People practice yoga to achieve a clear mind and improved flexibility, among other benefits, but on Sunday, a group of yogis at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo came to "kid" around.
California Goat Yoga Owner Alexandria Mullenax runs the Mullenax Ranch in Tehachapi, where she cares for dozens of Nigerian Dwarf Goats.
"Goat Yoga is the art of trying to do yoga with baby goats walking and playing at will around you," Mullenax said.
Throughout the two Sunday morning Goat Yoga sessions, participants did poses like downward dog and child’s pose while surrounded by grass-chomping goats.
"It was very calming, especially the goats near me just ended up sitting on my mat," Carolyn Eicher, a participant from SLO said. "Just being able to pet goats during class was kind of a novelty."
Sunday marked the first yoga experience for Callie Christopherson, a Morro Bay resident.
"It was fun, I wanted to cuddle all of them," Christopherson said. "They’re so cute."
Mullenax said the experience is not just adorable, it has actual health benefits, too.
"So a huge benefit of doing yoga with the goats is all the good endorphins and positive energy and just the fun and laughter," Mullenax said. "Goats are animals, they’re unpredictable, they’re gonna leave a blessing on your mat."
Those who come for the yoga say they get the added challenge of concentrating as the goats run around the mats.
But most participants, like Arroyo Grande resident Luis Quintana who tried yoga for the first time Sunday, said they just came to play with the goats.
"I didn’t even want to do some of the class because I just wanted to have an experience with the goats," Eicher said.
Mullenax said the experience isn’t so much about serious yoga practice as it is opening up to a new experience and having fun.
"The yoga is kind of second to the goats, (participants) want to come and hold the goats and rock it like a baby," Mullenax said. "They just really enjoy the positive energy of the goats."
When the goats aren’t aiding with yoga, Mullenax said they’re clearing out vegetation to help prevent wildfires.