While yoga is something that can be truly beneficial for both the mind and body, it’s not something everyone can get onboard with. Many find it difficult to switch off and find their zen – their mind wandering, getting distracted by even the smallest of things. But what if getting distracted was half the fun? And, the distraction came in the form of some cute and cuddly, furry friends? That’s right, it’s time to do your downward dog a little differently… it’s time to try goat yoga.
GOAT YOGA IN SUFFOLK
The unique take on yoga – which started in Willamette Valley, Oregon by yogi Lainey Morse during a rough period in her life – has made it to UK soil. To the sleepy county of Suffolk to be precise.
Experienced yoga teacher Diana Malone wasn’t sure about the idea of including four-legged friends into her and her students’ practice at first, but the quirky idea soon proved very popular with those who practice (and those who don’t) in the area.
Diana said: “We held our first session in June last year and it was incredible.
“People who had never tried yoga before came and joined in with classes, simply because they had a love for the animals.
“The sessions continued through the summer until September and even brought in people from all over the rest of the country, who were on holiday in the county.”
From Skylark Farm in Bawdsey, which is owned by a friend of Diana, Emma Aldous, goat yoga classes are set to begin again this spring, starting from Sunday, March 25. Classes are an hour long and cost £10.50 per class.
“I will be holding four goat yoga sessions a month – two Wednesday evening sessions, which will hopefully coincide with sunset, and two Sunday morning sessions.“As it is also now spring, many baby goats are being born. This means we’ll get to introduce some animals who have only been born a couple of weeks into the classes.”
Intrigued by the new trend but think it sounds a little daunting? Fear not. Goats are inquisitive and each have their own personality Diana says, but “we only use female goats as they are kinder and better behaved and we’ll scatter the goat’s feed across the field to keep them moving around.
“You don’t even have to do the yoga really – if you get distracted petting the goats, that’s fine.”
Diana explains both yoga and petting animals release feel good hormones, so however you approach the classes, you’ll likely leave with the same result – feeling relaxed and stress-free.
“Don’t wear your best clothes, but bring your own mat if you have one,” Diana adds.
“Bring with you also an open heart and a big smile – although, if you don’t have one at the beginning of the session, you’ll have one by the end, regardless.”