The ancient art of yoga has a new society wrinkle. The natural offshoot of goat yoga, where a goat on your back helps get the stress off your back by redirecting your attention, cat yoga purportedly lends joyfulness to the yoga experience.

“The benefits of comfort animals are well-known and accepted,” said one local yoga teacher. “Many of these benefits run parallel to centuries-old yoga benefits, so it is easy to see how they could enhance one another. Just as artists are inspired by and mimic nature, yogis study and mimic the natural movements of our four-legged friends.”

Yogis believe every energy form on earth — human, animal, plant or element — are part of the divine plan and therefore work in harmony. Form is not the focus here, but connection. Mentally absorbing the energy of the animal. Staring into the cat’s eyes.

If you’re familiar with the occult detective film "Constantine," you know this is how Keanu Reeves gained temporary access to hell — by holding a cat on his lap and staring into its eyes. And while it’s doubtful that cats have one foot in this world and one in the next, you could certainly find yourself in hell if you coerce cats into yoga. Their lack of cooperation is practically guaranteed, since the only activities they enjoy are those they think of, such as eating, sleeping and going out. Also back rubs. Their back, not yours.

I am not a yoga practitioner and while cats do add joy to life, I can’t confirm whether they enhance the yoga experience or not. That said, I have often observed my cat in yoga’s Adho Mukha Svanasana or “downward-facing dog” pose.

She faces down the local dogs. Word.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at

Jester’s Feast

The Order of the Troubadours announced its royalty at a City Club jazz brunch. There was as much pomp and circumstance as possible, and ruling over the coming Carnival season will be King Richard Coeur de Lion LXVII David Barczyk and Queen Berengaria of Navarre Olivia Falterman, all to the tune of “The Heraldry of Richard’s Lineage.” Also in the royal lineup are Christopher Lee Jr. as Sir Kenneth and Natalie Rose Piccione as Lady Edith, as well as Tim Davis playing a special role. Wes Castille emceed, and the torch was handed to new ball Chairwoman Carolyn Crain Broussard. And if there’s anything more delicious than City Club's Crab and Chantilly Cake, we don’t know what it is. Kurt Boudreaux played and everybody stayed, including Robert and Janice Copeland, Matt and Pat Hill, Claire Bohn, Jason Matt with lovely daughter Ashley and former King Brian Blanchard.

Ladies’ Tea

The Petroleum Club hosted its member ladies and their guests for tea, the better to hear herbalist MaryAnn Armbruster speak on the medicinal properties of plants. The tea making the rounds was the usual Lipton, nothing medicinal like catnip or chamomile, but loving it nevertheless was Carol Trosclair and company, Mary K. Scott, Linda Wilson and grande dame Jennifer Patrick, whose black hat and veil was Chanel sharp.

Poetry in Motion

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette English Department hosted poet Rodrigo Toscano for an evening at Achilles Print Studio. Known for his mix of experimental poetry, activism, performance and theater, Toscano read from his new book, "In Range." “I met Rodrigo a few years ago in Houston,” said Henk Rossouw, UL assistant professor of creative writing. “He’s written a bunch of interesting books, but this one’s more focused on New Orleans.” Focused on Rodrigo were Hannah Chapel, Jeanna Mason and UL film Professor Virgile Beddok.

Calendar Guy

Basin Arts Showcased self-portraits by Bob Borel in an exhibition titled "41." Curated by Kristie Mayeaux, the work represents a portrait per day every month from birthday to birthday for Borel. "I'm always trying to think of a novel way to present art," said Borel, known for his abstract portraits. "I love good, clean, simple design." Borel uses just the paint tube — no brush — and also does what he calls unflattering portraits of passersby French Quarter-style. "I love watching people," he said. In the mix was Hilliard Museum curator Ben Hickey, who hinted Boral may be busking soon at UAM.

Food for Thought

The Louisiana Restaurant Association is pleased to name three new Restaurant Legends and one state National Restaurant Association Restaurant Neighbor Award winner in the Acadiana Chapter. Tom Yongue, of Freshko Foodservice in Lake Charles, and Terry and Carnel Harrison, of Café Bella in Lafayette, were recognized as LRA Restaurant Legends, and Leonard Louvierre, of Zea’s Rotisserie and Grill, was recognized as the LRA State Award winner of the Restaurant Neighbor Award. All were honored at the LRA Acadiana Chapter Dinner and Awards Presentation at City Club at River Ranch.

Bridge Party

The Bayou Teche Museum held another of its increasingly popular Bridge Parties, playing host to 40 serious players. The winners were: first place — Tommy Halphen and Marie Faulk, each of whom won a gift certificate to Allain’s Jewelry; second place — Pat Dumond and Betty Halphen, winning gift certificates to Preservation Bar; and third place — Carolyn Lewald and Ellen Minvielle. All proceeds from the entry fees benefit the expansion of Bayou Teche Museum.