I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about goat yoga over the past few months.
My friends in Atlanta and Birmingham reported that the goat yoga craze had taken their cities by storm, and I was desperate to find a class somewhere in Charlotte.
Eventually, I heard about goat yoga classes in Rock Hill, and I couldn’t sign up fast enough.
At least once a weekend from March through October (excluding August), Critter Creek Farms offers goat yoga classes for $25 at the Historic White Home.
The experience includes an hour of yoga followed by thirty minutes of cuddle time with the goats.
Classes take place outside in a shaded area, and they place big box fans on the perimeter of the yoga area so you (and the goats) stay nice and cool.
The event organizer, Terri Gustin, told me that they offer space for 30 participants in each class.
Classes sell out quickly, so she recommends booking about three weeks to one month in advance, especially during the busier months of March, April, May, October and November. They take a break during August due to the heat and humidity.
I showed up to the class with a water bottle, a mat and some pretty high expectations. It did not disappoint.
The first thing I noticed is how friendly the goats are.
The older goats have been trained not to jump, but they’re still very curious and love engaging with participants. The baby goats are more likely to climb on your shoulder or crawl into your lap, which is freaking adorable.
All of the goats are raised by Critter Creek Farms, and Terri explained that the classes are a great way to socialize the goats and make them more comfortable around people before they’re sold to new owners.
The yoga itself is perfect for beginners and seasoned yogis alike.
The instructor, Tammy Calvin, who teaches at several studios in the Fort Mill and Rock Hill area, knows that a first yoga class can be intimidating. She explained that goat yoga has low-key relaxed vibe where people of all skill levels feel welcome. It’s a fun unique opportunity for beginners to get their feet wet before they segue into more traditional classes or routine practice.
The most important thing is to come with an open mind.
About ten minutes into class, a goat peed on my mat while I was in downward dog. The event organizers came and cleaned it up immediately, and I was able to get right back into my flow.
Goats also hopped on my back and laid underneath me while I was in different poses.
The bottom line is that the goats are a little unpredictable, but that’s half the fun.
I would definitely go back for round two of goat yoga.
Not only was goat yoga a refreshing addition to my usual practice, I also found that being around the animals for an hour and a half was a cathartic experience in itself.
The people from Critter Creek Farms are also super friendly and work to ensure that all participants have a great time. They take plenty of photos during the class and upload them to Facebook after the event, so you’ll have hard evidence that you balanced a baby goat on your back while doing the perfect plank.
Pro tip: You cannot bring your own goat.