Goat yoga finds popularity at Nottingham farm
“The response has been overwhelming,” Jenness Farm owner Peter Corriveau said. “We stopped taking names for waiting lists after they hit 350 people, so we’re trying to add in another instructor, add some more days of the week for classes and get a bigger space in the barn so we can accommodate as many people as we can.”
Currently, Jenness Farm has space for seven yoga students ($22 per class) in the downstairs section of the barn. After the class begins, five baby Nigerian goats are unleashed and start bouncing around. Giggles can be heard as the students try to keep their focus, but soon they give in and allow the animals to climb onto their backs and sniff at their hair.
Elizabeth and Artie Boutin of Madbury come to the farm every spring to visit the new kids and buy the farm’s handmade goat soap and body care products.
“When I heard that they were doing goat yoga, I was really excited,” Elizabeth said. She described the class as “phenomenal.”
“You just can’t help but smile the whole time, so it was fantastic.”
Artie Boutin said he has taken yoga only a few times.
“It’s a lot less intimidating when you have five baby goats running around, jumping on you,” he said. “Nobody is paying attention to you at all.”
Julia Lewis of Lee was cuddling a baby goat that had fallen asleep in her arms after Thursday’s class.
“I’ve done a lot of yoga, but I have never done it with goats,” Lewis said. “To combine the two is amazing.”
Instructor Janine Bibeau reminded the students to relax and focus on their poses. She encouraged the students to laugh at the goats as they jumped and played with each other.
“We’ll have to see how it works as they get bigger. Obviously, they’ll be heavier, but they are not as apt to jump as much. We have seen other places that do it with full-sized goats wandering between people, so we’ll kind of play it by ear,” Corriveau said.
For more information, visit www.jennessfarm.com.