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Animals + Yoga Trend Expands with Yoga For Bunnies

Nancy Alkire Nancy Alkire Animals + Yoga Trend Expands with Yoga For BunniesYoga for Rabbits brings awareness about abandonment of bunnies as pets.
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Joining the creature-filled yoga scene in Columbus is Yoga for Bunnies, an all-level yoga event that is 100 percent fundraising for the Ohio House Rabbit Society. When I asked Yoga on High teacher training graduate and rabbit enthusiast, Melanie Zeigler Dickman, “Why rabbits?” She said, “Everything is better with bunnies!”

Dickman educated me about rabbits as house pets. Bunnies love affection from other mammals and are terrific fun to watch play with toys.

“My Sweetheart [a white, Californian rabbit] tosses a ball against the wall and plays racquetball with herself,” says Dickman. “It’s hilarious.”

Bunnies, compared to finicky felines with expensive food habits, are fine with munching hay and your veggie trimmings. Rabbits are very clean and groom themselves much like cats. They can be trained to use a litter box and even their “litter” is neat. Healthy bunnies poop dry, odorless pellets.

Unfortunately, too many cute little Easter bunnies end up overflowing the humane society or are dropped off in parks.

“They are the third most abandoned pet after cats and dogs,” said Dickman. Enter devoted rabbit-lovers like her and Ohio House Rabbit Rescue (OHRR) to shelter them until they can find permanent homes. The OHRR rabbit adoption center at 5485 N. High St. currently has over 40 rabbits needing homes, says Pat Barron, the board president of OHRR.

“The shelter is wall-to-wall full, and we can always use funds for supplies,” says Dickman. “I read about yoga with bunnies in Vancouver and thought, that is something I can do!”

She has gathered people on Facebook and found an animal-lover, Ryan Callahan, who donated space at his crossfit studio so that all of the money raised goes to helping the rabbits. They are hoping to hold yoga with bunnies on a quarterly basis.

What is yoga with rabbits like?

“Tons of fun,” said Dickman, “And our peak pose is Rabbit which we do twice. The bunnies like interacting with students, especially during the floor poses.”

As prey animals, rabbits are very quick to run if startled. Children are welcome if they are with a guardian and old enough to follow yoga instructions well. Rabbits do have claws but they are mostly used for running, not fighting. There are no known rabbit-to-human yoga injuries.

Columbus has another rabbit-advocate group, the Columbus House Rabbit Society. Their chapter manager, Danielle Patterson, and rabbit volunteer Terri Cook are supportive of yoga with rabbits and the rescue/adoption work by OHRR.

A clean, indoor yoga event with fluffy bunnies hopping around will be good fun and raise money for a good cause. Some of the rabbits there will be available for adoption; the rabbit adoption center at 5485 N. High St. is open noon – 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

To attend Yoga for Bunnies on July 8 at FTW Crossfit, 4660 Kenny Rd., get tickets here.

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