A yoga instructor sits at the front of the room, leading a group of cross-legged Vancouverites through a series of poses and exercises. The men and women sit with their eyes closed, breathing deeply.

It seems like a typical hatha yoga class – except for the 10 rabbits hopping around the room.

Welcome to bunny yoga, held by the Small Animal Rescue Society of BC to raise money for and awareness about rabbits in need of a loving home.

“We wanted to raise awareness about how many bunnies are in the shelter system needing to be adopted,” said Marina Hebert, bunny yoga organizer. “We’re hoping this might make people think, “Hey, maybe a rabbit is for me,” and check out their local shelter.”

The idea is simple: While people are in a yoga class, 10 rescue bunnies are also in the room “milling around and being adorable.” The event creates a space for people to come and meet the rabbits, Hebert says, advertising that “bunny yogis will be there to help you with your poses.”

The concept has proven so popular that the first two classes – scheduled for Oct. 4 and Oct. 25 – are sold out. Instructor Caroline MacGillivray leads the classes, which are one-hour long and cost $20.

Most people don’t realize that bunnies make ideal pets for city-dwellers, adds Hebert, noting that they’re clean, quiet, and can be trained to use litter boxes.

“Bunnies make great pets,” Hebert says. “If you want to add a rabbit to your family, please adopt. We have so many here at Small Animal Rescue, and at other shelters as well. So if it’s something you’re thinking of, please contact your local shelter.”

For more information about bunny yoga, visit the SARS BC website.