If you are a goat farmer, there is a good chance you have heard the same questions as us: “Are you going to do goat yoga? What is goat yoga? What is a goat yoga class like?” For a couple years, the answer to the first question was simple; “No!” We obtained goats because of their loving nature, the creamy milk, and because they were adorable. We simply wanted goats! But after hearing the question at least a hundred times, my wife and I evolved to “Why not have goat yoga?” Since that time, preparing for goat yoga has been a full-time job. Not only did we desire to have cute little babies for classes which was a process by itself, but we now needed an area to run classes that was clean and conducive to the activity. We built a teaching platform for our instructor, registered for a business with the state, obtained business insurance specific to goats and human interaction, built a website, hired instructors, created flyers, and built a business plan, and we can now say all we need are interested participants. We are ready to go!
So what really is Goat Yoga? In short, goat yoga is yoga with goats, however, it is so much more than that. My perspective is that Goats and Yoga have a natural symbiotic relationship. They go together like Fish and chips, peanut butter and jelly, Laurel and Hardy! Since we first had our goats, my wife and I routinely described our goat barn as our “happy place”. We often spend hours down there petting our goats and hanging out with them. They play with us, lick us, climb on us, snuggle and they have personalities all their own. Yes, they are pets! They are entertainment at its’ finest and every day brings a cute new surprise of some sort. Sometimes we go down there to read, hang out, or take naps. OK, to be honest, my wife has never napped down there, but I love to! It is peaceful. We can feel our stress decrease in the midst of our goats. Our goats have become therapy animals for us and our busy lives. All you need to do is hug a baby goat and your health benefits begin. Not surprisingly, relaxation and stress release are also two of the reasons we enjoy yoga. Yoga is loaded with additional benefits as well including aiding in flexibility, building muscle strength, improving balance, focus, posture, blood flow, while decreasing blood pressure, stress, and aiding in many systemic bodily functions. It’s hard to imagine why it took so long for us to figure out the benefits of combining goats with yoga. The benefits of goats, and yoga, are simply invaluable and unlimited.
People often wonder, “what is a yoga class like?” At our Gray Hobby Farm, we have all certified, and experienced, yoga instructors. Thus, you can be guaranteed quality instruction at the minimum. However, goats are very social animals and love human contact. They like to be pet, and simply hang around. The little ones are more playful than the older ones and it is common to find a baby on your back while doing a plank as well. They will graze, hover, climb, and make noise all while you do yoga. My suggestion is to arrive early for your class and spend time petting goats and getting to know them so they are comfortable with you. Hang out for a few minutes after and get pictures with your favorite goat, snuggle a baby, etc... The goal is a great yoga class coupled with the stress leaving benefits of sweet goats. You will leave with smile on your face and memories that will last forever.