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.