GET IN TOUCH TO PLAN YOUR PRIVATE GOAT YOGA EVENT AT SMITHTOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY!
THE NEW SEASON IS ON THE SCHEDULE AT www.eventbrite.com
Teaching goat yoga has been such an amazing experience! We had over 900 people on the waiting list this season and we were featured on News 12 Long Island! Interacting with these beautiful animals, getting out in the fresh air and making new yogi friends is what yoga is all about.
I recently read a comment on News 12’s piece on goat yoga. There was a comment that said something like - goat yoga isn’t “real” yoga, because it doesn’t follow the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Give me a fucking break. Most people have no clue what that even means. I hear fellow “yogis” snickering and rolling their eyes as well, as they eat their egg sandwiches layered with bacon, or benefit from trendy yoga with stand up paddle boards, wine & yoga, dress up for Halloween yoga etc. By the way, all of which I love! And hey...if it gets people out to stretch, breathe, learn and laugh...even better. It's curiosity and a silly outlook that keeps us young at heart.
My experience teaching goat yoga this summer was profoundly beautiful. I spent approximately 60 extra hours outside, in the fresh air. Time I would not have taken out of my busy day if I didn’t have to, even though the intention is always there. I interacted with affectionate, loving and friendly animals. Most of them were rescued from slaughter houses and neglectful owners. I met new people. I learned how to teach outside my studio, for large groups that were completely distracted. I held the space and sequenced each session for beginners to advanced practitioners, newbies, people with physical limitations and people of all ages.
Some come out for the sole purpose of taking selfies with goats. We’re all on social media, so the hypocrisy annoys the shit out of me. I see "yogis" on social media every day, half naked, posing in ridiculous places. I'm not judging. Whatever floats your boat, but I'd much rather take a pic with an innocent goat that I know was given a second chance at life. It has changed me as a human being. I wasn't a big meat eater, but I am now a proud vegan. I wish my eyes were open sooner. But I will spend the rest of my life as an animal rights activist, not just a pet lover.
With that being said, many practitioners left with a heightened awareness regarding animals in need. If just one person decides to reduce their meat consumption, then I've done my job. Many of them thanked me at the end of each session and told me they’d like to try a yoga class. Many of them came with a friend or relative. I witnessed how much fun they were having on a beautiful summer night and it warmed my heart.
Is goat yoga a trendy fad? Absolutely. But it’s also about connection, which in my opinion, is what yoga is all about. It’s not supposed to be that serious. It’s about breathing, moving, nature, awareness and love. Most people probably came because they saw goat yoga on the Kardashians but wound up learning about Ahimsa; the principle of non-violence toward all living things...without even knowing it, and who cares. They learned. Many students noticed that goats know their name. They like to cuddle and play. They have unique personalities, just like a dog or a cat.
I got to know and hang out with Karen Bayha from Steppin' Out Ponies and Petting Zoo. If I was a yoga snob and I turned my nose up to goat yoga, I would not have met her. She is living her dream. She owns a farm and works her ass off every day to keep that dream alive. Most of her animals are rescues. She treats every one of them like her children. I doubt she knows anything about The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, but she lives an authentic life. I am honored to call her my friend. I am so grateful for the experience, as an animal lover, a yogi and a human being.
Did you know that goats love to snack on Christmas trees? Yup! I had the best day delivering a bunch to my dear friend Karen at her farm. Most of her animals are rescues. Join us in April for the new season of Goat Yoga at Smithtown Historical Society, Smithtown, NY. xo