Find Your Inner Zen with Goat Yoga
You’ve goat to be kidding me.
Two words: goat yoga – and no, – we’re not kidding you.
I walked into the beautiful barn at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol, rolled out my yoga mat, closed my eyes and… the clamoring sounds of goat hooves click-clacked on the floor around me. Four of the farm’s Nigerian Dwarf Goats joined our hour-long Zen session, led by registered yoga instructor, Amanda Mahony. Mahony, who teaches classes at Newport Community Yoga and All That Matters Yoga, has been teaching and practicing the art for over ten years.
Yoga is linked to many health benefits including increased flexibility and muscle strength, improvement in posture and heart health, mindful breathing, less stress and so much more. But what about goat yoga? According to Goat Yoga Online, the act of practicing yoga with these animals is just an added bonus. The ‘pet therapy‘ factor produces a relaxation response, is good for the mind and, well, happiness too.
“Put your water bottles, shoes and sweatshirts on the shelves,” Mahony instructed the pack of yogis around me. “And put your hair in ponytail, because the goats will try to nibble on it,” she said. She was right.
While Mahony soothingly instructed us to practice yoga poses including the downward dog and happy baby, bursts of laughter came from different parts of the large room because the goats were getting into mischief. They ran from one person to the next, looking to be petted, knocking over water bottles and chewing on people’s hair. There were a few messes here and there, but hey, what’s better than a relaxation session and cute baby goats running around everywhere? Nothing, really.
And while the practice of yoga was going on, there was plenty of Instagramming, Facebooking and Snapchatting going on too, and, disclaimer: baby goats don’t stay still. But it was different and it was fun, and whether you try goat yoga in hopes of a trendy new profile picture, or just because you love baby barn animals, getting your Zen on has never been so fun!
Mount Hope Farm will be hosting goat yoga once a month, the next session will be held on May 17 at 5:45 p.m. $20 per person. In the warmer months, classes will be held outside in the enclosed lawn. Bring your own mat. For more information or to reserve a spot, call 254-1745 or visit mounthopefarm.org.