Goat Yoga Comes to Vail

goat yoga_leslie
Leslie at Vail Stables with her zen master

Yes, you herd…um, heard correctly (sorry, couldn’t resist). This popular new type of yoga has arrived in Vail!

The Vail Valley already has a plethora of studio and outdoor yoga classes in the summer, but Vail Stables is currently the only place offering goat yoga. Here’s more on this unique new activity:

“The trend which began in Portland, Oregon, last year has swept across the country and the United Kingdom. According to CNN, the farm in Albany, Oregon, which started this phenomenon has a waiting list of more than 1,200 who wish to have a goat in addition to a cat-cow.

‘Goats are the natural entertainers of the animal world,’ said Kym Luck, owner of Vail Stables, explaining the craze. ‘Life is wonderful to a goat that naturally lives in the present. The adorable appearance of a baby goat is off the charts.’

‘Get ready for the best day of your life,’ said yoga instructor Mary Gavin at Vail Stables.

Set in the White River National Forest on Spraddle Creek Road, the scenic beauty is rivaled by the sounds of nature: aspens quaking, horses neighing and Nigerian dwarf goats bleating. These gentle creatures jump on participants backs, settle on laps when yogis meditate and nibble on grass, hair or items of clothing.

The practice begins in silent meditation with goat cuddling on a well-chewed grassy slope. The uneven surface Gavin contends increases balance and awareness.

Gavin even incorporates them in modified poses such as tree with goat in arms — or boat with goat through the legs.

So what happens when participants are more interested in the goats than the physical yoga practice?

That’s OK too, says Gavin, explaining there are eight limbs of yoga which incorporate everything from breathing to the physical practice.

‘Meditation is one of the limbs which I find really complements the goat yoga because it can be used as a meditation and practice of mindfulness,’ she said. ‘You can really become aware of your experience in the present moment. It is very meditative to lay with the goats and watch them play.’

At the end of practice students lie in the traditional Shavasana pose again with the addition of a goat on the stomach, nuzzling a neck or chewing hair.

Gavin gently reminds students several times that class is done.”

(Article excerpt courtesy of Vail Daily)

If “goat” and “yoga” are not music to your ears, there are lots of other options for visiting yogis. Studios like Vail Vitality Center and Aria Spa have classes year-round, but we suggest trying an outdoor class instead. These are summer-only for obvious reasons, and take advantage of our gorgeous mountain scenery and warm, sunny weather.

The Vail Vitality Center instructors teach free outdoor classes each Saturday morning on the Solaris lawn. You can also venture down valley to Eagle, Colorado for free “Yoga in the Park” on Sunday mornings. Back in Vail, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens hosts “Yoga in the Gardens” three days a week ($15). Vail Mountain-Top Yoga Series on Fridays and Saturdays includes a gondola ride to Mid-Vail and free Supergoop! water bottle ($40).

More adventurous yogis should check out SUP or aerial yoga. You’ll find Stand Up Paddle Yoga on either Eagle-Vail pond or Nottingham Lake, both in Avon, Colorado (prices vary). Our favorite aerial yoga classes are at the new Peace Love Aerial Yoga studio in nearby Minturn. Owner Tracy is the best at keeping it comfortable and fun while you channel your inner Cirque du Soleil performer. There are also a handful of opportunities this summer to practice “AIRreal Yoga in the Garden Aviary” at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens ($40).

Finally, there is free twice-weekly gentle yoga at the library next door to Lodge at Lionshead for guests who don’t want to venture far from home. On their off days, paid gentle yoga classes are available across the street at the Vail Welcome Center ($12).

If you need advice or help in finding the best class for you, stop by the desk while you’re here. Leslie has tried most of the classes mentioned – including goat yoga!


Visit Vail for Yoga & Wellness

While you can always stay in Vail hotels like Lodge at Vail or the Marriott, why not rent a cozy condo in scenic location along Gore Creek? Lodge at Lionshead is quiet, yet convenient to everything including Vail Village. If recharging is your goal, we think you’ll enjoy coming home each day to the peace and quiet at the Lodge. For the ultimate in zen, try to get a creekside Platinum 1 Bedroom or Platinum 2 Bedroom condo. Those book fast, so call as soon as you are ready to make your vacation plans. Two to four night minimum stay is required depending on your dates. You can check out rates and availability right here on our website.