Inviting goats to your yoga class will keep you relaxed and smiling (if you don’t mind them climbing on your back occasionally).
BEFORE MY FIRST goat yoga class, you might have called me a goat yoga naaaaysayer. (Sorry; I had to.)
I wasn’t convinced of the combination. Why not stick with yoga? Aren’t goats distracting?
Yes. They are. I saw three goats do their goat thing — munch on snacks, nibble on clothes, jump on people in downward-facing dog — and put a smile on the face of every human there.
The Wobbly Ranch
You guessed it — I am now a big “yes” for goat yoga.
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The Wobbly Ranch holds classes near Golden Gardens Park and at its Snohomish farm, which keeps rescued goats.
The oldest (and naughtiest) goat, Seamus, was wandering around a fenced-in area eating grass. People were petting the two 14-week-old babies, Elwood and Arlo. Their hooves clacked on a wooden deck as they head-butted each other, and the adorable factor was baaaa-nanas. Class hadn’t even started.
The Wobbly Ranch co-owner Amanda Leone outlined logistics: You might get pooped or peed on. Let her know if you don’t want a 50-pound goat (Seamus) to jump on you. “Goat yoga can get kind of wild,” she said.
Teacher Cami Longueville started us in child’s pose. Seamus, prompted by Leone, immediately jumped on someone’s back, and soon nibbled on a shirt. We all laughed. We moved into tabletop, and Seamus hopped up again as the class moved through some cat-cow. I secretly hoped Seamus would jump on me.
In downward-facing dog, I was startled when Leone tossed some feed on my mat. Seamus soon came by to snack under me. I petted him.
We moved through standing poses, including lunges and Warrior 2. I watched the goats wander through class, eating the feed Leone had tossed onto mats.
More feed appeared; two goats decided to head-butt under my legs while I was in side angle, nearly knocking me over. It was the cutest distraction I’ve ever had in yoga.
Later, when I was in downward dog, Seamus put two hooves on my back. I was slightly relieved he didn’t climb all the way up.
We stood up for balancing poses, where the risk of a goat jumping on you decreases, though the risk of falling over because you are looking at a goat instead of an unmoving spot on a tree is high.
We moved back to downward dog, and Elwood and Arlo came back to my mat to eat some more, blocking me from lifting one leg forward. I tickled them with my toes instead.
Throughout class, whenever we were in tabletop, downward dog, child’s pose or any pose where our backs turned into flat surfaces, Seamus jumped on people, sometimes pulling at shirts. I heard bursts of laughter and giggles throughout the 35-minute session, and saw people petting goats as they practiced.
During a hip stretch, Seamus stood for a while on one person’s back, pulling at her sweatshirt, until Leone had him get down. I later learned goats are smart and can be trained; Leone had left some of the naughtier goats at the ranch that day.
We ended class in a seat, breathing.
Afterward, we had time to take photos with the goats; Longueville showed me how to pick up one of the babies.
I was happy to get a nice, if short, yoga practice. I loved being outside and seeing trees and greenery. It also was one of the most joyful, giggly yoga classes I have ever taken. Longueville never had to remind us to relax or smile; the goats did the work.
Now that I’ve done goat yoga, it makes so much sense. Do yoga, play with goats, have the best session ever.