Thomas the Fainting Goat walked directly up to a Mark, Saturday morning and did what his name implies, right his yoga mat. He then refused to get up.
On the other side of an old storage room at Gateway Mall, another goat decided that eating its tutu was better than wearing it. The other goats were content to play, take selfies and be pet by yoga participants.
“As soon as you see it you can’t help but smile and they are just so cute and cuddly, you cannot help but be happy,” owner of Juniper Spa & Yoga Studio Mindy Horn said.
Essentially, goat yoga is a Hatha course with poses, breathing exercises, and meditation appropriate for all levels. Goat Yoga has been around since 2016 has been gaining popularity among yoga enthusiasts and animal lovers alike. In 2018, it hit its peak, with major news outlets reporting on the joys and benefits that come with animal yoga.
Around this time, Juniper Spa & Yoga Studio partnered with a local goat and sheep rescue, Shepard’s Rest.
Shepard’s Rest owner Jen Schurman, started out doing animal-assisted therapy with dogs, and starting 12 years ago she began to work with goats. She quickly found out that some of her patients were afraid of dogs or were just allergic to them. After some research, she found goats.
“There was no bias towards goats, all of the patients that rejected animal therapy with dogs wanted contact with a goat,” Schurman said.
Even though there were a few “accidents” on the mats, many participants looked thrilled and couldn’t stop laughing at these small jubilant goats.
“My favorite part was when the goats got in the way, It was just a fun quirky spin on yoga,” Catherine Koss said.
Many said they felt more relaxed and happier after the 45-minute course.
“I loved the course, even though I did get a little pee on me,” Jonathan Lee said.