Goat Yoga is one of the hottest trends right now. From baby boomers to children, people are fascinated with the idea of yoga with goats! I saw various friends on social media posing in downward dog as a goat balanced on their back, and I was instantly infatuated.
That’s when I contacted Amanda of Goat Yoga Richardson, and luckily she still had some spots open for her special Valentine’s Day class for myself and my sister, Tessa.
It’s Wednesday afternoon and I’m delighted that we’ve lucked out with a burst of warm weather, or at least warmer weather. My sister and I drive 20 minutes to Amanda’s house in quaint Richardson neighborhood, across the street from an elementary school.
A chalk sign hosting several balloons points us to the right spot, and Amanda stands behind a small gate ready to greet us with pink and red bead necklaces and glow bracelets.
Once we put on our festive jewelry, Amanda points to a table on our left that has coffee and snacks available, and on our right are stacks of clean yoga mats and towels, as well as a bowl of goat feed with small cups.
The expansive backyard is covered in hay, burning tiki-torches scent the air, a swing that looks like it was from Pinterest hangs down from a large tree, and did I mention, there are GOATS!
Goat Yoga Richardson is the home to nine goats, a dog and Pete, the mini-horse. Pete is a little shy and tends to chill in the background while nibbling on hay, but who can blame him? Yoga isn’t for everybody. Some goats wear little onesie-pajamas, but Amanda tells us not all of the goats like them.
The moment you walk into the backyard the goats know what’s up and that you have food. They’ll jump on you, trying to get every last morsel so be prepared for that. Also, if you’re not down for a little dirt and goat pee, this probably isn’t the experience for you. Personally, I felt comfortable and clean the entire time.
We get there a little early in order to take pictures and maximize our goat time. As patrons trickle in it’s truly an eclectic group of all ages and ethnicity. The yoga instructor gets us started in child’s pose and tells us that in this class it is more than okay to stop for photos; it’s all about what you want from the experience.
I would consider myself a fairly experienced in yoga, and this flow is for everyone, even if you’ve never done yoga before. Of course, we all know the yoga is really just an excuse to hang out with the furry cuties.
Throughout the class, Amanda walks around putting feed on your back and coaxing goats to hop onto you for that picture-perfect moment. Fair warning, their little hooves are tough, so I suggest wearing a jacket if you want them to jump on your back.
Goats jump from person to person, and the whole class watches and laughs together. One goat even pees on a woman’s phone, so make sure to watch any belongings you bring to the mat with you! Thankfully her case was waterproof.
As the sun sets, brilliant oranges and pinks give us a remarkable backdrop for a remarkable experience. After the yoga flow is completed, we are given plenty of time to take more photos with the goats before reluctantly leaving.
Yoga, and fitness in general, becomes more popular each year. I’m not sure if this trend can become a standard in the industry, but I do know it was an experience I’ll always treasure with my sister.
Q&A with Amanda
How did you get into hosting Goat Yoga?
We owned two mini goats for a few months as pets, and then decided why not [try goat yoga]!? Our sis-in-law had told us about this on the West Coast, and we saw that other yogis in the area were starting to show interest in goat yoga. So we figured if we got a “few” more goats (we started out with 4 but now we have 9 haha) we could totally host goat yoga sessions! I have a degree in counseling psychology and I am a huge believer in the power of animals and people joining together for health and wellness benefits!
Where did you get all the goats from? I’m assuming it wasn’t at Target.
Hahaha, no, Target hasn’t yet set their eyes on the livestock side of things.
We got our first 2 from a farm in Hamilton, TX but since then have acquired these boys from different farms or different people needing to find homes for their goats. Pete, our elderly mini horse, came from a farm that was going to be sold. They were selling all of their horses but they were not going to sell Pete because of his age.
They were having a hard time finding a home for him because he is in his twilight years, so to speak. He is hard of hearing, and seeing, and he basically has no teeth left. Anyway all that to say, I thought he would be a perfect addition here because he was definitely not looking to run or roam on a lot of land anywhere. After all, he has arthritis and basically likes to stand or lay in the same 20 feet of yard everyday! So we just try to go with the flow and if an opportunity presents itself and an animal seems like it would fit in here, why not!
What’s your favorite thing about Goat Yoga?
My favorite thing about our unique goat yoga set up is watching people come in to our gate for the first time, not knowing at all what to expect, and slowly warming up to the idea of this experience! It brings me so much joy to walk around the yard during class and to hear so much genuine laughter. In my opinion, that’s what life should be full of. Experiences that easily bring joy and laughter to yourself and others.
What’s the future of it? Do you think its a trend that will fade or has potential to become something more?
Good question! What do YOU think!? Haha, because I have no idea. And, honestly, I don’t think it really matters. Not knowing what’s ahead of us can be a good thing! We can let this experience change in to something else, keep it the same, or stop doing it all together! The most important thing is the memories that it has made for the people that have experienced it so far!
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