Goat Yoga 101

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Have you heard about the latest fad that has been taken Instagram and the world by storm? You’re hearing it right Baby, goat yoga, also known as caprine vinyasa. A caprine vinyasa session is meant to be a relaxed form of yoga, consisting of various asanas (poses) primarily at beginner level and intended to be open to yogis of every skill level but with a twist. Goats get to intermingle with you as you do your yoga stretches but the goat kids are likely to make the class more challenging than normal by climbing on you while you’re trying to keep a pose. With tremendous energy and playfulness, but also a short attention span, the baby goats will attempt to break your concentration and get you to play with them instead.

In spite of all their cuddly cuteness, you are supposed to carry on with your class while doing your best to also accommodate the little guys. Trying to concentrate on your yoga moves can be a little tough with a goat on your back, but you can view it as a fun way to interact with another life force. It’s pretty hard to take yourself or life too seriously when there are baby goats involved, so it’s a great way to break from your normal mindset and relieve stress.

Goat yoga was started in 2016 by Lainey Morse, an Oregon farm owner who was already organizing a “goat happy hour,” an event where people spent time with her goats. When Lainey’s yoga instructor asked if she would like to throw some yoga into the happy-hour mix, a wonderful idea was born and the caprine vinyasa yoga classes turned out to be a hit. According to Lainey, goats are the ideal therapy animals. Unlike other animals that relieve stress in humans, goats don’t need to develop a special bond with a person before they start fully interacting with them. Both baby and adult goats will come right up to you asking to be pet, even if you’re a stranger who just walked into their barn.

The trend is growing far beyond Oregon now, and yoga with baby goats is available in many locations. Ac- cording to Morse’s website, goat yoga is a form of animal-assisted therapy. In studies, interacting with ther- apy animals has been shown to boost feel-good neurotransmitters and lower cortisol levels. In a yoga class, the goats are left free to interact with yoga students, which essentially serve as a happy distraction that allows you to take your mind off whatever is stressing you out. The goats are also just really cute, cuddly, and won’t bite or head-butt you — but they may nibble and poop.

Actress, Lisa Rhinna, of the real housewives of Beverly Hills gave it a try after following it on Instagram. She and her daughters went to a goat yoga class as a way to spend more time together. As they moved through yoga poses, the goats gently climb on top of their backs and underneath their legs. Promoting it over the airwaves seemed to have given the fad more steam as more people wanted to seek out the experience.

Although goat yoga has taken off on Instagram and reality TV, Morse said that “the focus of this class is not just to take pictures for Instagram,” the goal is to combine nature, goats, and yoga to de-stress.

If anyone from this area wants to combine their yoga with feeling, one with a goat, Goat Yoga classes are being held at Knowhere Farm, 537 Arneytown- Chesterfield Rd., Chesterfield, NJ, 08515, the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month from 10AM to 11:30AM. Classes are held with lead instructor, Allison, from Zeph- yr Yoga, rain or shine, on the front lawn or in the barn. Bring Friends! Knowhere Farm can also host your Group Events- Available by Request.

Cami Gunther, owner of the Millstone Times and Gunther Publishing Inc., decided to try goat yoga herself along with 22 friends and family members. She loved the beautiful environment of the farm, seeing the other farm animal, listening to the roosters in the background and the peaceful feeling of tranquility. She interacted with a very friendly and pregnant goat named Cincinnati. They put goat food on the mat and on her back to encourage the goats to come closer as the yoga instructor taught class as she normally would. The baby goats have free rein to come and interact with you in your practice. Two of the goats, “Spanky and Pippin are trained to jump on people during key yoga poses such as plank, down dog, upward dog, child’s pose, boat pose, bridge, and wheel. Cami and her entourage enjoyed their experience interacting with the goats. It’s not every day you get to have an experience like that.

Do you think this is something for you? Would you like to meet Spanky and Pippin? You can call Mary at (609 386 6168) or David at (609 351 0276) for more information. https:knowherefarm.com or visit them on Facebook.

Visits to the farmstead are welcomed by appointment… You’ll come upon mama and baby goats, cage-free-egg-laying chickens, cows, a vegetable garden, a comfy guest cottage, and lots of love on our farmstead here in the middle of Knowhere. This is a busy working farm and our home, so please do make an appointment before visiting. Other services offered- cow cuddling, party hosting, goat milk soap and other accessories sold.

Hours (Seasonal): Tuesday – Friday: By appointment • Saturday: Special Events or by appointment • Sunday -Monday: Closed