Yep. It’s a thing. It’s a real thing.
I read about it a long time ago in one of those crazy news stories that suck you in when you’re supposed to be doing something important. Basically, these west coast weirdos were doing yoga while some goats ran around. “People are so weird,” was my thought. Didn’t cross my mind again.
Then a few weeks ago I happened to be watching another video that was completely unrelated, but mentioned Goat Yoga just to be funny. I decided to find out if Goat Yoga has made its way to Houston. Low and behold, it has! I decided I have GOAT to try this!
Enter: Kimberly with Goat Yoga Texas.
I talked to her about doing a class with a couple of my family members (which turned into several family members) and she agreed to sponsor a post in exchange for an honest review. Here’s the part where I have to tell you that yes, this is a sponsored post, but please know my opinions are completely my own and I have no intention of ever recommending anything I don’t truly enjoy or believe in myself. My 100% gosh darn honest opinion is that Goat Yoga with Goat Yoga Texas is
I’ll tell you how it went, but first I have to acquaint you with the characters. Most of my adventures are with my husband and kids, but since my littles are too little for these “kids,” they had to be left at home. Instead, I took these crazies:
My aunt, Diana: Former goat mama who had to give away her “favorite kids” because she was moving back to a neighborhood. She is quite possibly one of the kindest humans I know, but I am positive she still prefers goats to other people.
My Grandma: Former Colorado resident who completely fits that stereotype, minus the affinity for weed. She is not a fan of animals (supposedly because of her allergies, but we all know the truth). She is, however, a Laughter Yoga instructor. That’s right. You thought Goat Yoga was weird. YouTube Laughter Yoga and suddenly Goat Yoga sounds perfectly normal.
“Excuse me, I’m doing yoga here.”
My mom: The woman I get my singing abilities from. I am certain she had never done yoga before this experience, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she had never actually touched a goat either.
My cousin, Jazi: She may have been around when my aunt had her goats, but Jazi’s true love is for small dogs. Dachshunds specifically. She also happens to have a mild case of cerebral palsy and a severe case of a weak stomach.
My sister-to-be, Kayla: Not related to any of us by blood, she is probably the most normal of all. She did, however, knowingly agree to become part of the circus that is my family, so there’s obviously some crazy in her too.
My baby brother, Jimmy: Probably my only family member brave enough to touch my camera, and therefore the obvious choice for Goat Yoga photographer. His first job ever was feeding goats, so he was excited to get to play with some “kids” again.
Me, Jessica: Beauty and brains all in one tiny package. Ha!! I am probably the only one of us that does much yoga, but even then, I tend to do it for the SavasaNAP (definition: Jessica’s version of Savasana or Corpse Pose, held at the end of every yoga session, where she inevitably falls asleep). My goat experience: petting zoos.
I had no idea what to really expect. I mean, yoga, yes. Goats, yes. But what was really going to happen here? Given the group I was with, anything was possible.
The “studio” is a corral set up out back at Murdoch’s Backyard Pub in Cypress, Texas. Sadly, we didn’t allow for enough time to eat, but the smell was heavenly, and I love love loved the setup. It is literally a backyard pub. You get your food and eat it in the backyard while your children run like wild banshees without getting in trouble for once. Cypress is still pretty far from us, but next time (that’s right, I am positive I will be doing this again) I will definitely be factoring in the need for food. Plus, Murdoch’s gives a discount for Goat Yogis!
Once you sign in, you go into the corral and lay out your mat. For a minute I tried to pick a spot where there were no “droppings,” but I quickly accepted that there were goats in this corral and that effort was futile. Yet another reason to need a yoga mat. Everyone arranges themselves in a circle and Kimberly, the instructor, sets herself up in the center where everyone can see.
When class starts it is just like any other yoga class. They play relaxing music and help you connect with your breath, and you contort your body into positions you would likely never do just because. The poses are all pretty basic, but she does offer suggestions to help you challenge yourself if you prefer. The yoga practice itself is the same. The difference: you’re doing it all with GOATS underfoot. Meh-eh-eh!
At first, I tried to stifle the giggles. I felt like maybe I needed to be serious. Kimberly’s voice is so calm and soothing and everyone else seemed to be able to control themselves. But then, here I was doing yoga with a GOAT on my mat! Not only that, this particular goat was feeling awfully festive with its little shamrock headband. For a minute, I was totally in the zone, keeping my cool, when Kimberly says to extend your right foot. My foot touched a GOAT! Meh-eh-eh! Then she says to extend your left arm. I used it to motion a goat my way. Meh-eh-eh! Where did all these brown balls come from? I’ve been blessed by a GOAT! Come over here, goat! Let me pet you!
