Barnyard meditation with a friendly nuzzle at South Okanagan farm

On the outside it might not appear that goats and yoga naturally go together, but it’s sure fun trying.

That’s what a small group of people found out last Sunday at the Campbell family’s GottaGoat Farm.

Jeff and Cindy Campbell have offered Goga classes for three years in a small, fenced yard behind the barn.

After a quick introduction to their four-legged counterparts and what to expect during the next two hours, class begins.

Surrounded by about a half dozen of the friendly creatures curiously investigating her space, instructor April Clement sits cross legged, eyes closed, arms skyward.

Yoga instructor April Clement and her four legged helpers at the weekly Goga class at the Campbell family’s GottaGo Ranch on Green Mountain Road. (Mark Brett – Western News)

As the goats become more persistent a thin smile tugs on her lips until the arms eventually come down and she begins to laugh, along with everybody else.

“You do laugh, it’s hard not to laugh and it’s welcome, you’re allowed to laugh. That’s the kind of class I love, where you can actually laugh and be at ease,” said Clement.

“It’s a happy distraction, it allows you to actually be more at peace on a different level, being outside in nature with the goats themselves and the farm, the sun the breeze, you actually can learn how to deal with distractions by being distracted by the goats. It brings out the side of you where you’re welcoming distractions because they’re going to be on your back or they’re just going to be sniffing or cuddling you.”

Back to class and the positions begin again, deep breaths, concentration.

On her knees, her hands pressed together in front of her face, Penticton’s Suzanne Sager also soon has a little visitor nibbling gently on her chin.

“Yes it was a little hard to concentrate, I kind of laughed the entire time,” she said afterwards. “They’re just like little puppy dogs and that’s what I enjoyed most, just hanging out with the babies.”

Bev Lee agreed: “I mean, I love yoga and with the goats, just seemed like the thing do, they were so sweet,” she said.

“I don’t think there was a lot of yoga’ing going on but it was still worth it, just interacting with the goats. I’ll go back for sure.”

Suzanne Sager’s yoga position is interupted by a curious kid. (Mark Brett – Western News)>

Although she wasn’t initially into yoga, Cindy Campbell began reading about Goga online and the family’s love of the creatures just kind of spilled over into starting the program.

The family is also involved with a number of animal rescue initiatives

“We found people came out and had just a ton of fun with all the little baby goats,” said Campbell.

“People enjoy having yoga in their lives and we enjoy having the goats in our lives so just putting them together was great.”

READ MORE: Goat yoga: meditation with a cuddly twist at Okanagan farm

And while the goats can be a bit of a disruption when it comes to concentrating, Campbell believes the animals’ presence only adds to the experience.

“Yes there are a lot of distractions, especially when people want to stop and get a picture of their friend who has goat standing on them but that’s all part of the fun,” she said.

And for those who just can’t get enough (but don’t want too much) of the friendly creatures, the farm has a Lease-a-Goat program. No kidding.

Registration for Goga can be done online at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/goga-goat-yoga-tickets-61203518371 which also lists a number of important details concerning the visit and their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/GottaGoat.Cindy Campbell can be reached at cindy@gottagoat.com or 250-493-4065.

Classes are scheduled for most Sundays from now until September and run from 4 to 6 p.m.


 

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