Let’s get the 800-pound gorilla out of the barn first – the 25-pound-or-so baby Boer goats ruled the yoga classes.
The white-and-brown smile makers were snatched up before and after the two goat yoga classes west of Lander in April and hugged and caressed, with yoga goers closing their eyes during the snuggles and then the goats closing THEIR eyes and drifting to sleep – or at least into a pretty high level of being centered.
Goat yoga was new to Lander – maybe to most of Wyoming – with University of Wyoming Extension educator Laura Balis proposing goat yoga as a fundraiser for the Fremont County 4-H Program. The sessions raised $686 ($250 from sponsors and $436 from participants).
Baldwin Creek Boers provided its barn.
Each baby goat was hoisted over a gate from the corral into the barn area converted into the yoga site, and participants brought their own mats to lie on the large blue tarp covering the dirt floor. Yoga practitioners followed session leader Jackie Lauer as inquisitive baby goats nibbled hair (smiles), walked between limbs (smiles), nuzzled against faces (smiles), and generally made themselves available to anyone (more smiles).
Baldwin Creek Boers’ Terrill Weston said they volunteered the facilities to help 4-H’ers. “I’m a UW grad and want to help out the extension folks anyway we could,” he said.
Becca Cross of Lander had just finished the first session and like many others stood holding a pretty-relaxed-looking baby goat.
“I feel lighter and giddier,” she said. “This is the most I’ve laughed in a yoga class. This was perfect. Just really light, a good class but entertaining, too, just to watch the goats. The baby animals make you smile.”
One woman with a friend was snuggling a baby goat (the baby goat, eyes closed, absorbing the hug) prior to the start of the first class. “I want one,” she soundlessly mouthed to her friend.
Cory Daly of Riverton liked the addition of goats to yoga.