Prerogative Fall 2020 - Page 45

research discovered the validity of goat yoga. Goat yoga is a relatively new trend in the yoga world. It is a typical, outside yoga class with the added twist of goats being allowed to roam freely around between instructors and students. Some classes even advertise that the goats will walk on students’ backs during the class, all while the student practices traditional yoga poses. “At first I thought she was clowning around but she told me she was serious and I should think about it. Bill and I tossed around the idea, but we really did not want to give our animals to someone else because they are like pets to us and you never know how an animal is going to be treated in someone else’s care,” Lisa Karnes said. “I suggested that we do it here, at the farm. She came down one afternoon and we went down there and it is flat, you have beautiful views, so she said we should give it a try, so here we are.” Jeri Elmore has been teaching yoga for about a decade. For these goat yoga classes, she teaches Vinyasa yoga, which means one breath per movement. “With yoga, you are not supposed to be competitive with anyone or anything, not even with yourself. But, in a studio setting, there is a lot of looking around and seeing what other people’s poses are, what leggings they are wearing, whether or not you look cute compared to everyone else...the goats completely remove everything about that,” Elmore explained. “They strip away all of that competitive edge and they strip away everything that makes people nervous when it comes to trying anything new.” On an August Saturday evening, Jackass Farm, LLC. offered its first sunset yoga class and hosted 23 participants. After some storm clouds cleared, the smell of earth made the experience that much more visceral. Guests began at the entrance to the farm, wearing masks and getting their temperature taken due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. When it was time to start the class, the group was led on a brief meditation walk deeper into the approximately 220-acre farm, arriving at a plot of land fenced in with goats waiting nearby. Elmore led the class in their poses as a small herd of pygmy goats wandered from person to person. The class distributed their own mats apart from each other to maintain social distancing, but the goats maintained a cluster as they searched for the treats that were handed out before the class began. Over about an hour and a half, the class was led Prerogative Magazine 43