Set amongst fields of lavender at Mad Lavender Farm in Milford, NJ, hummingbirds feast on wild flowers, roosters greet the morning, and farm guests gather to find inner peace, breathe deeply and mingle with Dwarf Nigerian goats.
Seniors from Country Meadows of Forks in Easton, joined the class to enjoy a relaxed morning participating in a craze that is sweeping America…goat yoga!
“Yoga is about expansion: expansion of what we expect in our lives and opening the heart, and goats are good at that,” says Adrienne Crombie, farm co-owner.
Curious goats wander throughout the class space, interacting with guests. It brings a light, joyful energy to the already tranquil experience. It’s not the most quiet yoga class, but definitely the most memorable.
“It was very different. I was raised around animals but I didn’t have them climbing on my body,” laughs Country Meadows resident, Barbara Vones, 81. “It was a very good session and I enjoyed it!”
Country Meadows of Forks Director of Community Life, Brenda Kennedy, arranged the outing for residents. “Studies have found that connecting with nature, animals and movement improves cognitive skills,” she says, adding, “goats and yoga seem to be the perfect pairing!”
At 93 years young, Country Meadows resident Florence Komisar loved the interaction. “It was lovely and I love the goats. They are very gentle and very sweet.”
The class included easy to moderate poses, breath work and meditation connecting participants to the earth and each other in celebration of all living things.
Vones takes yoga class every week at Country Meadows and, as a widow, says experiences such as goat yoga make life worth living. She says, “If I stayed in my home, I would be living alone and wouldn’t have the inspiration to walk and get around. At Country Meadows there is so much to do and I’m involved. It’s a wonderful place to be.”
According to Kennedy,” Getting out of your comfort zone is always a good thing and moving into a retirement community should be about new and exciting opportunities. The journey should have twists and turns and, by golly, take the path less traveled because one never knows what will be discovered!”