Kid you not — goat yoga is coming to Saskatchewan.
Grotto Gardens Country Market in the western Saskatchewan town of Maple Creek will start a Downward Goat Yoga class this summer.
Dana Hassett and Dan Sellinger opened Grotto Gardens last year as a family-operated saskatoon berry orchard and bakery. It also includes Saskatchewan's first "goat walk," which allows visitors to stroll around and admire the farm's goats. Grotto Gardens has been nominated for Tourism Saskatchewan's Rookie of the Year award.
Along the goat walk, visitors can watch Nubian goats and Nigerian Dwarf goats climb across ramps, planks and rooftops. There is a pulley system where guests can feed the furry friends and encourage them to climb higher.
"We kept hearing, 'We're back for our goat therapy.' I guess the goats just made [people] happy and you know, they have to smile when they see these little guys frolicking around," said Hassett.
She said she first heard about goat yoga after a neighbour sent her a link to a video online. Hassett thought the combination would be a perfect way to help people relax and connect with the goats.
"It's kind of a weird, wonderful, wacky thing," said Hassett.
"It's gone sort of crazy in the states, in Arizona and Oregon. They are popping up here and there. It seems to be quite the trend."
The latest fitness fad is part exercise, part pet therapy. Participants perform their poses while goats wander around their mats, and occasionally hop on their backs.
"They are gentle by nature. They are inquisitive and quite loving. They just want to be close to people and nuzzle up against them," said Hassett.
Two yoga instructors from Maple Creek's Sun Dog Yoga Studios will be teaching the goat yoga classes. Hassett said she wants to introduce her dwarf goats to yoga in May. She'll do a trial run with instructors and friends to help condition the goats.
Official classes will begin in June.