Events

I Tried Goat Yoga. Here's What I Learned

I Tried Goat Yoga. Here's What I Learned
Ofelia Montelongo
click to enlarge OFELIA MONTELONGO
Ofelia Montelongo
For starters, yes, goat yoga is a thing.

It all started last September, when April Gould and Sarah Williams decided to combine their passions. Gould is known as a “goat whisperer,” and Williams has been teaching yoga for over 20 years.

The longtime friends now host all-levels yoga classes at a farm in Gilbert. (You'll get the exact location sent to you when you buy a ticket.) Classes can have around 100 people, and Gould and Williams' goal is for everyone to have a "goat experience." In other words, everyone gets to touch a goat or do yoga with a goat.

Classes cost $12 per person and tend to sell out quickly. So I had to see what all the fuss was about. Here's what happened when I gave the barnyard fitness trend a try.


click to enlarge You can do real yoga besides hanging out with cute goats. - OFELIA MONTELONGO
You can do real yoga besides hanging out with cute goats.
Ofelia Montelongo
You can dress them.
I arrived at the farm ready to hang out with goats. I checked in, opened the gate, and goats were already mingling with the yoga students. To my surprise, you can basically play dress-up with them. No, in case you are wondering, you don't need to bring your own special goat clothes; the instructors already have plenty.

click to enlarge You get to make new friends and take selfies. - OFELIA MONTELONGO
You get to make new friends and take selfies.
Ofelia Montelongo
Goats are friendly.
Gould has done a great job training the goats, which made for a stress-free experience. Besides being super cute, they are soft, calm, and docile, and you can pet them before, during, and after class.

click to enlarge Goats love to hang out on your back. - OFELIA MONTELONGO
Goats love to hang out on your back.
Ofelia Montelongo
You can take as many pictures and/or selfies as you want.
Pictures with any of the 16-plus goats are entirely encouraged. There is also a professional photographer on-site who takes pictures the entire time. They'll post all the photos on Facebook after the event. Though the photos are free, the photographer does works for tips. So, if you plan to use them, bring some cash with you.

click to enlarge Everyone gets a goat experience. - OFELIA MONTELONGO
Everyone gets a goat experience.
Ofelia Montelongo
The probably won't poop on you.
Again, they are trained goats. So the chances that they'll poop on you are slim. But you might see them taking care of, um, business around the farm.

Some of the goats are heavy.
Even though there are more baby goats than grown-up goats, you might get a big one. So make sure to maintain your balance and enjoy the moment.

click to enlarge April Gould has been breeding goats for the last 15 years. - OFELIA MONTELONGO
April Gould has been breeding goats for the last 15 years.
Ofelia Montelongo
The trainers are there every step of the way.
Gould and Williams will keep you entertained for the hourlong class. And, they make sure everyone gets to interact with a goat.

It's not your typical fitness class.
Because what other fitness class features goats who can randomly kiss you? Bottom line: There's a strong social component to this yoga course, and interacting with fellow attendees is totally encouraged. You don’t get that in a typical yoga or fitness class.

click to enlarge You can try any pose you'd like. - OFELIA MONTELONGO
You can try any pose you'd like.
Ofelia Montelongo
You get to do real yoga.
Although the goats can be a little distracting, you can definitely get a yoga workout here. It's really up to you.

But you don't have to do yoga.
If you don't want to do yoga, you don't have to. You can just sit around and relax with goats. People who only want to experience it from their chairs/mats can do just that. In my class, there were people who just tried a few poses and then focused on getting photos for their Instagram feed. No harm, no foul. But you still have to pay for a ticket to get in.

click to enlarge Who knows? Goats can randomly kiss you. - OFELIA MONTELONGO
Who knows? Goats can randomly kiss you.
Ofelia Montelongo
They can jump on you at any time.
If you are in a yoga position where they can put their hooves on you, they will do it. They don’t stay very long, though. They tend to jump right back to the grass — or on to the next person.

click to enlarge Goats are super-fun to hang out with. - OFELIA MONTELONGO
Goats are super-fun to hang out with.
Ofelia Montelongo
Look, goats are just really fun to hang out with.
What I exercised the most was my facial muscles. At one point, I had two baby goats on my back, and I couldn’t stop laughing. It is literally impossible to be unhappy while a goat is doing yoga with you. I mean, unless you hate goats. In which case you probably shouldn't try goat yoga.

click to enlarge You can take selfies with your favorite goat. - OFELIA MONTELONGO
You can take selfies with your favorite goat.
Ofelia Montelongo
You're on a farm; be prepared for the smell.
Even though when I went it smell like fresh grass, you have to consider that is not always the case. You are on a farm; there are other animals just feet away that might cause a smell. But don’t worry, the goats smell lovely.

A few extra tips:
Bring your own mat. Some people brought large towels, which worked perfectly fine. You can’t bring your own goat — or any kind of animals. Tickets are $12 and sell out quickly. For more information, visit the AZ Goat Yoga website.
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Ofelia is originally from Mexico. She's writing her first novel, Almost a Pilgrim, and is a freelance writer and photographer.