I’ll be honest: I’m not exactly the world’s biggest yoga fan. The couple of times I tried it, I couldn’t get beyond the fact that I was meant to be taking deep breaths and clearing my mind in a room that was figuratively filling up with the sweat of other people. And there was one person who kept weezing through their nose. Relaxing, it was not. Still, had the class been led by a dinky Chihuahua, I might have become a believer.
Thankfully, due to the wonders of the Internet, such a thing exists. The brainchild of Nic Bello and his flexible Chihuahua Pancho, the duo’s online series of Yoga Time videos have become a hit. So read on to discover Nic talking about how he stumbled across the discipline of dog yoga, which celebrity they’d most like to lead in a class, and Pancho’s plans to secure a presence on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Dogster: How did you first meet Pancho?
Nic Bello: I was in the house of a friend of mine. Her Chihuahua gave birth to some puppies, and I was there with my ex-fiancé to find a baby Chihuahua for her mom. I swear I didn’t plan to go back home with a dog — but something magic happened. A small dog, looking like a Jack Russell, was jumping in the living room. He was very funny. So we brought him home and I felt immediately in love.
So when he’s not doing yoga, what’s Pancho like around the house?
He is very quiet, the opposite of many other Chihuahuas. Sometime he loves to be alone — he is a kind of solitary dog — but he is curious and loves to follow me everywhere. Sometimes I get annoyed because he stares at me all the time!
When did you have the idea to try and teach Pancho to do yoga?
I was on holiday in Los Angeles — where I actually live now — and I did a yoga lesson, and it was a very funny experience. Then I went home and realized that Pancho was doing the same moves I learned, like every day in the morning, and much better than me. So I decided to have my own yoga class, and Pancho was the only student available!
What was the hardest part about teaching Pancho to do yoga?
Pancho is a great student so it wasn’t hard. The only pose I couldn’t teach him is the tree pose, where you have to stand on one foot. He couldn’t do it, and I had to give up!
What are the best yoga poses for a dog to attempt?
I think every dog is much better than a human at downward facing dog and the cobra pose, because they invented them.
Pancho is a small Chihuahua. Do you think certain dog breeds are more suited to yoga than others?
I don’t think so. The funny thing about dogs is that they are so different from each other, but they always behave and move in the same way.
Which celebrity dog and owner would you most like to have join a class with you and Pancho?
I can tell you that Pancho is in love with Jennifer Aniston, and we know that she is a yoga pro. We wish we could do yoga with her one day.
Now that his profile seems to be taking off, do you have any plans to turn Pancho into a Hollywood star?
I am working on a new project that will have me and him as the protagonists, and it will be shot in the U.S., but unfortunately I can’t tell you more than this for now. But probably the easiest way to turn Pancho into a Hollywood star is to write his name with a marker pen on one of the blank stars of the Walk of Fame!
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About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.