State Press Places: A class for goat lovers and yoga enthusiasts

Arizona Goat Yoga offers students an opportunity to experience a viral exercise trend

The chance for students to experience the viral sensation of combining farm animals and meditative exercise comes in the form of Arizona Goat Yoga.  Just a half hour from the Tempe campus, April Gould along with her business partner Sarah Williams, hope to foster a community for anyone with a curiosity for yoga and a love of goats. They host classes for upwards of 150 to 200 people every week, and welcome anyone looking for an unorthodox yoga experience or simply an opportunity to play with baby goats.

Goat Yoga, as it has been described, can serve as a therapeutic and unique experience for any ASU student looking to participate in a yoga class with a herd of goats to help alleviate the pressure.


Alfred Varela: 

If you've never found a traditional yoga class compelling or felt that petting zoos have lacked that sense of intimacy that you crave, you may revel in the fact that just a short drive from ASU rests one of the newest viral trends to hit the valley — Goat Yoga. 

April Gould: 

Goat Yoga is just as it sounds, it's yoga with goats. What they do is the goats jump on the yogis that are in various poses and it's just a lot of fun and we just laugh and bring the community together. This is completely different from regular yoga. We do do all types of various yoga, we do Mandala yoga, we do partner acro-yoga, we do all types of yoga but it's very different because we add goats and so the goats walk around you they jump on you. I train them everyday. They go under you. They're very good with commands and we just have a lot fun. Sometimes we incorporate other animals such as, we have a cow. We have ponies and currently I also own a couple of alpacas that are the cutest thing you've ever seen. 

My name is April Gould and I'm co-owner of Arizona Goat Yoga.

Alfred Varela:

Now, the circumstances which inspired April and her business partner Sarah Williams to start Arizona Goat Yoga are for more unusual than you may think. 

April Gould:

So I was training with my goats for American Ninja Warrior. I was doing various exercises with them putting on my shoulders doing squats and pushups and Sarah does various types of yoga, she does paddle-board yoga and what not. And so one day Sarah came to me and she's like well why don't we put them together and do Goat Yoga. So we came up with the concept of Goat Yoga and it has grown all around the U.S..

Alfred Varela:

And the biggest question you may be asking yourself, April sums up concisely.

April Gould:

So why goats? We live out in Gilbert and we have quite a bit of land and we needed lawn mowers and so we got goats and they mowed our lawn and we just started training them and realized that they were actually really good pets as well. And for American Ninja Warrior you kind of have to have a little schtick, you know, to get in the show. And so I just was inspired to have goats as my workout partners and so I got on. We had a lot of fun with the goats and they came out to my house and they did a little story on me so it was a good experience. We've had Ozzy Osborne out here for his show Jack and Ozzy and we’re on Guinness Book of World Records this year, page 77, so you could check us out there. We're always doing crazy things, we're always trying to step it up. 

Alfred Varela:

But for the uninitiated among ASU, rest assured that Arizona Goat Yoga draws in more than simply your average yoga enthusiast type.

April Gould:

There is every type of person that comes here. We have we have all types of people, we have all walks of life and that actually gives us a warm fuzzy feeling because we really are trying to bring the communities together. You know, we have the super tattooed guy next to the stay at home mom or you know, just everybody you can think of comes to Goat Yoga. We have people that come from everywhere. We have had people that have come from Canada, from Australia, from China, everywhere to Arizona for Goat Yoga. And we are very unique from any other Goat Yogas that have followed us, our goats are specifically trained for yoga and we have a 125 to, we've had up to 200 people in every single class, they sell out quickly. 

Alfred Varela: 

And for anyone from the ASU community who may still be unconvinced, allow April to explain why the experience is certainly worth the trip. 

April Gould: 

We guarantee a good experience, we guarantee you have fun and if you're not having fun we'll put a goat on you until you smile. I feel like everyone should try Goat Yoga and experience the outside nature of farm animals, incorporated with, as you can probably hear the cow moo'ing. You could find our classes at GoatYoga.com. We also have Instagram @azgoatyoga and also Facebook @AZGoatYoga. But just sign up on GoatYoga.com, it's really easy. We have two to three classes a week and mostly on weekends. So it makes it very convenient for people to come and try the class. 

Alfred Varela: 

So the next time you're on the lookout for a chance to alleviate stress or simply quell your longing to play with a baby goat, remember that Arizona Goat Yoga is a near 30 minute drive from the Tempe campus and welcomes everyone to try it out. 

For the State Press, I'm Alfred Varela. 

Music: www.bensound.com


Previous episodes:

State Press Places: Unconventional relaxation found at a cat lounge

State Press Places: The experimental eco-city tucked away in the Arizona desert

State Press Places: Simply Smashing offers "recreational destruction"


Reach the reporter at amvarel3@asu.edu and on Twitter @avstatepress.

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