Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Whales serve as backdrop for aquarium yoga classes

There's the cobra, the cat and the downward-facing dog.

Now, the world's largest aquarium is introducing a new animal to complement those centuries-old yoga stances -- the beluga whale.

The Georgia Aquarium -- which with 80,000 animals and 8 million gallons of water is considered the biggest facility of its kind -- has begun offering yoga classes in front of the tank that holds its belugas, whose playful nature and graceful movements have made them a favorite of visitors since the aquarium opened in late 2005.

"The beluga whales are so slow and so smooth in their movements, which is indeed what this is about -- slow movements of the body," said Todd DeLaune, one of the instructors of the weekly sessions. "And I think the energy of the belugas corresponds with the practice that we do."

The classes -- billed as the first of their kind -- are part of an ongoing effort the aquarium has made since its inception to keep things fresh and keep visitors coming back, even in tough economic times. Read More...