Asheville Pilates with puppies: Have fun and adopt an animal


The Asheville Humane Society hosts two Pilates with Puppies classes a month. Angela Wilhelm/

In a room covered with yoga mats, a seemingly normal pilates class is ready to begin.

However, the laughter and giggles that bounce off the walls of the education room at Asheville Humane Society reveals that this is not your usual workout.

“I apologize in advance if your mat gets peed on,” announces Cisco Pilates instructor Alexis Miller as seven young puppies chase one another between the rows of people.

The shelter offers two back-to-back workout classes a month as a fundraiser but they also hope attendees will fall in love and adopt the animals. They’ve also hosted yoga with kittens.

“We get very distracted by all of their cuteness,” Miller said of the prancing puppies, “but we do get some puppy pilates accomplished in here.”

Though many people ask to bring their own dog, the class is only open to the shelter dogs who need homes.

Jennifer Browne happened to be visiting Asheville from Raleigh on a work trip when she saw the event on Facebook. “We’re going to be there, we have to go,” she told her co-worker.

The $15 class proves to be a stress-reliever, with lots of kisses and antics from the curious puppies who need homes.

“There is truth to animal therapy so this is definitely an affordable way of getting ourselves to feel happier throughout the day,” said Miller, “more puppies in our lives in always a good thing.”

Adam Cotton, manager of community alliances at Asheville Humane Society, estimates six animals have been adopted because of the program.

Pilates with puppies schedule

Tuesday, Feb 6: 4:30 and 6 p.m.

Tuesday, March 13: 4:30 and 6 p.m.

Saturday, March 24: 9 a.m., 4 and 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 10: 4:30 and 6 p.m.

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