Goat yoga comes to Virginia, and it's the cutest thing ever
BERRYVILLE, Va. - You've seen the videos on Facebook, but now it's really happening. Goat yoga. With real goats--and yes, some are babies. All of them are sweet, and they might even want to share your mat with you.
Alisha McMaster owns Silver Maple Farm in Berryville, Virginia. She's a girl who knows her goats.
Her best friend, April Rodriguez, is a yoga teacher. Last fall, McMaster says her Facebook friends started forwarding her videos of people doing yoga with goats-- because she has them. She told Rodriguez, who at first thought she was kidding.
"Totally thought she was joking with me," Rodriguez said.
It turns out, it is a real thing. And now, it's happening at Silver Maple Farm. You could say the neighbors were a little surprised.
For $30, you can be part of a class of 20 yogis-- of all levels-- who practice a gentle flow (Hatha yoga) with a bunch of four-legged cuddlers.
The goats are Nigerian dwarf goats. Almost all of them are females, except the babies. There are a few bucklings, but McMaster says you wouldn't want the male goats around, not because they're not sweet-- but because they smell.
They love hair (bring a hair tie) and they might chew on your toes, especially if you're wearing polish. But don't worry. It doesn't hurt.
The goats also love the yoga mats, and when they really get comfy, it might appear that they're going to take part in class. Or at least take a nap.
McMaster's farm is also home to a milking operation, providing milk for her family. They also make cheese and fudge.
But when it comes to goat yoga, most of the customers come from the city-- to get out of the craziness and into the country, where they can relax and unwind.
"Listen to the birds, feel the grass under your feet, play with some goats and de-stress at the same time," said McMaster.
Pictures, petting and playing with the goats are all allowed-- even in class. It's understood that these yogis are there for the goats. They're social, love to be petted and love people. They also love to get up under you while you're in down dog.
"They're kind of like dogs," McMaster said. "Very individual personalities on each of them. Some are more playful, some are a little bit more laid back."
"We would have never guessed that this would have been something-- such an amazing opportunity," said Rodriguez.
Silver Maple Farm has upcoming goat yoga classes scheduled for May 7, 13, 18 and 27. Book in advance online by clicking here ($30 per person). Classes are held rain or shine (if it rains, yoga will take place under a tent). You're advised to arrive 15 minutes early to get set up, and of course-- to meet the goats.
Silver Maple Farm on Facebook