If you’ve ever taken a yoga class before, you probably think of it as a way to unwind and relax. It’s good for the mind and body, but so are animals. The Monroe County Humane Association is bringing the two together by offering goat yoga.
“Animals and yoga are both things that bring our heart rate down. They make us feel good.”
Rebecca Warren, executive director of the Monroe County Humane Association says the group was brainstorming new initiatives to raise awareness, as well as money for services.
“So we thought, we know someone with goats, we have a space, we know a couple yoga instructors, we’ll try it,” Warren says.
The sessions became an instant hit for animal lovers.
“Animals and yoga are both things that bring our heart rate down,” Warren says. “They make us feel good, they just kind of set our whole day up for success.”
There are occasional messes that need cleaned up, and the goats can be somewhat distracting. But for the most part there’s stretching, a little bit of snacking and a whole lot of laughing.
“It was kind of not as focused as a regular yoga session,” says participant Courtney Slaughter. “But I did have a really good workout I guess you would call it and had a lot of fun watching the goats.”
And that’s the whole point. The biggest problem is there’s not enough classes to keep up with the demand. The organization scheduled eight through March and each is already sold out.
Orrganizers say they hope to soon offer more and even expand with different animals.
“We really want to get yoga with bunnies, yoga with kittens, yoga with puppies, and we’re trying to coordinate with another nonprofit in town to get yoga with horses,” Warren says.
Three goats, Annie, Willy and Billy, attended the first couple yoga sessions, but organizers say future classes will have five goats participating.