Usually, when you bend to do downward-facing dog at your yoga class and peek between your legs, no one’s looking back at you. At a yoga class in Overland Park, you might be face-to-face with a goat — or even find one climbing on top of you.
This barnyard trend started two years ago at a farm in Oregon, but this is the first summer the Deanna Rose Farmstead is offering goat yoga. The classes are every Tuesday night until Labor Day.
Kathi Limbocker, education supervisor at the farmstead, says the while the classes are new, the goats have long been part of the farm.
There’s a special pen just for the yoga classes in shady spot at the west end of the property.
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The baby goats are all different types of pygmy breeds, such as Lamancha and Pygora, but you won’t find any named Billy. This year’s name theme at the Farmstead is Pokémon characters.
After spending all day in the bottle-fed pens at the farmstead, the 6- and 7-month-old goats are used to people.
They’re still goats, so be prepared for a few accidents. At a session in mid-July, the goats left behind mementos for a number of participants, but no one seemed to mind.
Instructor Lylia Kroenke just shrugged, shook the mess off her mat and continued with class, saying, “That’s what they do.”
The farmstead provides sanitizer and hoses to wash mats after the class, and they’ll even provide a mat if you don’t want to bring your own.
Kroenke had never taught goat yoga before, but she was immediately excited at the possibility when the farmstead came to the city’s community center yoga instructors with the idea.
“You have to be more focused and more spontaneous (with goat yoga). You can’t just stick with a script,” she said. “I’ve had (the goats) kiss me, jump on my back and drink my water.”
Participants must be at least 14 years old, and each class costs $25 per person. The classes have attracted many people who have never been to a yoga class but can’t resist the goats.
“Now, it’s like, ‘If I’m going to do yoga again, I’m going to have to buy some goats,’” said Kelly Kilby, as she joked around with her friend, Amanda Weatherford, after the class.
The two Gardner residents said it was worth the trip up to Overland Park.
“We thought this was the perfect girls’ night out,” Weatherford said.
Farmstead employees encourage the goats to interact with each participant by sprinkling small piles of goat food on each mat and even on top of some of the people in mid-pose.
“I really enjoyed getting to interact with the goats. I thought it was really cool how they were able to control it, but it was also kind of free-range,” said 15-year-old Camryn Dillavou of Overland Park.
Though everyone seemed to enjoy the goats, some said when they were mid-pose, the animals could occasionally be a little unnerving.
It did startle Danielle Young of Eudora a little “when they would sneak up on you, and you didn’t know they were there or when they were chewing grass underneath you… but it’s definitely entertaining.”
She already hopes to attend another class before the end of the summer.
For more information on the farmstead’s goat yoga classes, call 913-895-6390. Participants must register in advance for the class.