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It’s GOGA Time

Lizzy Gordon
Goat hopping on participant, Ali Pittman. Photographed by Lizzy Gordon

Animals and yoga are both known to lower stress levels. Combine the two and those stress levels for some people are completely gone. Goat yoga has become a staple in the Forsyth community, with frequent visits to Halcyon and over 1.2K followers on social media, there are many opportunities to work out with the animals.

In 2016 Goat Yoga was born and has been a fulfilling journey for everyone involved. The animals help people disconnect from outside stresses and allow them to break away for the morning. Yoga is designed to be relaxing, but getting all the poses right can be stressful, especially for beginners. With the addition of animals to this workout, that stress can be reduced or even eliminated.

Founder of Love GOGA, Cathi Huff says, “We have had therapists come and bring clients to the farm. The animals take away a moment you’re having. I was at a shelter and this mom came in and was super wore out and stressed. After the session she said she was at peace and just had so much fun, it was exactly what she needed. You’re so involved with the animals you forgot the outside problems. It’s all about you.”

In late September, GOGA made a return to Halcyon, with great weather that Saturday and brought lots of new and returning faces.

“Goat yoga has been my newfound love because it is so liberating and relaxing all while you get to play with baby goats. If you haven’t tried it yet you’re missing out big time.” – Lex Bennett, Participant

GOGA brings together a crowd of young adults. A typical GOGA class is not limited to those with little or no yoga experience. Goat yoga is all about having a good time. If you just want a morning to hang out with farm animals, then you got it.

Classes are typically an hour long and cost around $45. GOGA offers two classes a day, one at 10 a.m. and one at 11 a.m.

The goats are known to interact with the people and would just hop on their backs. Participants were welcome to stop their pose to play and pet the animals. The event isn’t exclusive to goats, many other farm animals including chickens, pigs, and llamas make an appearance.

Llama standing on participants yoga mat. Photographed by Lizzy Gordon

Libbey Laprise, 23, says, “I love goat yoga because yoga itself already relieves stress from your body but having the animals there really boosts your mood! Basically, an emotional support animal for a day.”

Everyone on Saturday seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were lots of laughs, smiles, and fun. The animals gave everyone something to bond and connect over.

With animals involved, no two classes are the same. Some animals gravitated towards certain participants while others roamed the green between each yoga mat. This makes everyone’s experience different and worth trying at least once.

“My first time doing goat yoga was about a year ago and I haven’t been able to stop since,” says Bennett. Having something unique to look forward to makes the experience better each time.

Pig moving around between yoga mats. Photographed by Lizzy Gordon

The organization has made sure to accommodate the animal’s needs and continually clean up any messes that the animals make.

Helping physical and mental health, goat yoga will continue to be a thriving way of working out.

Love GOGA is making its return Oct. 14 and Nov. 11-12. With a huge participant rate, sign-ups go fast. Sign up here.

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Lizzy Gordon, Staff Writer
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