Calm Your Mind with Baby Bunny Meditation
When faced with a fluffle of baby bunnies, you can’t help but be at peace, and at Herding Dogs Farm, guided bunny meditation connects you to your inner calm.
By Claire Porter
We could all use a little calm in our days. The busy-ness of life fills our heads with tasks, and sometimes in the frenzy we forget to be present. For those moments, meditation can soothe our bodies and put our minds at ease—and adding bunnies to the mix takes the relaxation to an entirely new level.
At Herding Dogs Farm, Stephanie Wubbena, the fitness guru behind Goats and Yoga, blends the centering powers of meditation with baby bunny cuddles through a guided outdoor class. Seeking a little calm—and needing a place to channel our pent-up cute aggression—we headed to the farm to try out a class.
Herding Dogs Farm is a 5-acre educational agritourism farm on Wubbena’s property in Rogersville. The farm is where Goats and Yoga takes place, and classic red barns, wooden-framed goat pens and picturesque gathering spaces delineate the yard.
Tucked into a shady clearing is what’s dubbed the Bunny Grove. The grassy nook is fenced in and sits alongside the goat pen, which is home to adult and baby goats and a few feathered friends. Part of the meditation session is grounding yourself in the moment, so sitting on a yoga mat in the grass allows you to melt into your surroundings. Plus, you’re now in close proximity to the hopping creatures at your feet.
The real draw of the bunny meditation class is the chance to play with, pet, nuzzle and generally be surrounded by baby bunnies. “I always say I get to meet everybody on their best day,” Wubbena says, referring to the immediate smiles, laughter and joy her guests express upon seeing the baby bunnies. And yes, they are babies. “I would say about half of the class is usually children, and grown rabbits tend to scratch,” Wubbena says. “With the baby bunnies, even if they scratch you, it doesn’t hurt.” When we visited, the bunnies were just 10 days old, and most hadn’t even opened their eyes yet—the fluffle (the technical name for a cluster of bunnies) was small enough to easily fit into a small Rubbermaid basket. They calmly snoozed in our hands or gently hopped around the grass all class.
Although the bunnies are a big draw for the human attendees, the classes benefit the rabbits, too. These sessions allow the bunnies a structured, calm environment in which they can get used to being touched and handled. Wubbena says the focus, coordinated movements and sense of calm that come with a class setting give the animals a safe, gradual introduction to humans. “The animals and their safety come first,” Wubbena says. “The yoga and the meditation, that comes second.”
Handling a warm, soft creature the size of a small potato is enough to calm you then and there, but Wubbena guides you through a meditation that puts you in touch with your breathing, state of mind and muscle tension. Wubbena has more than 20 years of experience in fitness instruction and was the founder of Live Pure Yoga—a background that contributes to her understanding of how animals can help lower blood pressure and lessen the physiological effects of stress.
Most of the class is spent focusing on the baby bunny in your hands. You notice each of its features, like the soft curve of its twitching nose, the gentle flop of its ears, the curl of its tiny paws. In doing so, your daily distractions melt away. As you pay attention to the bunny’s breathing, you focus on your own, slowing your breath to savor the fresh air. You place the bunny on your heart or press your forehead to his, feeling your connection to the world around you. Somewhere in a bunny grove tucked beneath the trees, you finally find inner peace.
The $15 class happens Saturdays at 10 a.m. through fall, weather permitting.
Kids are welcome as long as they’re old enough to handle animals gently and listen to instruction.
Herding Dogs Farm, 4089 S. State Highway J, Rogersville, 724-777-3093
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