A farm owner and a yoga instructor from Arizona have created a completely new kind of exercise – goat yoga. The new trend was received with skepticism, but once the first classes took place, people started to like it. According to the website (and the Facebook page), the activity is focused on the unique experience of the participants.
Goat yoga is not a portmanteau term for a new type of stretching, but a literal kind of exercise, where people interact with goats. The animals climb on their backs and the activity is advertised to be truly therapeutic.
Goat Yoga, A Bizarre Idea
According to the two women who started this trend, the very unique yoga classes were first perceived with a lot of skepticism, even from their own families. April Gould, who owns the goats and the farm where the classes take place, partnered with her friend, Sarah Williams, who has been a yoga instructor for over 20 years.
"Goat yoga is therapeutic and helps relieve the daily stresses of life! How can you be sad when there is a Goat walking by? Goat Yoga clears your mind. Goat yoga will make you HAPPY! Think of Goat Yoga as a chance to release endorphins from exercise and increase oxytocins with pet therapy ... there's research on this, believe us," states the official website of the yoga club.
Not fully aware of the potential of the yoga business, people still were reserved about the potential success of this very creative idea.
"At the beginning, people were like, 'really you guys?! Goat yoga?!'" noted Williams in an interview.
However, as people started to sign up and classes were conducted, the business proved itself to be a huge success. People have even left messages of congratulations after participating in goat yoga sessions.
"Hahahahaa these ladies were incredible last night!! thanks for the energy!!!! what a fantastic group," commented Vanessa Siren on Facebook, after being in one of the classes.
Like any other idea starting from a very creative spot, goat yoga was initially a challenge. But, as it turns out, people like working with goats, and the animals do behave during the training sessions.
"I think in the beginning they think there's goat poop everywhere, and it's hippies out in the forest meditating with goats. It's not. We're a totally legit goat experience," Williams added.
A Great Success
The Facebook page, named Goat Yoga, has over 1,000 likes and an average rating of 4.8, better than most yoga classes out there. As the story made this business famous, a Facebook post followed, announcing that all the places are booked and people should sign up and be patient. And while this kind of exposure most likely raised a few eyebrows, more people have started to seriously take goat therapy into consideration.
"We have had a overwhelming amount of email due to recent publicity! We love you but we both have other jobs and families. We are having trouble keeping up with questions! Please sign up online and keep checking back because we continue to add classes! We have a FAQ page on the website also! We really want to get everyone in," explains the post.