I tried "Flamingo Yoga" in the Bahamas

Doing yoga with animals is not new (see: goat, alpaca, cat and dog yoga just to name a few). If you're an animal lover, any activity becomes even better when paired with a furry friend— especially when their cuteness distracts you while you're balancing in a yoga pose. But the Baha Mar Resort in the Bahamas is great proof that flamingos—yes, flamingos—are the best natural yogis. (After all, they do have a pose named after them). Guests at this luxury hotel, which consists of the SLS Baha Mar, Rosewood Baha Mar and Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, can express their inner Zen with the resort's three-year-old pink flamingo "ambassadors" Luca, Baha, Indy and Lyndon ( Lynden, affectionately named after the Prime Minister of the Bahamas who guided the country to independence.

Of course, you might be thinking, "How on earth is it so relaxing to do yoga next to a bunch of four-foot-tall birds?" I get it. But at my recent bachelorette party at SLS Baha Mar, I personally couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the end of my bachelorhood than by working out with a group of beautiful single men—at least the ones who could be. (I'm making an assumption here because the only way to determine the sex of a flamingo is to use DNA extracted from a blood sample). So my friends and I scheduled a $600 private session at Sense, A Rosewood Spa with yoga instructor LaKrista Strachan in the hotel's lush tropical gardens. Resort guests can also participate in weekly flamingo yoga classes at Baha Mar's ESPA Spa, held every Saturday morning for $60.

I'm still not sure if his gaze was critical, mocking, or just embarrassed by my efforts to keep my balance.

No sooner had our pads landed on the manicured grass than a small flock of three birds arrived, led by Shaquille Wilson, the resort’s chief flamingo officer. Apparently Baja, Indy and Linden have done this before, as they require zero invitation to hang: they feel right at home on the extra cushions, playfully stamping their feet on the foam and crushing it with their giant beaks . According to Wilson, flamingos are very curious and like to study unusual objects and textures.

Alexandra Owens; Cindy Zhang

This is something our group discovered firsthand at the beginning of the meeting. Almost as soon as Strachan guided us into baby poses, Bach, Indy, and Lyndon were slowly approaching us, inspecting our towels, mats, cell phones, and even our hair. The coffee mug is of particular interest. Unlike goat yoga, where teachers often put a baby goat on your back or bring an animal to you to promote interaction, the flamingos actually seemed to enjoy being around us—or at least , found us entertaining each other.

We slowly worked through the basics of Hatha Yoga, such as Downward Dog and Triangle Pose, enjoying the island breeze and occasionally being startled by a particularly loud bird call. When it came time to assume tree pose—which, of course, is a flamingo specialty—Indy stood up and looked at me carefully. I'm still not sure if his gaze was critical, mocking, or just embarrassed by my efforts to keep my balance. I guess we can't all be born with it.

Granted, it can be hard to stay focused and aware of your breathing when three gangly flamingos are flapping around you. At one point, while we were lying fully on our backs in Savasana, the birds took the opportunity to chase each other, forming a circle and jumping over our prone bodies like little feathered children who had eaten too much candy. Yes, this takes some getting used to, especially if you're the kind of person who instinctively ducks away every time a bird almost flies into your head (shout out to the pigeons in New York City). But for anyone who finds the natural world and its animals peaceful, as science declares, the experience is nothing short of rejuvenating—not bad considering we were surrounded by graceful flamingos, sunshine, and swaying palm trees. Probably not surprising . While I can’t say it was the most challenging yoga class I’ve ever taken, I know I’ll be dreaming about it the next time we squeeze in a sweaty fitness class—and still be with my friends They laughed together. Crowded room.