Maybe you’ve seen the viral videos and photos going around on social media, or maybe you haven’t, but goat yoga is a thing. First things first: what is goat yoga? Goat yoga is literally doing yoga with goats. Sometimes the goats snuggle with you, sometimes they climb on you, and mostly they just wander around and look happy and do adorable goat things. Is the concept strange? I suppose, but who doesn’t love adorable tiny baby goats?
One of my best friends had the opportunity to participate out in Phoenix, and although I spent about two hours staring longingly at her facebook photos, I decided to accept that goat yoga would never happen for me. After all, I live in South Carolina, which is usually the last state to get anything cool. Imagine my surprise when my friend Bobbi sent me a link to a goat yoga class taking place just an hour from my house for the first time EVER. Say what?!
Yes, it was true. The Roger Ridge Ranch, located in what is the “officially smallest town” in South Carolina (Smyrna), would be hosting the first goat yoga class east of the Mississippi. What are the chances, you guys? It was fate. Even more exciting, the classes would take place on the same day as the Run Hard Half Marathon, which is basically the best day ever. Bobbi, her husband and their daughter decided to come, too, and we drove up from their house right after the race. Let me tell you – those are some back roads. It’s actually between Spartanburg and Charlotte not too far off the highway, but from where we were, there was no quick way to get there. The farm raises New Zealand Kiko Goats, pigs, horses, chickens, turkeys, and more – it’s a menagerie! Of course, the goats are the main attraction.
Our class started at 3:15 pm and there were some free snacks and drinks available beforehand. Apparently, there had been wine, but it was all gone by the time we got there (they hadn’t anticipated such a wine rush on a Sunday, apparently). No matter. We checked in, paid our $10, and spent a few minutes wandering around the farm while we waited for class to start. The group for our class was quite small – just the four of us plus two other people and the instructor – so I was excited because that meant plenty of time with the goats!
The instructor, Erica, explained the class to us. Goat yoga isn’t a particularly intense or active form of yoga because the goats get startled by big or rapid movements, so it is more geared towards deep stretching and relaxation. After running a half marathon in the morning, that was fine with me! She said that the goats will sometimes try to snuggle or climb up on you, and they often try to eat the mats. Since we were the last class of the day, the goats weren’t quite as intrigued with us as they might otherwise have been, but they did try and eat Chuck’s mat.
I’m not sure if goat yoga is necessarily what I expected – but maybe it is actually better? The goats weren’t climbing all over us, but they were milling around, chomping away on grass (or mats) and as we lay there underneath the perfectly blue skies with the sun hitting our faces, listening to the animals eat and talk to each other, I felt more at peace than I have in a long time. There was something about being out there with them that made the experience really special. Of course, all that peace was interrupted when the chickens started squawking a few seconds later, but hey – farm life, right?
The best part was getting to snuggle with the goats at the end and let them climb all over us! They were so adorable and I immediately wanted one. Um, did you guys know you can buy a goat for like $150? You can. And I’m going to one day, once I have a dog that doesn’t hate all other living animals. I am going to name it Bill.
Honestly, goat yoga far exceeded my wildest expectations. No, the goats don’t naturally jump all over you all the time (at least, these goats didn’t at this particular class – maybe because it was the last class of the day), as I kind of expected. Just being out there in nature, enjoying the sounds (and even smells) of the farm, stretching out my legs after a hard day’s run? It was perfect. I’ll definitely be going back! I need to pick out my new pet goat, after all.
LEAVE A COMMENT: Have you ever heard of goat yoga? Does it sound like something you’d want to try?Now adding #goatyoga to my bucket list thanks to @thetrexrunner Click To Tweet