As It Happens

Toronto woman banned from puppy yoga because she had 'a bad vibe'

Krystie-Anne Haufler was stunned when she was banned by a company offering puppy yoga for having a "bad vibe" after asking for a refund at a session that was too crowded.

'I love yoga and I love animals so I thought it would be a very cool, fun experience'

Krystie-Anne Haufler was banned from a Toronto puppy yoga company because she had 'a bad vibe.' (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images, Submitted by Krystie-Anne Haufler)

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You would think that a yoga session in a room full of puppies would be nothing but good vibes.

But Krystie-Anne Haufler found out the hard way that she'd violated one puppy yoga company's good vibes only policy — and now she's banned from any future events.

"I love yoga and I love animals, so I thought it would be a very cool, fun experience to go out to," Haufler told As It Happens host Carol Off.

Hive, the Ottawa-based events company that runs the puppy yoga classes, did not respond to As It Happens' request for comment.

The company told the Toronto Star in an email: "People get banned from the Hive."

In December, Haufler bought tickets to a puppy yoga session as a birthday gift for her mother. 

When the pair arrived for their session, Haufler says the man working there told them would need to buy some mats through an app. She tried to use the app, she said, but it wasn't working.

"I offered to just give him money to rent the mats and he said, no, he couldn't do it," Haufler said.

The class had already started so Haufler and her mother decided to forget about the mats and headed into the class. There was hardly any space left in the room.

Haufler apologized to her mom and suggested they go to another class that wasn't as busy in the future.

She asked the staff for a refund and apologized for the confusion around the mat rental.

A screenshot of the email Krystie-Anne Haufler received from Puppy Yoga notifying her that she was banned. (Submitted by Krystie-Anne Haufler)

"He seemed quite annoyed. But he was like, 'Yeah, no problem. I'll do it,'" Haufler said. "He was kind of snarky about it."

They thanked the staff and left. But on their way to their car, Haufler said she received an email saying she had been banned from all future Hive events.

"I was a bit in shock. I didn't understand what I had done wrong," Haufler said. "I felt bad because I never ask for refunds. It was big for me to ask."

She sent Hive an email and a message on Instagram asking for an explanation.

The company replied: "We ban people based off of bad vibes. You had a bad vibe, so you got banned."

"I tried to wrap my head around it and the only conclusion that I can come up to is, you know, it's this young guy, he's started a business, he thinks he has a really cool niche and I just think the success has gotten to his head," she said. 

A screenshot of a conversation thread between Krystie-Anne Haufler and Hive. (Submitted by Krystie-Anne Haufler)

After Haufler posted about her experience online, the Toronto Star found similar stories of people being banned from the Hive.

On its website, Hive's policy states that clients may be banned if they are deemed "too negative."

"I find it strange because I wasn't rude at all," Haufler said. 

The website also explains that clients will have to attend three events that are "like a probationary period" before they will be eligible to join the "colony."

"To me it sounds a bit cult-y," Haufler said. 

In a Facebook message to the Star, Hive said: "Nine girls have cried from happiness in our classes, one girl said the class saved her life ... the Hive is a Utopia." 

The message added that "99.994% of people that have attended have not been banned but my generation is all about #outrageculture, so you do you."

Haufler says she might try puppy yoga at another company, but she doubts she will give Hive another chance.

"I just think the policy behind the business — it's not right."

Written by Kate Swoger and John McGilll. Produced by Kate Swoger.