a mat during a yoga class at Sunberry Fitness on Sunday.

Together, the classes have raised more than $1,000 for Bandaids for Bunnies.

“People really enjoy it,” said Zu. “A lot of them can’t have pets at home because some apartments don’t allow pets, so it’s a way for them to be close to animals.”

This isn’t the first yoga class with bunnies in Vancouver.

Last October, the Small Animal Rescue Society of B.C. also held a fundraiser yoga class with bunnies, which also sold out.

Zu said plans are already underway to host another class at Sunberry Fitness around Easter.