By Alison Fox
October 30, 2019
Julianna Vezza via Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Yoga is one of the most peaceful and rejuvenating things you can do. And like with most things, when you incorporate animals, it only improves the experience.

There’s already goat yoga, alpaca yoga, and lemur yoga, but the marrying of animals and exercise has taken a leap with the addition of flamingo yoga.

At the Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas, guests can channel their inner Zen while surrounded by four, 1-year-old pink flamingo ambassadors named Baha, Lynden, Indy, and Luca. And the lanky birds (flamingos are the national bird of the Bahamas) aren’t hands off either — they like to climb all over guests as the yogis hold their high lunge and cobra pose.

“I wanted to create something unique where guests could walk away with a memory that was fun and something they couldn’t get anywhere else. Fitness can be taken so seriously, and we wanted to create a good way to get a workout in on vacation and get some great memories and photos out of it,” Stacy Spurlock, the CFO (or chief flamingo officer), told Travel + Leisure in an email. “Our yoga instructor is very comfortable around the flamingos and understands that the birds are very hands on. We let the yogis know that the birds will get on the towels, mats, hair and anything else they can find! Their beaks are like fingertips and whenever there’s something new, their curiosity takes over.”

Spurlock said the flamingos are especially keen to get on the squishy yoga mats.

“They love the sound it makes on their feet and the texture is fun to them,” she said. “The calm and centering that people get out of yoga, that’s what the flamingos get out of it as well.”

During the flamingo yoga class — which costs $40 per guest and is held on Wednesday mornings — a team member dedicated to working with the flamingos is on hand to educate guests and take care of the birds. The classes themselves are small and intimate, with up to 20 guests in each class.

Baha Mar, which is made up of three resorts — the Grand Hyatt, Rosewood, and SLS Baha Mar — has 18 adult flamingos in total. The resort’s four flamingo ambassadors, however, are very busy. In addition to yoga, they also participate in other events like daily parades to delight the guests.

And while the yogi flamingos are currently taking a little vacation, they will be back at the end of October and ready to practice their tree poses ... if only that particular pose came as naturally to us.

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