MEDINA — While yoga can sometimes be an intimidating venture for beginners, a group of furry friends helped to soothe apprehension Thursday at the Medina Public Library.
A goat yoga class invited participants of all ages and skill levels to bust out their warrior poses while surrounded by playful barnyard companions. It was the first such event held at the library, but one that area farmers hope to see repeated and expanded to other venues.
Goats were provided by Mallet Creek Farms of Medina and Home Sweet Homestead of Lodi.
“Everyone knows yoga is very healthy for you,” said Nichole McCluggage of Mallet Creek Farms, who also drives the library’s Bookmobile.
“What we’ve also learned is involving animals in an activity like this sort of brings out the happy in your brain.
“Whether you’re a yoga enthusiast or someone who can barely do it, it’s just fun to snuggle goats.”
McCluggage’s goats are Lamancha Dairy breed, born without ears but known for a friendly disposition.
“In speaking with the library, I heard they wanted to do a goat yoga class and I told them, ‘I have the goats,’ ” she said. “We decided to put this together since Medina is a pretty diverse county in terms of having city and country land. A lot of people here have never been on a farm or seen goats so we thought it’d be a good collaboration.”
Goat yoga’s current popularity can be traced back to 2016. An Oregon farm owner named Lainey Morse found comfort in spending time with her goats in the midst of a divorce and autoimmune disease diagnosis. Soon, she invited friends to join her “goat happy hour,” one of whom was a yoga instructor. The first goat yoga classes were soon conducted on her property and went viral soon thereafter.
Twin 9-year-old sisters Maisen and Makenna Lucas helped bring goats from Lodi and are members of the Medina Goat Gang 4-H club. They are using goat yoga as credit toward club projects for this year’s Medina County Fair.
“It’s just fun and I’ve been wanting to give it a try,” said Makenna, who had never participated in goat yoga before Tuesday. “If you want to exercise and you like animals, why not?”
Roughly 20 people crowded into the library’s lobby, laughing as goats ran and slid around an enclosed area before the class began.
McCluggage suggested The BARN Wellness Center, 1360 Ridge Road, Hinckley, as a good location for those wanting to give goat yoga a try. She also encouraged anyone interested to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“If there’s an opportunity to organize another class somewhere I would definitely do it,” she said. “I know the owners of BARN Wellness and they’re good people who are great with beginners. I’ve taken classes they’re and I highly recommend them.”