A few weeks ago, I was quickly skimming social media and saw that my sister had posted something on Facebook. I saw the words: “yoga” and “goat.”
My first thought was that my sister had somehow done yoga with The GOAT, Tom Brady, who some call (especially if you are a New England Patriots fan) The Greatest of All Time.
I knew that he and his wife Gisele had published a cookbook, but were they also giving yoga classes? In Maryland where my sister lives? Upon closer inspection of the post, I realized that my sister and my niece had signed up for goat yoga, something I’d never heard of. Mother and daughter were smiling brightly in the selfies they took with the goats. I didn’t understand why.
It sounded kind of ridiculous to me and unsanitary. I asked Sylvia, “Don’t the goats poop on you?” she said that they don’t, but she did see one goat pee on a participant’s yoga mat and the instructor quickly wiped it down. After suppressing my sometimes critical and know-it-all nature, I decided I’d try it for myself. I signed up at Red Horse Farm in Hanson, MA, about 30 minutes from my home.
Red Horse Farm is a private 10-stall equestrian facility dedicated to thoroughbred aftercare and retirement. Every so often they host goat yoga. A certified yoga instructor led about 12 of us in “caprine vinyasa” or goat yoga, a relaxed form of yoga, consisting of various poses primarily at the beginner level. As I worked on my child’s pose and downward facing dog, I reached out to pet the lovely goats who roamed around us and nibbled on the goat kibbles the farm owner strategically placed on each of our yoga mats.
What is the purpose of goat yoga? From what I read, goat yoga incorporates animal therapy and yoga meditation. It is a novel way of fusing the healing benefits of yoga and goat therapy.
All I know is by the end of it I was very happy and relaxed, and smiling brightly too.