Look what I got for Christmas, a beginner’s guide to goat yoga. Hey, I’m not a beginner. I think I’ve been three times. I’m a fan. But still, it’s a fun book. Thanks Mallory!
We’re currently heading to Florida to ride our bikes for a week. But it won’t be all bike riding. We’re thinking of going here on our rest day, Dancing Moon Goat Yoga. We’ve packed our yoga mats for Yoga with Adriene. After 20 hours driving, with one overnight stop, we’ll definitely need it.
The last time I went to goat yoga I didn’t want to give the baby goat back!
As you know, this blog, if not all the bloggers, has been a big supporter of goat yoga. We’ve written about it often.
Today when I posted about cat yoga on our Facebook page, Tracy said she thinks that it makes more sense than goat yoga. She shared the story and added, “Much better idea than the perplexingly popular yoga with goats.” Tracy’s not a goat yoga fan. To each their own. But that got me thinking.
What animal would you most like to do yoga with? This is different of course than that animal doing yoga! (See Animals doing yoga better than me.and Penguin Yoga.) Bonus points if you can share why. What about yoga with that particular animal attracts you?
I love what my searches for unicorn yoga turned up!
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a bit of an obsession for goats. My family raised goats when I was a kid and we had several babies born on our farm. My team at work knows I’m obsessed and even decorated an office tree with paper goats for my birthday. So it was no surprise that when goat yoga became a thing many of my friends tagged me in videos on Facebook.
Last week Sam put out a yoga call but I had plans, so this week when she went back, I joined her. Turns out this place is 15 minutes from home. Finding a yoga place close to home is a big deal, because I live in the middle of nowhere, so I was pretty excited.
Normally I’d be a bit nervous about going into a new yoga place. I’m barely flexible and weight lifting doesn’t really help. I complain-bragged the other day to a co-worker that my biceps get in the way for some of the poses, so its hard.
When I told my husband I was going to goat yoga, he said he knew I was going for the goats. But, really, why can’t I do both?
The beautiful thing about goat yoga is that it’s real yoga, there are a lot of beginners, so the poses aren’t terribly difficult AND they don’t take themselves too seriously. There are no yoga snobs at goat yoga. If you need to pause because you can’t do a pose, don’t want to do a pose, or need to pet a goat, you do. No judgement. If you’re self-conscious about stopping you look at a goat, you smile, breathe, think about your life choices and jump back into the next pose.
This is seriously, the best way to do yoga.
Sandi is a feminist in the throes of what some would call her mid-life crisis, having gone from exercising only her mind to lifting weights and throwing heavy objects. Her natural curiosity and need to know everything serves her well in a career in research as well as all things health, science and well…life really.
GOAT YOGA AT THE FULL CIRCLE RANCH:
Ocean Yoga & Pilates comes to the ranch for “GOAT YOGA AT DUSK” Every Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. all summer!
Find tranquility with by connecting with yourself, your breath and nature.
Come join us for a unique experience of yoga at the ranch. The goats and other animals will join the classes which are held in the indoor riding arena, rain or shine.
Things to remember:
• Join us for a peaceful experience to pause, play and pet the goats (and other ranch friends!)
• Class is run rain or shine, as it is held in the indoor arena (it is not heated, so please dress for the weather)
• It is a ranch, you may get dirty! Puddles may appear, sprinkled with chocolate chips… bring your old mats and yoga clothes
• You also may get snuggles and/or playful nudges
• Class starts at 7 p.m, registration starts at 6:30 p.m. There is no pre-registration.
• After class yogis are welcome to visit with the other ranch animals from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
•Adults $20 per class
•Children (6-12 years old) $10 per class
•Kids under 5 years old free
*Children must be accompanied by an adult
•Cash only please
Place: Full Circle Ranch located at 44632 Mapleton Line, Central Elgin (Just 10 minutes outside London, off Highbury Rd.)
