Whether you’ve done yoga for years, or recently started the practice, you’llhave to find new ways to salute the sun or settle into a relaxing shavasana aswe shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In my case, I share a small home with three cats, who like to make theirpresence known whenever I exercise in the living room. That’s why it was niceto find a class that understands this reality for many pet owners: the Cats onMats Virtual Yoga class, offered by Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation(ARF) in Walnut Creek.

Taking place 6 p.m. Thursdays through May 28, the class is taught by MarieRamagli, a registered yoga instructed, ARF volunteer and owner of four catsand one dog.

Ramagli’s “fur friends” make cameos, and she expects yours will too. For oneclass, her friends included her 12-year-old dog Emma, an ARF rescue dog; her15-year-old calico kitty Opal; and Aldo, a 7-year-old black-and-white tuxedomale cat.

“The gang’s all here,” Ramagli said brightly, when the three wandered into theframe at the same time near the end of class.

Aldo resembles my 1-year-old female Pandora, who at times lounged on the matbeside me while I followed Ramagli in doing seated forward leg bends and hipstretches. Things got a little tricky when I got on all fours to do a set ofcat and cow poses. Pandora and her gray tabby brother Marlon started wrestlingbeneath me. But the siblings settled down when it was time for me to laystretched out in shavasana and let the tensions of the day ease away

Martha Ross _ | Features writer = USA The Mercury News



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