Goat yoga at Vail Stables is baaack with fresh faces
Special to the Daily
If you go …
Vail Stables offers goat yoga several times a week through August 24. Participants must be at least 8 years of age. The cost is $40 for goat yoga per person and Vail Stables provides mats and blocks. Don’t miss out on the Happiest Hour in town when the goats are released around the saloon for adult beverages and a play area for kids.
There is a possibility of additional classes throughout the summer, so check the website for more information.
For more details or to reserve a spot online (reservations are highly recommended), contact Vail Stables at 855-743-3824 or visit: www.vailstables.com.
“Would you, could you with a goat?”
When Dr. Seuss wrote those words in 1960 he was talking about combining green eggs and ham, not the 5,000-year-old practice of yoga and 10,000-plus-year-old tradition of keeping domestic goats. Luckily, someone decided this would be a good combination and, yes, at Vail Stables you can do it (yoga) with a goat.
Second-year goat yoga instructor Holly Beavers explained that the experience combines nature, goats and “breathing deeply of the fresh mountain air.”
How difficult is it to do yoga with a goat on your back or side as you are stretching?
“It adds an extra component that isn’t in your traditional yoga class, being outside, being on a hill, having a goat on your back and to me it is interactive and it can be difficult but it can be a lot of fun,” Beavers said.
Plus, she added, having a goat underneath you when you do a plank pose makes your core stronger because you have to have your stomach higher not to collapse on the goat.
There are three veteran returning pygmy goats and 11 kids who have recently joined the older ones. They are still getting used to people, but once everyone is on their mats getting into the yoga groove, the young ones will approach.
Florida couple Alyssa and Oliver Hyams were visiting Vail on their honeymoon this summer and received the yoga class as a wedding present.
“Some of our friends knew we were coming to Vail and got us Vail experiences,” Alyssa said.
“It was amazing when we opened the invitation and saw goat yoga, I thought it had to be a mistake because I had never heard of it,” Oliver added.
After the class, they both agreed it was an entertaining way to spend an hour and get in a little yoga.
Bridget Lamiman, of Chicago, and four of her friends make an annual trip to Vail. They went to the Vail Stables website to book horseback riding but when they saw the goat yoga, they had to give it a try in addition to the ride through the mountains.
“I actually texted a friend of mine back home and told her what I was doing,” Lamiman said. “She was so jealous because she has wanted to do this forever.”
Vail Stables owner Kym Luck says that many guests do both yoga and horseback riding. Recently, she has received requests from brides to book the goat yoga as a bridesmaids’ gift.
Goat herding 101
The class begins with yoginis standing near the goat corral waiting for Beavers to open the fence. When she does, participants herd the goats from the pen into a shaded fenced in area. Watching them run and hearing them bleat is as much fun as having them nibble your clothing.
Beavers thinks of the goats as rough puppies and indeed they like to behave in a rough and tumble manner once they get to know you.
A pygmy goat may head butt you while resting in child’s pose, or doing a plank the goat could decide to lie down on your mat. And if you are stretched out, beware a goat could suck your toes.
It is a never-ending hour of fun.
When the fun is over, students expertly wrangle the goats back in their pen.
Many students joked about taking a kid home. Some of them are so small they would indeed fit in a backpack.
Luck cautioned, however, that having a goat is not all fun and games. She told the story of one kid who lived at the stables and was bottle-fed.
“Every morning when she (the goat) would hear a car drive up she would start bleating very loudly,” she said. “And it would go on and on for minutes while we prepared her bottle. It was loud and a little annoying to say the least. She wouldn’t stop until we had the bottle in her mouth.”
Wine and dine with goats
When evening falls at the stable, anyone older than 21 can register for a wine and cheese party with the goats in the saloon area. Those younger than 21 are offered soft drinks in the kids’ area with the kids.
“It is the happiest happy hour in town, which is what we are calling it,” Luck said. “The goats jump on the tables and are just happy to be with humans. They are very social creatures and love to interact.”