Farm Horizons, August 2017

Goat yoga trend hits Glencoe

By Starrla Cray

What do you get when you combine yoga with a goat farm?

The answer is goat yoga – also known as “goga” – a trend that’s been popping up all over lately.

Earlier this summer, the Becker family of Glencoe teamed up with Shape it Up Fitness in Waconia to host two goga classes at their farm.

“We had a great turnout,” said Megan VanEyll, owner of Shape it Up Fitness. “The people were super excited.”

The goats seemed excited, too.

“Goats are so naturally curious,” Tracy Becker commented. “They love to be involved in everything.”

The breed the Becker family raises, Nigerian Dwarfs, is especially personable. In addition to goga, the goats have been shown for 4-H, and they visit people in nursing homes and rehab facilities.

Everyone in the Becker family helps care for the animals, including Tracy’s husband, Ed, and their children – Eddie (17), Jack (15), Emma (13), and Sam (11).

Eddie, who is homeschooled and will be a junior this fall, enjoys having goats for business purposes, too. As the creator of Eddie’s Goat Milk Goods, Eddie sells ultra-moisturizing lotions and soaps at farmers markets and stores in the area. The products have helped Eddie with his own chapped skin, and are popular with others, as well.

Eddie currently owns 42 goats, and has the goal of having the largest Nigerian Dwarf herd in the US.

“He really loves the goats, and he’s really good at keeping track of them,” Tracy said.

The idea to host goat yoga classes came from Eddie’s business mentor in California. (He was given a mentor after becoming a semi-finalist in MN Cup, an entrepreneurial competition through the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.)

“It really lightened the mood of yoga class,” VanEyll said, adding that everyone was taking selfies with the goats and socializing.

VanEyll said goat yoga fits with her business model at Shape it Up Fitness.

“We’re always looking to make fitness fun – something people look forward to,” she said.

Another goat yoga class may take place in September, but a date has not yet been set.

Also this fall, an event through Shape it Up Fitness called “Fitness on the Farm” will be sometime in October. The day could include games with hay bales, workouts with pumpkins, and other fall activities.

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