(CBS4) – Forget Downward Dog. There’s a new animal taking over yoga.
Goat yoga is a new workout trend that’s spreading across Colorado, and it made its way to the Denver County Fair this weekend.
“I don’t know who started it, but it’s a nationwide craze,” said Morgan Unks, the fair’s newly named goat yoga instructor.
The craze is exactly as it sounds — yoga with goats. They roam around people’s mats, maybe nibble on a water bottle or even a person’s ear, and occasionally jump on someone’s back as they change poses. It’s not too clear how or why goat yoga started, but classes across Colorado sell out fast.
“I think there’s some sort of obsession with goats,” Unks told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
Amanda O’Bryan of Denver brought her two sons to the Denver County Fair to try goat yoga.
“I’ve seen some videos of goat yoga and people just say it’s so much fun,” O’Bryan said. “You leave with your face hurting because you smile so much.”
While typical yoga classes focus on meditation and Zen, goat yoga is much more playful, and certainly distracting. Not only do the goats provide the perfect selfie opportunity for many participants, many tend to leave a less than relaxing mark on the mats.
“Well, he did poop pretty close to my mat,” goat yoga enthusiast Jordan Ihme said of the goat that moseyed by her spot. “It was a little gross, but I handled it alright.”
Sydney Burt owns the 50 Dwarf Nigerian goats that made the class possible. She raises about 140 of them at Mountain Country Nigerians east of Denver.
“They’re not big, so they won’t knock over people,” Burt said. “They’re small, very easy to maintain and they’re very sweet. They have dog-like personalities. They’re comforting, so I think this is a great way of bringing literal nature into a meditation-based exercise.”
Instructor Unks said the exercise is certainly more playful than the yoga classes she usually teaches, providing people a fun and new way of letting go of their stress.
“It’s about letting your inner playfulness out, your inner kid out,” she said, pun intended.
All the kids and adult goats certainly had enough personality to entertain the crowd of nearly 300 participants at the Denver County Fair on Sunday morning, as well as another 250 during Friday’s class. It was just what Mackenzie Love of Denver hoped to experience and can’t wait to try again.
“It was so cool,” Love said. “It was nice to get a workout and play with all the goats.”
The Denver County Fair wraps up Sunday night, but organizers are already planning to have goat yoga classes next year.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 This Morning over the weekend and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.