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.)
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.