Goat yoga classes begin in Boulder

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BOULDER, Colo. -- Goat yoga has begun in Boulder.

“If you’re in a pose and one’s on top of you or nibbling you and you like it, you’re just welcome to stay there and catch up with us later,” instructor Vanessa Vitali told her class Sunday afternoon.

Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga held its first four classes at Vali Soul Sanctuary. The highly anticipated classes were sold out.

“I have seen this advertised and it made me laugh so hard, I thought I had to give it a try,” yoga student Cindy Foley said.

Foley said she took a yoga class once before but hated it and never wanted to try it again -- until now.

“I would come back on a weekly basis if they had it,” she said.

The goats don’t do yoga. Humans do the yoga poses while baby goats frolic, relax and nibble around them. Some lucky students even had goats jump on their backs during child’s pose.

“I had my hair stepped on. I had one try to nibble my earring off,” Foley said. “In some ways, it was distracting but it also just helped you feel good and just laugh and enjoy the class.”

Laughter and enjoyment are two of the main reasons Vitali and her yoga partners decided to begin hosting goat yoga classes.

“That’s what therapy animals are for. They make you happy. They make you laugh and smile and just forget about anything you have going on in your days,” Vitali said.

“The foundation of our yoga practice combines the physical with an inner emotional and spiritual journey. We integrate body, breath, movement, and meditative awareness,” according to an RMGY news release. “And it’s fun."

The goats at Sunday’s session came from Mountain Flower Urban Goat Dairy in Boulder. They are only about 6 weeks old and need human interaction in order to socialize.

“You just can’t help but smile, even if a pose is hard and you’re falling over and you have a goat fall on you,” student Tani Calderon said.

Between classes, students also got the chance to feed the baby goats bottles of milk for lunch. But what goes in must come out.

“The goat and I bonded on my mat,” on student said. “He went to the bathroom.”

The mess is a risk goat yoga enthusiasts are willing to take for a few moments of baby goat bliss.

“It was an amazing experience for me,” Vitali said. “Everyone seemed to be so in tune. The goats were jumping around. Everyone was laughing.”

By the end of the classes, even the baby goats joined in on the mats for some deep relaxation. Many curled up with the yoga students for an intense cuddle session to round out the workout.

Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga will be holding classes every Sunday at 11 a.m. There are dates are in Boulder and Berthoud.

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