West Side Story

  • Girls soccer plays Xavier at home May 22.

  • Softball plays Dubuque Hempstead at home May 22.

  • Show Choir Auditions from May 23 - 25.

  • Last day for seniors is May 23.

  • Graduation Rehearsal for all seniors at 12:30 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, May 23.

Unlikely exercise companions

On April 22, Lucky Star Farm tried out the latest trend, which combines animals and exercise.

Goats+roam+around+as+people+do+yoga+on+Sunday%2C+April+22.+
Goats roam around as people do yoga on Sunday, April 22.

Goats roam around as people do yoga on Sunday, April 22.

Maddi Shinall

Maddi Shinall

Goats roam around as people do yoga on Sunday, April 22.

Natalie Dunlap, Feature Editor

In the white tent on Lucky Star Farm, women gathered to practice yoga. There was no music; instead, the occasional bleating of animals interrupted the quiet. A participant might extend their leg and brush their bare foot against some fur, or raise their head from their yoga mat and come face to face with a farm animal. If they were lucky, they shared their mat with a four-legged creature. This doesn’t apply to most yoga classes, but that’s what people look forward to when they sign up for goat yoga.

The Young family, who owns Lucky Star Farm, had known about goat yoga for a few years before they tried it on their farm.

“[My mom] has been getting messages about this for, like, three years,” said Natalie Young ’20. “And I was talking to her about it, and she actually read a news story about another local farm in Iowa that had done goat yoga and it was a really big success so we thought, ‘Why not?’”

Maddi Shinall
The participating goats were as young as three weeks old.

Goat yoga has become a nation trend, but Susan Young had been skeptical of it before trying it on her own farm.

“I [did not] think people really [would] want to spend money to do yoga with goats. And so finally this year I relented and said ‘Okay, let’s just give it a try’ and the first class was sold out within 24 hours,” Susan said.

After 20 people registered for the first session the Youngs added two more classes to take place on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29.

Their first session was on Sunday, April 22. Noor Miller, an instructor Susan met at The Pro-Fit Gym, taught the class. She had just finished her yearly certification when Susan asked if she would be interested in leading the class. It was her first time teaching with animals. 

Miller began the session by saying, “Shoes on or off, socks on or off, depending on your comfort with goats.”

 

Maddi Shinall
After yoga is done, WSS staffer Natalie Dunlap holds one of the goats.

Fourteen baby goats started off congregated in the center of the tent, but Natalie moved them around periodically to let more people experience doing yoga with them. Some goats became especially social, and some women would pet them mid-pose when the goat approached their mat.

Anything that sort of enriches your heart and soul is yoga”

— Noor Miller

“They’re really dog-like, actually,” Natalie said. “If they’re bottle-fed then they’re super friendly and they just run up to you and they want to be your best friend.”

Some participants focused more on the poses, while a few others in the corner resorted to sitting on their mats and cuddling the goats to sleep. Throughout the session, there were moments where a goat would perch its front legs on someone’s back or make an obscure sound that made the group laugh.

“Anything that sort of enriches your heart and soul is yoga … I think the purpose is just to have people around goats, and if they want to have a little yoga exercise practice in between spending time with the goats, that’s nice,” said Miller. “But my focus was more letting people have fun than the actual physical practice of yoga.”

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Unlikely exercise companions