Among the offerings at Olympia’s Lost Peacock Creamery are goat yogurt and goat yoga.
Goat yoga, for the uninitiated, is not yoga for goats but yoga with goats, both kids eager to climb onto the yogis’ backs and grown goats who’ll patiently offer support during balance poses. The creamery began offering public classes this week in a tent with a straw floor. (Yes, goat poop is part of the experience.)
“Goats really are Zen creatures,” said Rachael Taylor-Tuller, who owns the creamery with husband Matthew Tuller. “Being around them, you can feel yourself calm down.
“Goats are not trying to do anything extra,” said Tuller, who teaches the vinyasa-inspired classes, which began this week and will continue throughout the summer. “That’s the point you’re trying to get to with yoga. When I teach yoga, I don’t want people to try to twist themselves into pretzels. I want people to go into the move with their most authentic expression of self. Goats are constantly in that state.”
All that said, the couple knows goat yoga might sound a bit silly.
“I don’t think people are necessarily looking for a deep experience,” Tuller said. “I think that will come, but it’s more like they just want to hang out with goats. It’s nice to interact with another species.”
Indeed, those with no interest in yoga are welcome. “Goat yoga is a very casual, fun environment,” according to the creamery’s goat yoga Q&A webpage. “You are welcome to just sit, meditate and pet the goats, but you do still have to sign up for a class.”
The Q&A offers a few warnings, too: Baby goats will get right in your face as well as climbing on top of you.
Also, euphemistically speaking, stuff happens, though the Q&A promises, “Goat poop is no more offensive than a spilled box of Milk Duds.” (Note, however, that no one from The Olympian visited the creamery to verify this fact, and careful yogis will probably wish to watch where they step.)
Tuller has been practicing goat yoga on his own for quite some time. It was the goats’ idea.
“I spend a lot of time with the goats,” he said. “I’m feeding them, I’m milking them. I stretch throughout the day, and when I relax and get into it, the goats pay attention. They come up to me. They nuzzle me sometimes.”
The kids are particularly enthusiastic. “Whenever you get on all fours, they jump on your back,” he said. “Whenever you make anything that resembles a mountain, they want to climb you.”
It seems the Lost Peacock goats weren’t the first to discover yoga’s charms. No Regrets Farm in Albany, Oregon, has been offering public classes for at least a year, including such variants as goat yoga with wine tasting.
So popular has goat yoga become in Oregon that there’s a long waiting list for classes. Both CBS and ABC News filmed classes this week.
For those who want the right outfit for every occasion, No Regrets has even teamed up with yoga clothier Evolve to offer themed attire. Check it out at evolvefitwear.com.
During the winter, Taylor-Tuller heard about the yoga at No Regrets. “I was like, ‘That’s crazy,’ ” she said. “ ‘We’re already doing this.’ ”
She’s excited not just about showing off the goats — who have such names as Claire Bear, Princess Snuggleton and Lady Clara Von Chaisserstock III — but also about getting more people down on the farm, so to speak.
“First and foremost, we’re a Grade A goat dairy, and we make cheese and yogurt,” she said. “But one of the things small farms are having to do in order to make it is diversify. Our farm is becoming a destination.”
Lost Peacock was already offering birthday parties, field trips, the occasional guest speaker and day camps where human and goat kids can hang out.
“We hosted a spring-break camp,” Taylor-Tuller said, “and three of the parents have followed up with me since the camp, and they now have chickens.
“At our camp, they saw that it’s really approachable and easy to have chickens and get eggs.”
What: Matthew Tuller teaches vinyasa-style yoga with in a tent with goats.
When: 10 a.m. Sunday, May 28, June 10-11 and 17-18, and continuing on weekend mornings through the summer.
Where: Lost Peacock Creamery, 5504 Cross Creek Lane NE, Olympia.
Also: Bring your own mat or towel, and bring a layer; class is held in a tent.