Sweat, Stretch, and Laugh: Yoga With Goats

Yoga on the Farm combines yoga and goats—and it’s amazing

Jackie and Pete Sourek both work full-time jobs in Memphis but live on a five-acre farmstead just 40 minutes east in Rossville. They enjoy the balance of working in the city and raising animals on their farm. Pete spent time on his grandfather’s dairy farm as a child, which may have been a factor when deciding what to do with their land.

“Pete suggested we get goats to eat the extra brush,” Jackie says. “We bought two or three Nigerian dwarf goats, and we’ve really loved having them. They’re so fun.”

Jackie saw videos on Facebook of people doing yoga with goats. At first she thought it was a fad that would fade. When the idea grew in popularity, and she realized they had the space, the goats, and a yoga teacher.

Jackie’s yoga instructor, Becca Jones, at first said, “You want me to do what?”

After nearly 20 years of experience, yoga has taught Becca to be open minded, which helped her embrace the idea of incorporating goats.

THE WORKOUT

Yoga classes are held once a month on a large grassy area at the Sourek’s farm. Each class is between 45-60 minutes. In the first 30-40 minutes, Becca guides participants through a series of poses known as Ashtanga yoga. The goats are brought out during the cool down, adding an additional element of calm, nature, and fun.

Participants have the option of putting food on their mats to give them control over how much interaction they have with the goats. Iris, a goat, particularly enjoys performing the dolphin pose while eating off the backs of posing yoga students.

“It’s lighthearted, it’s playful, it’s for all ability levels,” Becca says. “You might sweat a little bit, you’ll definitely stretch a little bit, and definitely leave feeling more relaxed and happy.”

The classes are beginner friendly, and Becca takes time to ensure everyone can see the poses, helping individuals make adjustments as needed.

GEAR AND COST

Participants need only bring a yoga mat and an open mind, though blocks and bands are encouraged if more advanced positions or modifications are desired. Wear comfortable clothing.

The next Yoga on the Farm class is Saturday, Nov. 18 at 9:30 am. The class is $15, including a tour of the farm. Payments can be made in cash or through PayPal.

Check their Facebook page or email JamesonWoodsFarm@gmail.com for information.

By Curtis L. Speller

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