Hanover farm brings goat yoga to central Virginia
HANOVER Co., Va. (WWBT) - If you haven’t tried goat yoga yet, it’s a popular new way to stretch and destress!
It’s exactly what it sounds like, and now you can sign up for a goat yoga session at Pactamere Farm in Hanover!
“It’s not traditional yoga, but it is yoga,” said farm owners Eric Evans and fiancé Katie Cunningham. “It’s a lot of interaction with the goats. They jump on you. They play; goats are very interactive.”
The goat yoga classes are an hour long. For the first 45 minutes, you go through a sequence of poses while the fury friends play, stand on your back, and maybe even lick your face. Or, like our own Terrance Dixon’s case, they will just plop in your lap while you do your yoga.
And yes, we know what you’re thinking - yes, *it* happens.
“They might poop on you. They might pee on you. They might pull your shirt. We have one goat that likes to undress people, so it’s a lot of fun. They’re like children; it’s a lot of fun,” said Evans and Cunningham.
Once the yoga part is over, the last 15 minutes are meant for playtime.
“It was a lot of fun. Really relaxing but also funny at the same,” said class participant Taly Baumhover.
This was Baumhover’s first time doing yoga and goat yoga. She says it was part of a surprise from her mom.
“We thought we were going horseback riding,” said Baumhover. “Then we pull up, and we come over here, and we’re like ‘oh my gosh.’”
These Nigerian dwarf goats are part of an agritourism alpaca farm in Hanover run by Evans and Cunningham.
Initially, Eric bought these goats as a Mother’s Day gift for Katie.
“I absolutely fell in love with them,” said Cunningham.
But the animals have a deeper meaning for Eric. Five years ago, his then-wife Jaime died from a rare and terminal cancer.
He used alpacas at the time for support, which played a major part in the healing journey for Eric and his daughters. In honoring the life of Jaime, and her love for the alpacas, Evans turned the farm into an agritourism/event place to allow others to experience the incredible blessing these animals give.
“Animals are very calming. They can be stressful at times, but they help you when you might not even realize it,” said Evans. “This kind of interaction is something what my wife and I had originally dreamed - that we would be able to share this life with other people.”
Recently, Evans and Cunningham started a non-profit called Pactamere Cares, which uses animal-assisted therapy to promote healing for those struggling with loss, trauma or mental illness. They hope to restore lives and promote healing, peace and encouragement through unconditional love.
The farm also hosts ‘Wine Tasting with Goat Yoga’ every other Saturday through the month from a local winery.
Prices for regular goat yoga start at $35, while the wine-tasting goat yoga class starts at $50.
For more information on how to purchase tickets, click here.
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