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Fainting goats part of ‘stress-free environment’ at Okanagan goat yoga farm

Yoga is a physical and spiritual practice that dates back more than 5,000 years.

But, recently, something new has cropped up for yogis to experience.

“It’s an interesting fad that we found out about three years ago and it’s actually our third year doing it,” said Cindy Campbell from GottaGoat Farm. “It’s yoga, but with little baby goats interacting with everybody.”

The adorable animals frolic around during the yoga session — nibbling, licking and cuddling the participants affectionately.

“We found that goats are such a therapeutic type of animal,” Campbell said. “It’s just a really stress-free environment.

“When people come out here they can’t help but smile.”

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Campbell offers group and private yoga lessons from June until September, usually outside in the sunshine, where mother goats and their newborns interact.

“You get to hear all the sounds of the farm and it’s just a wonderful activity,” Campbell said.

Campbell and her husband moved from Alberta to the Okanagan about a decade ago and stumbled on this new life quite by accident.

“I saw a little video of some goats bouncing around on the internet,” Campbell said. “We had the farm, so we went out and looked at some baby goats, and we basically haven’t looked back since.

“We got our first couple and it’s grown into a herd of about 40 now.”

The farm has several types of goats, including Nigerian Dwarfs, La Manchas, Nubians and a very rare breed in Canada – Miniature Silky Fainting Goats.

“They have an interesting genetic characteristic that causes them to faint if they get too excited or another goat head butts them,” Campbell said.

After experiencing goat yoga for the first time, participant Josie Campbell had nothing but positive feedback about the experience.

“It’s so therapeutic and it’s just friendly and uplifting,” Josie said. “They jump on you and some of them licked me. It’s fun.”

Group classes are $25 per two-hour session.

Keep your designer yoga mats and clothing at home as this is a farm and the goats like to nibble as well as, ahem, relieve themselves.

Comfortable clothing and close-toed shoes are recommended.

GottaGoat Farm is located close to Apex Mountain, just outside of Penticton.

The farm is preparing for open houses, educational workshops and lots of goat yoga this spring and summer season.

“They just are so affectionate. They are very loving animals,” Campbell said. “And the babies, they all just jump all over you, and you end up with an armful of goats.”

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