April 12, 2017, Boston Globe
And now for something completely different…if perhaps a touch derivative.
Combining goats and yoga might sound like a non sequitur worthy of the surreal British comedy troupe, Monty Python’s Flying Circus. But it is the real thing: Even CNN has reported on it.
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The pairing of farm animals and yoga classes in Easthampton, Massachusetts, occurred when the owners of Sage Meadow Farm approached Shae and Audrey Jones Blaisdell, owners of Valley Hot Yoga studio, with the idea. The idea, though fairly new, seems to have developed a following. It has been mirrored in several states, from Oregon to Arizona to New Hampshire.
It seems counterintuitive to pair frisky animals with yoga, a practice that aims to bring body awareness and a stress-free meditative state in the time spent on the mat. The goats run, play, and jump on the participants. But the classes—three sessions, limited to 24 attendees—draw people, with groups like the Easthampton one attesting to long waiting lists. The humans pay $25 apiece as donations. A fundraising event this month to raise money for the Easthampton Community Center, the Dakin Humane Society, and the Easthampton Farmers Market sold out quickly.
One opportunity to significantly increase the dollars brought in by the fundraiser would be to obtain sponsors. Goat yoga is unlikely to be the next Ice Bucket Challenge; even with its uniqueness and cuteness factor, there are logistical challenges. While the ALS fundraiser only required a willing participant and a bucket of ice, this one requires baby goats, a confined space, liability waivers, and someone willing to clean up after animals that are not housebroken.—Marian Conway