Yoga at the Cottage hosted its first goat yoga classes over the weekend.
Goats were brought in from Henderson. The keeper of the goats was Sydney Simpson, who is a part of the Henderson 4-H Club. People came with friends or family members, many curious, not knowing what to expect from goat yoga, but ready for the experience.
Goats of all sizes were loaded into the yoga space by handlers. Some weighed up to 30 pounds and were called such names as Sunny and Chloe.
Yoga classes are typically quiet and peaceful, but the addition of goats made for a lively and eventful class. Laughter filled the room while goats wandered around the studio, investigating the people and their yoga mats, sneezing, climbing and nibbling treats from participants’ hands.
Three handlers worked to keep the goats in order. Some nibbled at cords or attempted to climb walls or simply lay down on a yoga mat. Handlers also placed goats on participants’ backs during the tabletop pose allowing them to experience a welcoming massage from the goat hooves.
All the goats were friendly, allowing the yoga enthusiasts to pet, hug, or snap a photo with them. Some goats even gave kisses.
Allison Truett, the owner of Yoga at the Cottage, first experienced goat yoga in Utah while vacationing with her family.
“We all participated, and it was just this fun and joyous experience. The purpose of the goat is to bring laughter and joy to yoga. It allows us to embrace an element of nature with the yoga experience.”
While instructing, Truett mentioned that if a goat used a participant’s mat during a yoga session, it was considered good luck and to go and buy a lottery ticket. Several goats did use the mats.
Participants going into child’s pose sometimes felt a goat brush up against them or lick their foot. Other goats stared at participants for several seconds before being bumped by another goat or tempted by a treat from elsewhere.
As far as how goat yoga originated, Truett explained, “A few years back, a lady named Lainey Morse was experiencing a painful divorce. She found herself spending a lot of time with her goats because they were peaceful, fun and they made her happy. She brought a yoga instructor to the farm and it just grew from there. People loved the presence of the goats and the interaction they had with them while they did yoga.”
People were thrilled to see the experience of goat yoga brought to Owensboro, as there are many goat yoga classes on the weekend at nearby cities, such as Nashville.
“It was fun and a great way to start the day,” Amy Gilmore said.
Melissa Neal heard about goat yoga from her mother, who had seen Facebook videos of people doing goat yoga. Neal, her mom, Lisa Hagan, and sister Megan Lott all participated in the class.
“The class was awesome. And we’re animal lovers, so we knew we had to try it,” said Lott.
There is a chance for baby goat yoga next February or March. A couple of the goats are pregnant and the baby goats are expected to arrive in December.
For yoga class times and updates on future goat yoga classes, follow YOGA at the Cottage on Facebook. Naaaa-maste!