What could be more relaxing than a calm, centering yoga class? Confidently, the answer to that question is a calm, centering yoga class with baby goats. Goat farms and yoga instructors across the country are collaborating to create America’s newest fad, baby goat yoga, and it did not disappoint.
Despite having a yoga mat that was gradually covered in hay and snacks for the goats, the class itself didn’t differ much from your standard yoga class. The instructor prefaced the flow of class by noting that she would not be offended if we didn’t listen to a word that she said, and decided to pet a goat for the entire class. She then proceeded to carry on with the class like there wasn’t a goat weaving in and out of her legs while she held a warrior pose.
The class was held in a quaint barn room covered in fairy lights on a massive farm, but the classes typically happen outside when it’s warm enough so that the goats are in their own element rather than in ours! It was almost too easy to relax in that environment- the only thing that could snap you out of your trance was the occasional bleating of a hungry goat.
The class had five goats- 2 baby goats and 3 pregnant goats. The baby goats were small, so their size made up for their energy surplus, and they liked to run in and out of poses across the room as the class went on, following the snacks that were scattered on the mats. The pregnant goats were much more mellow and preferred to venture to single individuals, take their snack and then take a short nap at the head of the mat for a few minutes.
The “om” at the beginning of class was replaced with a “baa,” and “downward dog” was “downward goat,” so that the goat themes prevailed through the entire class. When taking any tabletop (on your hands and knees) position, the goat handler would place the smaller goats on your back to balance for a bit.
Going into the class, I was a bit concerned that the goats would get too playful or irritated and be tempted to headbutt, but the goats seemed to enjoy the class as much as we did! They loved to interact with everyone and follow the trails of treats that we would make for them. The person that had raised the goats was also there, meandering through the class to make sure that the goats were comfortable and happy- and also to tell the people taking the class the best way to interact with the animals.
To wrap up, everyone who had taken the class lined up shoulder to shoulder to make a tabletop train across the floor, which the goats would run across as their final appearance in the class. It took a bit of coaxing, but the treats at the end of the line were inspiration enough for the little goats! After the line, the goat handler helped all class attendees take some staged pictures with the goats to document the occasion.
If you ever need a pick-me-up, or just would like to have the happiest afternoon, find a local studio and take a yoga class with goats. United Us Yoga and Therapeutics here in Greensboro now offer a goat yoga class that is open to all ages! For twenty dollars, you can spend the afternoon doing something to benefit your mind, body and spirit.