A couple years ago, I read my first article on goat yoga. The pictures looked amazing, everyone looked so happy and the goats were so cute! What is goat yoga you ask? Just that; yoga with goats. Happy little goats who commune with you while you are doing yoga, and who will make you go deeper into your poses by jumping on your back in table pose, or plank pose, or really any pose they feel like. Imagine my dismay when the closest place offering this magical class was in…Kentucky. I wasn’t willing to drive almost 8 hrs for a yoga class, so I waited impatiently for it to become more popular.
Fast forward a couple of years, and what do I see on my feed, but “Emerald Coast Zoo now offering GOAT YOGA.” Shut the front door. I was so excited, but the days never worked out. Then Covid. Then baby #2. But finally, this past weekend I was able to attend my very first goat yoga class. Taught by Gracie Simmons of Grateful Hearts Yoga in Crestview, I found the practice easy enough for a beginner, but with the option of more challenging poses for even the most experienced yogis. Our little horned friends Charlie and Flynn were a true joy, and added to the difficulty of some poses by jumping on our backs, or head butting one another as they walked around during our practice. The class was relatively small and set on a platform in a secluded area of bamboo. The mats were very close together, so if that’s not your thing, I would wait until Gracie starts offering more classes at her farm (I hear that’s in the works). Although I wish there would have been more goats, I understand the difficulty of one person managing an entire herd, and overall I would do it again.
In other good news, the price of goat yoga also includes admission to the Emerald Coast Zoo. If you’ve never been, you should go. Take it from my niece, who attended goat yoga with me, “I’ve never been to a zoo like this, but I kind of love it.” The small size and close proximity to the animals makes it great for children and adults alike, and with opportunities to interact with sloths, bears, camels, and even a lion encounter (all for an extra fee) it’s a good option for even the most jaded tourist.
If you’re looking for something off the beaten beach path this summer, take a trip to Emerald Coast Zoo. They are offering Goat Yoga on the third Saturday of every month. Reservations are required, so plan ahead, and tell Flynn and Charlie I said hey, it’s definitely an experience.