First, hot yoga got big in the Charlotte area. Then brewery yoga. Now, goat yoga has arrived.
Terri Gustin of Critter Creek Farm in Rock Hill has been hosting weekly Baby Goat Yoga & Wine Tasting events at nearby Cat’s Paw Winery since March. This is one of her efforts to bring her farm off the property and out to the people, in a way.
She had heard about Lainey Morse, owner of the business Goat Yoga in Oregon, which seeks to expand “the breath-taking, smile-inducing fitness trend sweeping the nation since 2016.”
Gustin has eight miniature goats on her farm and decided this would be a fun social event to bring to the area.
“Everyone’s doing yoga out in breweries in Charlotte,” she said. “This is just something that’s a little different and fun.”
The classes feature a goat yoga flow followed by a wine tasting with a souvenir glass to take home. The events are $40 each and limited to 30 people — and they’ve been selling out fast. Gustin tells people to come 15 minutes early with their mats and their non-best yoga clothes to the class space by the cow pastures.
Then, she said. “Grab a goat, pick him up.”
The class turns into a laid-back hour with a certified yoga instructor (typically Tammy Calvin is instructing), with beginners and advanced practitioners alike moving into yoga poses but also giving in to just brushing the goats, petting the goats or letting the goats hop on their backs. It can be thought of as a casual form of animal therapy.
At the end of the hour-long class it’s picture time. Then, Gustin said, “The wine tasting just starts whenever y’all want to go in.”
“I signed up for goat yoga because I love animals and love yoga, so why not,” said my friend and fellow Y2 Yoga instructor, Jen Felts, who took the class last Saturday with a friend. She had read about the craze hitting the West Coast.
The goats wandered freely in the fenced-in area during her class, with the option for students to put hay by their mats to get some extra goat attention.
“The goats just made the yoga lighthearted,” Felts said. “It is not a super serious yoga class. You could just snuggle a goat the entire time and they wouldn’t mind.”
It was definitely more about the goats than the poses, her friend Katie Fitzula said.
“They climbed on us, they chewed on our straps and they relaxed on our laps,” she said.
“I would summarize it as a little yoga and stretching, lots of laughing and some cute goats,” Felts said.
Classes continue through June, with the late summer and fall scheduling to be determined. The June 17 and June 24 classes aren’t sold out — yet.
And remember, Gustin said, “It’s a great way to try yoga if you’ve never tried it. Everyone is paying attention to the goats.”
Just note that every class, someone will have their mat peed and pooped on. “Just shake it off,” Gustin said.
And then go drink some wine.
Learn more about Critter Creek Farm’s Goat Yoga at www.goatyogasc.com.
Photos: Jen Felts