Yoga and goats collide at Spring Haven Farm
People were greeted by chickens, horses, turkeys and plenty of goats as they arrived at Spring Haven Farm on Saturday for yoga.
The Farm held goat yoga, which encouraged people to practice yoga poses, such as warrior and downward dog, in an open field while baby goats galloped around, chasing chickens and running underneath people as they stretched.
“I’ve had classes where goats have jumped on people’s backs during downward facing dog,” yoga instructor Lindsey Alexander said.
Alexander also teaches traditional styles of yoga at Carrboro Yoga Company and Yoga Garden in Pittsboro, but she is no stranger to goat yoga. She said she has taught goat yoga at the Chapel Hill Carriage House and Celebrity Dairy prior to holding classes at Spring Haven Farm.
Andrew Crihfield, co-owner of Spring Haven Farm with his wife, said he contacted Alexander after he noticed she had previous experience with goat yoga. He said he quit his job as a network engineer to focus on the farm after his kids grew up and his wife went to medical school.
“I decided it would be a good time to come home full time to the farm and I was looking for different ways to monetize our farm and I saw this article about this fad of goat yoga,” he said.
More than 30 people had mats rolled out across the field for Saturday’s session, which is the third one Spring Haven has held. Before she set up her mat, UNC doctoral student Kate Rucinski played with a couple goats on the edge of the field.
“I’m a little scared about the goats potentially pooping on my mat, but other than that I think it’s gonna be OK,” she said before the session. “I was just playing with the horses and one them bit my foot, mistaking it for some food, so I feel like any aversion I had is now gone.”
Participants said they heard about Spring Haven’s baby goat yoga sessions through social media and friends. Engineer Teresa Brusadin brought her son along and said the session was a unique way for them to spend time together.
“I should be doing more yoga, but it was actually my son,” she said. “He’s always wanted to play with goats, he actually wanted a goat for his birthday.”
Crihfield said he has been thinking about potentially expanding yoga workshops at the farm to include other animals. He also said he has other events planned for Spring Haven Farm, such as community gardening.
“Last December we started growing organic vegetables and so we have about three acres under production,” he said.
For now, it seems the novelty of baby goat yoga will not wear off anytime soon.
“It’s totally spontaneous, it’s funny, it’s lighthearted and it’s not a serious experience,” Alexander said.
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