Tracy blogged about goat yoga last week but she wasn’t keen to go. Yoga, yes. But goats, no. But one of my sons is home from college and really excited about the idea of yoga with goats. So off we went.
What did we like? It’s a really pretty setting in a big open barn. There were camping tarps spread over the barn floor and goat food sprinkled around the room. The yoga was easy going and familiar. Baby goats and their moms wandered around the room. It was very introvert friendly. People were more focused on the goats than on talking to strangers. And if you aren’t good at yoga there was no need at all to feel self conscious. There were extra staff wandering around with paper towel to wipe up any goat mishaps.
What worked? We’re both casual yoga students and we liked the class a lot. I spent time wondering why goat yoga is a thing, why it works so well. I think it’s because it’s so playful and lighthearted. Adults need that, a chance to play. We were told to take breaks and pet the goats and take pictures with them. So people tended to do yoga for awhile and then stop and have fun with goats. There were people of all ages and fitness levels there and the room had a relaxed vibe.
What was tricky? If you are new to yoga, it would have been hard to follow. The instructor worked with the crowd and stuck to familiar yoga poses and flow sequences. If you’ve taken a yoga class at all, this is stuff you would have seen before. The goats really do wander around and nibble on things. I had one nibbling on my sock while I was in child’s pose. Gavin had a goat nibble on his finger. And a goat chewed on a woman’s shoe in the row in front of us.
I thought it was a joke but it’s not. Instead, it’s another take on yoga: yoga with goats! It started in Oregon and is now thriving right here at the Full Circle Ranch. I think of ranches as places to go ride horses. But yoga with goats? Now that’s an unexpected innovation.
Sam first brought it to my attention, asking me if I would go so I could blog about it. This is a strategy of Sam’s–to encourage me to do things for the sake of the blog. This is how I ended up doing Olympic distance triathlons, running way too far, owning a road bike, and spending an afternoon at the velodrome. I’m often game to try anything at least once. Sam probably thought of me as the goat yoga guinea pig because I’m the resident blog yogi.
I’m also vegan, so you might think I’m an animal lover (Sam knows better than to think that). The thing is, I care about animals a lot. I don’t think they should suffer so someone can have a tasty meal.
But I’m not really into them. And I really don’t want to do yoga with baby goats running around the “studio.” I confess I’m not totally immune to animal cuteness. And baby goats are cute for sure.
When Sam first told me about it, I didn’t realize it was with baby goats. Hence, my immediate response: “I’m not going to goat yoga lol. I’m not into farm animals. I’m more of a purist.”
Minutes later I got a text from another friend: “Welcome home! A few of us are meeting up on Wednesday to do a yoga class with baby goats. Do you want to join us?”
Oh, baby goats! And non-yoga friends. What the heck kind of sensation is this goat yoga anyway? I felt briefly tempted.
The concept is to give yoga an unpretentious, playful cast. Also to combine activity with “nature” (I don’t really consider farm environments to be equivalent to nature, but we’ll overlook that here).
Here’s how it went down last Wednesday:
About 10 of the curious kids puttered around the barn while yogis were striking their poses. The baby goats made the rounds to different yoga mats, munched on some hay and got plenty of pets and cuddles during the hour-long session.
Unpretentious yoga appeals to me. Yoga with baby goats wandering around doesn’t. If yoga (even with baby goats) is too tame for you, there’s apparently CrossFit with baby goats too:
Like Sam, I’m a “let a thousand flowers bloom” type of person. It doesn’t draw me to it, but maybe it’s your thing. Kittens I might go for. And for the record, I understand the limitations of writing about a thing I’ve not done. Like I said, do it! Try it! I’m just not an animal person but maybe you are.
If you want to do goat yoga here in the London, Ontario area, you can find information about it here’s what you need to know:
Full Circle Ranch Goat Yoga
When: Wednesdays 7 to 8 p.m. all spring and summer
Where: Full Circle Ranch, 44632 Mapleton Line Central Elgin, Ont.