Yoga class being held at monkey sanctuary in Brock Township


Published September 9, 2021 at 2:57 pm

Photo courtesy of Daina Liepa.

Want to enjoy a yoga practice with monkeys nearby?

Strong Roots Yoga and Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary have just the thing, and have partnered up for Yoga with a Cause.

The cause is to raise money to support Story Book Farm, the only monkey sanctuary in Canada. The Sunderland-based sanctuary rescues monkeys from laboratories, roadside zoos and takes in former pets.

A couple of famous residents include Darwin The Ikea Monkey and Pockets Warhol, an acclaimed abstract expressionist artist who also happens to be a Capuchin monkey.

Carly Smith, founder and owner of Strong Roots, said the idea came about when a sanctuary volunteer attended one of the yoga classes she teaches.


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“I just said I really wanted to make it happen,” she said. “I was very surprised when I found out it was even here in Durham, right down the street from my house.”

There are two options for event attendees. A $25 donation contains just the class, while $50 will also feature a guided tour of the facility.

This particular event is scheduled for 20 people to not overwhelm the monkeys. However, Smith says she’d like this to be a regular event. “If this event is successful, I’ll definitely do another one,” she said.

Daina Liepa, the sanctuary’s executive director, says she hopes this event helps bring more attention to their cause. She offers private guided tours to educate guests.

All proceeds of the Sept. 12 lesson go to Story Book Farm to care for the more than 20 monkeys who live there.

The sanctuary also accepts donations through its website.

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