BY: Delaine Gray

Yoga is said to open your hips, your shoulders, your mind and your heart. A few months into my own yoga journey, I can attest to this. But goat yoga takes it to a whole new level. Yes, I said goat yoga. It’s apparently a thing. And it is marvelous.

Having learned some of the basics of yoga and experiencing the benefits of the practice, when I saw goat yoga advertised on Facebook I knew I had to try it. Trying something new is always more fun and less intimidating with a friend, so I recruited a fellow adventurous soul who I knew would laugh with me and not at me.

This particular goat yoga session was held at Double Durango Farm by Just Kidding Around Yoga in Loganville. The setting was picturesque with a backdrop of old trees and a working farm. The dedicated yoga area was set up with a fence, overhead hanging lights and an old antique truck marking the front of the outdoor space. The antique truck was given a kitschy feel with signs reading “never grow up” and “think outside the box,” along with a few rooster décor items. I would soon learn that these signs weren’t just for looks.

A serious yogi took the helm of the class and introduced himself as the instructor and gave us a quick overview of what to expect. We would flow at a beginner’s level with some downward facing dogs, warrior 2s, planks, seated forward bends and a child’s pose here and there. We began to flow sans goats, which I do believe was a strategic move on the part of the instructor. Ten minutes into the class, which to me seemed like an eternity (you see, I was here for the goats), the floodgates were lifted and one-by-one the goats came trotting in. A chatter of “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” quickly overtook the class.

While the goats, which were donned with superhero or floral bandanas, pranced and padded between us, we flowed through a few sequences. The goats, which were more like puppies that liked a good head scratch, provided a therapeutic element. There is no judging in yoga, and the goats certainly put any judgment or taking things too seriously aside. There was laughter and lots of it. It was a sign of a good time.

Midway through the class, the instructor came to a pause and explained that since this was no ordinary yoga class that we would have a “Savasana.” Usually reserved as a meditation time at the end of class, this “Savasana” involved…you guessed it… playtime with the goats. Once we got our fair share of attention from the goats, class resumed.

One caveat (or maybe two) that you should know about goat yoga is that “poop happens.” In case you didn’t know, goats poop and nibble. So, if you are of the squimish type, this class isn’t for you. But if you can brush off the poop (literally) and don’t mind a cute goat nibbling on your mat, hair or clothes— don’t delay on finding your nearest goat yoga class. I promise, you won’t be sorry.

Now that we know, “poop happens” in goat yoga, we can get back to the story. Being June in Georgia, the summer sun provided nature’s version of hot yoga. We were embarking on an early heat wave, so while the class was in the morning, the temperatures were quickly rising. The goats provided a nice distraction to the heat.

We flowed some more and then IT happened. One baby goat appeared, then two, then three, then four. Then a baby goat began chewing on the instructor’s beard. He lost control and so did the rest of the class. But can you blame us? They were baby goats!! Another Savasana ensued. The baby goats played and bounced, like baby goats do. And we got the occasional cuddle and chance to hold and coddle the cute and funny little kids.

A few more flows and by the time class ended, just as the signs on the trucks read, we had found a way to “never grow up” and “think outside the box.” Who knew that a little goat yoga is all it takes to find your inner peace and a lighter heart and mind?! Goat yoga, it’s a thing and you should definitely try it!