Goats and yoga: a perfect match


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/03/2017 (2017 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

On a recent trip to Phoenix, Ariz., I was invited to take part in a new craze called Goat Yoga.
Because of the title, I naturally assumed this involved doing yoga, with goats. How exactly they’d be connected, I had no clue. But was eager to find out.

The idea came from Sarah Williams who owns Desert Paddleboards, has taught yoga for 20 years, and wanted to come up with a creative way for people to exercise outside. She paired up with April Gould, who owns a goat farm near Mesa, and is known as Arizona’s famous goat farmer after being featured on American Ninja Warrior and labelled the “goat whisperer.”

Arizona Goat Yoga’s mission is to connect yogis with their inner farm child. The class is described as therapeutic in that it relieves stress, releases endorphins from exercise, and increases oxytocin with pet therapy.

Photo by RoseAnna Schick Yoga, but with goats. Need we say more?

Approaching the fenced-in yoga space situated at a crossroads in a rural-like setting, it seems like a regular outdoor yoga class. At first glance you notice 80 or so people in yoga clothes, and rows of yoga mats positioned in a giant circle. In the middle is Sarah the yoga instructor, leading the class through seemingly normal yoga stretches and poses. It doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary at all.

And then you see them — the goats! Lots of them, roaming among the participants, bleating like little goats do. They are dressed in their best, sporting bright boas, bobbly headbands, fancy bandanas, and velvety hair bows. Some of them even have sunglasses framing their fuzzy little goat faces. Suddenly 80 strangers are laughing together hysterically, and everyone’s sole purpose becomes the goats.

Yoga? What yoga? No one is listening to the instructor anymore. No one is paying attention to anything. It’s utter chaos, and nothing matters except the lovable little goats!

All you can hear is their adorable little “baaa-aaa” sounds. Oh how you want them to come over, jump up on you, and hang out with their little hoofs pressing into you. Even better, you want them to come over and jump on your neighbour — a virtual stranger until you start snapping pictures of he or she doing downward dog with a goat on their back.

Next thing you’ll know, you’ll forget about yoga entirely, and find yourself on a mission to scoop up and cuddle a baby goat. If you’re lucky enough for this to happen, be warned: it will nuzzle right into the nook of your neck and fall asleep. Almost instantly.

I had no idea goats were such spontaneous sleepers. Or that they were so cute and snuggly. Once I had a baby goat in my arms, I wanted to remain perfectly still so it would stay there forever. Afterwards, I wanted to find a way to sneak it back to our truck, into my hotel, onto the plane, and through Canada Customs. In that moment, it seemed very plausible.

Goat yoga truly is a fun and unique experience. I approached the class feeling tired, introverted and skeptical. I walked away feeling happy and energized, with a huge smile on my face. Plus I got a little exercise, too — about eight minutes of yoga in total — and dozens of priceless pictures.
There’s nothing baaa-aaa-aad to say about any of that.

RoseAnna Schick is an avid traveller who seeks inspiration wherever she goes. Email her at rascreative@yahoo.ca

RoseAnna Schick

RoseAnna Schick

RoseAnna Schick is an avid traveller and music lover who seeks inspiration wherever she goes. Email her at rascreative@yahoo.ca

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