WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– On vacation in Florida two years ago, Katie Hartman and Nick Rubinacci tried out goat yoga for the first time.
Hartman knew it was something she wanted to bring back on to the Wabash Valley.
“We enjoyed it so much, and we knew we enjoyed goats, so we thought it would be a fun business opportunity to bring to Terre Haute,” she said.
Goat yoga may sound strange– but it’s becoming more popular around the country. Illumination Wellness founder Danielle Bryan said it’s something she first tried while living in Texas several years ago.
“I lived in Austin, Texas for a while, and goat yoga was kind of a big thing there, so it was really cool to know that it was being brought here,” she said.
Hartman and Rubinacci, co-owners of the Old 40 Farm, now have 16 goats they care for at their farm– all apart of their passion for the animals.
“Goats are little balls of energy. They’re a little unpredictable, but they’re very sweet and very cuddly, and just so fun to watch,” she said. “They like to do little flips, they like to jump up on our backs, they like to be held.”
While they got the studio and the goats, Old 40 Farm still needed yoga instructors. Bryan stepped up, and helped lead a few classes with the rest of her team.
She said the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
“They had no idea what to expect, but they had such a fun time,” Bryan said. “I think they’re really excited to be teaching and bringing in the yoga and mindfulness with kind of like the beautiful chaos the goats bring.”
Bryan said the goats also can help with focus and mindfulness– some of the main things she tries to teach through yoga.
“It’s almost like another layer of the tools that we’re teaching. Can you remain focused, but still take a break and love on a goat because they’re so cute,” she said.
Old 40 Farm will officially offer classes starting on Jan. 28th. Hartman said you can book a session through the company’s website.
Bryan called it a “unique experience,” one everyone should try.
“It’s a cool thing to come out, to bring a friend or bring somebody you love, to try something new and just see what happens,” she said. “I just think it’s really cool this is coming to our community.”