There’s something about being around silly baby goats that brings a smile to people’s faces. “It makes people happy,” said Lili Shelton, the wellness and fitness director at Mount Vernon …
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There’s something about being around silly baby goats that brings a smile to people’s faces.
“It makes people happy,” said Lili Shelton, the wellness and fitness director at Mount Vernon Canyon Club in Golden. “And the goal is to make people feel good.”
The club will be hosting its first goat yoga event on June 22.
“Goat yoga is a trend right now, at least in Colorado,” Shelton said. “It’s got a one-of-a-kind appeal to it.”
Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga, a locally owned and operated small business that got its start in 2017, will be supplying the baby goats and yoga instructor. There will be eight Nigerian Dwarf goats that are about eight months old, which come from Skål Farm in Golden.
From birth, baby goats instinctively cuddle with their mother, said Jim Naron, owner of Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga.
“They’re trained snugglers,” he said. “They’ll come and interact with anybody.”
The yoga class will last about 45 minutes and following the class, attendees will have about 20 minutes cuddle time with the goats. Interaction with the goats will be happening the entire time, Naron said, but during the yoga class, people are focusing on the poses. The cuddle time is offered so people can spend time petting the goats and taking pictures with them, Naron added.
Because goats are intelligent creatures, people tend to relate to their behavior as they do with dogs, Naron said.
“They’re silly,” he said, “and they cultivate smiles and happiness.”
Naron was inspired to start Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga after reading an article about a woman in Oregon who was doing animal assisted therapy with goats. A former teacher who was hosting a variety of events for supplemental income at the time, reached out to a farmer to rent five goats for a yoga class he was hosting.
Today, Naron works with four different farms that provide the goats, and Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga travels across Colorado to provide the service for large and private events.
Many of the baby goats that Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga uses are rescues, Naron said. This means they may have been discarded by their mother, rejected to be kept as a pet and/or are not being bred to be able to produce dairy products, he added.
“These events (with Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga) support the livelihood for a lot of goats,” Naron said. “We take them and give them a job — a form of therapy that brings joy and laughter.”
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