Founded in 2016 by Michelle Banwell of Michelle Jeanne Yoga, Downward Dog for Dogs aims to raise funds, donations and awareness about the plight of animal shelters, as well as facilitating adoption and encouraging volunteering.

The premise is a donation-based yoga class, accessible to all levels of experience. All the proceeds of the event will go to animal shelters. The shelter dogs up for adoption are the guests of honour at the events and participate in the activities of the event.

These events are not only for the contortionists and fitness fanatics — those who would prefer to skip the yoga have been invited to just give the shelter dogs love, enjoy something to eat and take part in the crowd favourite raffle.

Cash, card and SnapScan facilities are available for anybody to buy raffle tickets for R20, with the beneficiary shelters of the event receiving all proceeds. To date, over 40 brands have offered sponsorship of prizes in support of this cause and have contributed to the success of these events. The Change for the Better Foundation, which is based in Kraaifontein, is proud to be the sole beneficiary of the upcoming event.

Downward Dog for Dogs was born out of Banwell's passion for animals as well as sharing the practice of yoga. Banwell says that these were coupled with the recognition of the need to connect the public with the multitude of organisations who do phenomenal work but need support.

Over the past six events, Downward Dog for Dogs has raised more than R35 000 and 500kg of food for animals in need — and reports no intentions of slowing down. Banwell, who is no stranger to working with NPOs and the difficulties involved with animal welfare, says that many people have good intentions and want to become involved with shelters, but they are often unsure as to how to translate this into action.

"Many people lack spare time to volunteer regularly. [They] aren't aware of how to get involved with — or donate to — animal shelters. As shelters simply don't have the resources to rescue, rehabilitate, sterilise and rehome animals without the help of the community, every single donation counts," she says.

The seventh installation of Downward Dog for Dogs, Harvest Howlidays, will take place at 9:30 on Saturday, 30 November. The event will take place at the rooftop terrace of the Harvest Café in the Bo-Kaap.

Those passing on the yoga are welcome to simply spectate free of charge, purchase delicious brunch from Harvest Café and enter the raffle. With more than 20 brands on board.

For more information, visit Harvest Howlidays's event page. You can also follow Downward Dog for Dogs on Facebook or on Instagram.