Are you a “yoga junkie”? Maybe you’ve done them all -Hatha, Iyengar, Kundalini, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Bikram, Yin, Restorative, Prenatal, Anusara, Jivamukti….but have you tried it with GOATS? Yes, I said goats!
I’m just going to say it…you haven’t lived until you are in child’s pose with a goat standing on your back!
Turns out, there’s a little hidden gem of a place called the Emerald Coast Zoo located in Crestview. Grateful Hearts Yoga Studio has teamed up with the zoo to allow visitors to experience memory making fun. No need to be an experienced yogi, in fact a few of the guests that attended with me today had never stepped foot in a yoga studio before. This is more for the experience than for the practice.
The zoo is a fabulous place to visit. It is owned and operated by A&E’s Wild Transport star, Rick the Reptile Guy and his wife Sara, and their three kids. Given the small size of the wildlife haven, it is easy to thoroughly explore in a day. But don’t be fooled, from Ostrich’s to white tigers to camels to baboons, and much more, you will be completely captivated.
They offer many Encounter activities with animals, such as, feed the birds, ride a Camel, feed a Lemur, pet a Sloth, and yes, yoga with goats! They even offer an encounter called Train a Lion! Wow! I can’t wait to do that one! Also, it’s worth noting that you can even have birthday parties there! Forget the skating rink, have a birthday with a kangaroo or a camel!
Today, I went with my friend, Denise, to check out the Yoga with Goats encounter and as I expected, it did not disappoint. I must also mention that as we waited to be taken to the area which housed the yoga mats and goats, we got to play with two baby roos in the gift store. They were the cutest as they bounced around the store area in their diapers……hahaha.
As we arrived at the yoga arena, there were many mats already laid out for us (note: you can bring your own but they provide ones so yours doesn’t get dirty) and four baby goats off in the side bushes just chowing away. As soon as we started getting placed on our mats, the little goats came over to greet us. As we went through the different yoga positions, the goats would come and go, hop on backs, hop off backs, and one even smiled big for us. It was really awesome!
Our yoga teacher, Gracie Simmons (owner of Grateful Hearts Yoga), was great and had fun with the goats antics. You could tell, it wasn’t her first “rodeo”, 🙂 . Denise and I do plan on returning for more “GoGa” (Yoga with goats). Worth noting, please make sure to check out Grateful Hearts yoga. It takes a skilled and focused yoga teacher to keep the “flow” going while young goats are invading the concentration! I’m positive their normal classes have to be magnificent!
I also encourage everyone to go visit this amazing wildlife refuge as soon as possible! You can just go and enjoy the experience or maybe even get involved by volunteering or sponsoring. You can even adopt an animal! The entrance fee is minimal but the experience is forever!
Note: I took many B&W pics of this day and will be posting them once I develop them. Please stay tuned ;).