Zen Hen: Introducing “Chicken Yoga” for People and Poultry

Spending time with animals makes many people feel better. You’ll know that if you’ve ever been greeted by a golden retriever after a long day, sat with a woof ferret in your lap on a cold night, or tried to board a plane with a ferret your emotional support (no more welcome in the sky, sorry to say).

You may have heard of yoga classes that have the therapeutic benefit of doing the downward facing dog while you’re facing dogs, cats and, especially goats, head hunched over and even standing up. back of the participant in certain postures.

Now, a Florida hotel has launched the most unique version of the trend: chicken yoga.

Held once a month at Hotel Haya in Tampa’s historic Ybor City neighborhood, each poultry-themed session is a “traditional strength vinyasa class,” according to Union Three’s Danielle Nicolas, Fitness studios provide human trainers.

Well, “traditional” except for five or six roosters roaming between rows of meditators in hours-long classrooms.

(Credit: Hotel Haya)

The birds are special guest stars from the neighborhood’s Ybor Misfits Microsanctuary Reserve. Rescue them all, yoga chickens are chosen to get used to people, accustomed to being handled, and accustomed to swaddling to prevent unwanted nuggets from being left behind.

The reserve’s Dylan Breese told Frommer’s in an email.

The chickens did not sit on the practitioners’ backs.

Instead, “some” [birds] According to Breese. “We bring in a few people who are very social, so they will go from bird to bird throughout the class. Apollonia loves to lie down, so we’ll find a friendly mat, lay her down, and she’ll just chill until she moves on to the next spot. “

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Apollonia sounds like our kind of yoga guru.

The presence of live chickens in a daily activity is not as coincidental as it can be heard in Ybor City. Follow Tampa Bay TimesThe birds have pecked along the county’s brick streets since its founding in the late 1800s, when Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrants who founded communities raised chickens for food.

Some of the red-feathered birds you’ll see on the streets today are thought to be descendants of those primitive chickens.

(Roosters in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa, Florida; credit: Nick Fox / Shutterstock)

The level of Hotel Haya offers guests the opportunity to interact with these local celebrities.

“What many people learn,” Breese wrote, “is [the chickens] likes to be held. Usually, in someone’s arms, they’ll close their eyes and groan.”

Chicken yoga takes place in the Valencia Ballroom of the Haya Hotel on the last Sunday of each month. Classes are open to attendees of all experience levels, and sessions are free for hotel guests, although a $10 donation to Ybor Misfits Microsanctuary is recommended.

Make a reservation at HotelHaya.com. “Please note,” a notice on the website warns, “our girl Charlotte (chicken celebrity Ybor) is quite fond of jewelry, so leave shiny things at home!”

The hotel, a 178-room boutique hotel with colorful design inspired by the area’s Cuban community, also has a cafe where you can have an after-school brunch.

We guess you won’t want to order an omelette.

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