ATLANTA — Zoo Atlanta hosted its first adult zoo yoga class Wednesday.

On this breezy evening right before sunset, Atlanta residents arrived to a with yoga mats and positive attitudes in tow.

Approximately 20 people sold out the event and spread out across the Tembo Terrace in front of Zoo Atlanta's new African Savanna savanna exhibit which features three African elephants. 

This was not just an event of physical wellness, but it was also educational. Participants had the opportunity to learn more about animals and conservation from Zoo Atlanta's educators prior to the start of the yoga hour.

"It's really helping us fulfill our mission which is to help connect people to animals." Vice President of Education Michelle Kolar said.

"I think people will walk away awe-inspired with the idea that they have a connection to the animals."

The evening's yoga instructor Rashielle Teape told 11Alive that she makes a special effort to ensure a connection to the zoo's animals. 

"I always try to incorporate animal-inspired poses during the yoga classes," she said.

"It does take a little bit of creativity to make that happen."

While elephants Tara, Kelly and Msholo grazed, Teape demonstrated an "elephant ears" stretch that recurred throughout the evening where participants interlaced their fingers behind their head with their arms stretched wide, resembling elephant ears. 

Vice President of Education Michelle Kolar said Zoo Atlanta will continue to have these events year-round. She told 11Alive that each yoga class will be in a different location in the zoo each time. 


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