Downward dog is a popular yoga pose. Now Cumbria is pioneering the upward lemur.

Armathwaite Hall Hotel near Keswick is giving its clients the chance to take yoga classes with these furry friends.

It is being promoted as a lighthearted way to relax and unwind.

The lemurs are from the hotel’s adjoining Lake District Wildlife Park.

Classes will begin next month. In a trial session, the friendly primates climbed on yogis and appeared to copy their poses.

The animals are used to human contact. Armathwaite Hall holds daily “lemur encounters” in which the lemurs and humans enjoy each other’s company.

Richard Robinson is manager of the wildlife park.

“The idea for lemur yoga came out of a brainstorming session at the hotel,” he says.

“Someone had seen dog yoga and wondered if something similar could be done with any of our animals.

“It was always going to be lemurs. We’ve been running lemur encounters since 2009.

“Lemurs do what looks like a yoga pose when they’re sitting in the sun. They warm themselves in the sunshine.

“They’re really pleasant creatures, curious and inquisitive. They’ve got a little bit about them.

“We’ll do the yoga sessions in their outdoor enclosure, four guests per session.

“The lemurs can join in. They’re certainly not forced, or trained to do it.”

The plan is to run one or two yoga sessions a day, depending on the weather.

“Yesterday morning there was two inches of snow here,” adds Richard.

“That’s not good yoga weather. It will be more of a summer thing.

“A bit of interaction is no bad thing for the lemurs. It’s something a bit different.”

News of lemur yoga - or “lemoga”, as Armathwaite Hall calls it - has already attracted attention around the world.

“I think it’s because everyone’s fed up with Brexit,” says Richard.

“They want to see something cute and cuddly.”

Will he be taking part in lemur yoga?

“I’m a pilates man. I don’t know if we’ll be doing lemur pilates.”