It was SO. FREAKING. HILARIOUS!
After a little bit, they had us get into tabletop (on hands and knees) close together, and they put goats on our backs. Here I was bracing myself for a goat to walk across me and my mom says, “That actually feels good!” Oddly enough, it does. If only they would just stay there and walk around on my back alone, it would probably be a decent massage! They put a couple up there and then it was like they were given the signal and a few more jumped up on their own. One of them decided she was done and jumped off… over my head! So funny!!
At this point, I gave up trying to be serious. Because again, this was Goat Yoga. And do you really have to be serious during regular yoga anyway? For the rest of the class my mom and my aunt both had goats sleeping on their mats making it nearly impossible for them to do any of the poses correctly, but nobody cared. They were “the chosen ones,” and we were all busy laughing hysterically. Even though these were mostly basic poses, the yoga itself was definitely more of a challenge because it’s hard to balance when you’re laughing that hard!
The yoga session lasts about 45 minutes. After that, they allow for 30 minutes of goat snuggle time. I never thought I would want to snuggle with a goat, but even my aunt, the goat whisperer said these were the most socialized farm animals she had ever seen. You feel so special when one “chooses” you! And the babies! Oh, the sweet snuggly babies! I was certain my aunt wasn’t leaving without taking one of them. Come to think of it, I should have checked her bag…
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In the end, every one of us enjoyed it. Even my grandma and cousin who are not normally goat fans had a blast. I didn’t find this out until later, but out of all of us, it would be Grandma who would have her mat peed on. And of course, she brought her “cheap mat,” the one that’s more of a spongy material than the typical non-porous yoga mat. And yet she still enjoyed it! Yes, most of us got our mats pooped on too, but those tiny dry pellets are actually not that big of a deal and they have a “Goat Wrangler” to help keep your mat clean(ish). We did, of course, take showers and clean our mats when we got home.
We all had more fun than we ever expected. And Goat Yoga already sounded pretty entertaining! It might actually be the best way to try yoga for the first time. No pressure, no expectations, no previous experience necessary, just fun. You leave feeling physically and mentally refreshed, and giddy as a goat!
Since everyone is now rushing to the website to sign up for Goat Yoga with Kimberly at Goat Yoga Texas, here are our few little tips.
- Don’t forget your mat! Probably only half of our class brought one, and though they’ll give you a trash bag to lay out, it’s so much better to have a mat. Don’t however, bring a nice fancy one as poor Grandma learned the hard way.
- Dress for the weather. Classes are outside so if it’s chilly, wear layers. You will definitely warm up once you’ve gotten started with the yoga (and once the giggles set in), but also be sure to check your email for any cancellations or updates Goat Yoga Texas may send out before class. This is Houston, after all.
- Remember that goats like the back of their necks scratched. Once you find “the spot,” you are theirs forever. Never in my life did I think I would be vying for a goat’s affection, but there I was. I have no shame.
- Take your picture in a yoga pose with a goat. After class, I was so busy getting everyone else’s pictures holding goats, that I completely forgot to get my own picture taken in some funny yoga pose… with a goat. If you don’t walk away with insta-worthy pics, did you even do goat yoga?
- Take a minute to chat with Kimberly. She is the G.O.A.T! She’ll tell you all about her “kids,” how she got started with Goat Yoga, and about her sweet little farm. It’s so cute to see how the goats just love their mama!
- Allow a little extra time to hang out and eat at Murdoch’s. Again, something we did not do but will have to rectify with our next visit.
And if you’re somehow still a skeptic, let me offer this suggestion: Head out to Murdoch’s at a time they just “happen” to be having a Goat Yoga session. Observe the fun they are having and try not to be sad you didn’t sign up. When they are done, sneak on over and hold a baby goat. Then sign up here for the next available session!
We owe a HUGE thanks to Kimberly and Goat Yoga Texas for hosting us and for giving us all such an unforGOATable experience! There’s a reason she (and her “kids”) were recently on the cover of Houstonia magazine! When you go, give her a hug for me!
Also, special thanks to my brother, Jimmy, for tagging along and taking our pictures! Hug him too if you see him!