Let’s get this out of the way: goat yoga is not exactly a new concept. The practice began in Oregon City, Oregon, in 2016. Since then, it’s spread across the nation to cities including Los Angeles and Nashville, and its trendy legs have lasted long enough to eventually make it to Tampa.
Goat yoga is not where you go to perfect your warrior pose or find serenity; instead, the focus is on fun (plus some cute goats). If you’ve never been, an instructor leads participants through the poses while goats meander around, nuzzle you and, if you’re lucky, hop on your back. Don’t worry: The average baby Nigerian dwarf goat is only about 20 pounds.
In Tampa, yogis can get down and dirty for a good cause. One of the area’s most popular goat yoga classes, Grady Goat Yoga, began last spring to raise money for children with special needs. The owners, Rob and Debbie Canton, were inspired by their buckling (a young male goat) Grady Goat. Last spring, the calf was born blind, deaf and unable to walk, yet he beat the odds to live nearly five months at the Cantons’ Hat Trick Ranch in Thonotosassa before passing away in August 2017.
“Grady quickly became our most loving, affectionate and joyful of all the babies born at Hat Trick Ranch,” Debbie says. “It was his perseverance and zest for life despite his physical challenges that inspired us to create a foundation in Grady’s name in hopes of providing a way to support inspiring animals and children facing their own physical, mental or economic adversity.”
Tickets are $30 per class and benefit the Grady Goat Foundation, which in turn supports organizations like the Florida Sherriff’s Youth Ranch, A Kid’s Place Tampa Bay and High Risk Hope. Classes are held every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. Spaces are limited and tickets often sell out days to weeks in advance.
Grady Goat Yoga
Hat Trick Ranch 12551 Franklin Road, Thonotosassa | (813) 495-5083 gradygoat.org
Other places to try goat yoga:
Namaste Yoga Studio
34701 Tranquiview Lane | Dade City | (813) 505-1850
Fallen Oak Farms
Valrico (exact address provided upon registration) | (813) 541-1111