Lancaster County’s first goat yoga class is here, starring 10 bouncing baby pygmy goats.
Starting Friday, June 22, the Amish Farm and House will have yoga classes with triplets Jakey, Julie and Jerry, quadruplets Tiny Tim, Teddy, Tommy and Tilly plus Ellie and her sisters, Kelly and Nelly. Fitness classes are something new for the business, but the attraction, at 2395 Covered Bridge Drive, hopes goat yoga will attract locals. They may be on to something. The first class has already sold out.
Amish Farm’s classes were born with Ellie, a baby goat with an underdeveloped leg. When Ellie’s mother rejected her, tour guide and animal caretaker Mikayla Horst brought the kid home to bottle-feed. While most goats start walking within hours, it took Ellie two days to learn to stand, with the help of a hot pink brace. She’s now running and playing, with a slight limp.
Horst and Jamie Burkhart, the site’s social media/events coordinator, wondered if they could share the cuteness of Ellie and the other baby goats with the world.
“They’re super playful right now,” Horst says. “Anything that they’re near that they can climb on, they will jump on.”
A few farms claim to invent yoga with goats, but what is clear is its popularity. After The Oregonian wrote an story two years ago, more than 600 people joined a waiting list to go to a goat yoga session. Interest has grown since then, with online searches spiking in January. There are hashtags (#goatyoga #goatyogi) and many pictures shared on social media. Goats balanced on backs. Goats cradled in arms. Just goats.
Burkhart and Horst started planning the yoga sessions a week ago. They recruited certified yoga instructors Julie Mathers, Laura Liss and Amber Ackerley to lead the classes.
Before the first class, Mathers met the kids and noticed these animals organically make poses familiar in yoga. They’re also active.
“They jump on your back. They crawl under you,” she says. “They’re very interactive.”
The Friday session sold out quickly and a few sessions have since sold out as well. There are also sessions at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, June 23 and in July. Amish Farm plans to add more goat yoga classes Fridays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m.
Tickets for the hour-long sessions in June are $25 and include a goat yoga T-shirt Horst designed, a ticket to the farm and a bar of goat milk soap. Tickets will be $35 for July sessions.
Lancaster County has a lot of yoga studios and teachers. Here are a few different types of classes.
1. Yoga with goats
This class from Float Yoga of Lancaster is outdoors with Nigerian dwarf goats and their kids. The sessions are at Bellegrove Stables in Annville. $20. Pre-registration is recommended at bit.ly/GoatYLanc. Bing a mat and towel fit for a farm. Saturdays at noon through Sept. 23.
2. Hot yoga
Bikram yoga is a 90-minute class in a heated room to increase your heart rate and stretch your muscles. (Last winter, we measured the temperature at 112 degrees at Bikram Yoga Lancaster.) Bikram Yoga Lancaster has classes seven days a week at $18 a class. Yoga United at Brighton in Manheim Township has daily hot yoga classes on the schedule at $18 per class. Evolution Power Yoga in Lancaster has heated vinyasa classes daily at $18 per session.
3. Floating yoga
Take your yoga off the mat and into a floating hammock at Float Yoga, near Lititz. Start with an intro to floating yoga class 7:45 p.m., Mondays or 10:30 a.m., Wednesday ($18).
4. Yoga on a paddleboard
This yoga class is on the Susquehanna River. Shank’s Mare has yoga classes on stand-up paddleboards. The two-hour classes are taught on a shallow and quiet part of the river. $50. The classes are offered through September. The next classes are 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 22 and 9:30 a.m., June 24.
5. Yoga on a balance board
Yoga teacher Julie Mathers will lead yoga classes on balance boards at Millersville Lions Club Pool on several Friday mornings this summer. The first class is June 22. $10.
6. Yoga with wine
Vital Tree Yoga in Marietta leads yoga classes outdoors at Nissley Vineyards Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. through Sept. 22. Tickets are $20 and include samples of six wines.
Vicky Darden leads classes outdoors at Weathered Vineyards Wine Tasting Room in Ephrata, followed by a wine tasting or a glass of wine. Yogis under 21 are served a craft soda. $15. Call 717-733-6094 to reserve a space. Saturdays at 11 a.m. through Nov. 3.
7. Yoga with beer
After this 45-minute class upstairs at Spring House Brewing Co.’s Hazel Street location, the first pint is half-off. $10. The next sessions are 5:30 p.m., June 14 and July 12.
8. Yoga for recovery
Yoga Path in Lancaster has Y12SR, a 12-step-based discussion and yoga practice that is open to anyone dealing with addictive behavior, either personal or of others. First Sunday of the month, 4-5:30 p.m. No registration is required. Drop in and pay by donation.
9. Free yoga for seniors
The Next Gen Senior Center in Quarryville is hosting free chair yoga classes for Lancaster County residents aged 60 and older. For more information, call the center at 717-786-4770.
Millersville Senior Center will have free modified yoga classes from September 14 to May 31, 10 to 10:45 a.m. for people age 55 and older. Call the senior center at 717-871-9600 to RSVP.