When people think of yoga, they don’t often associate it with baby goats, but the Broome County Regional Farmers Market and TRYOGA teamed up this weekend for a special event with some furry friends.
Around 90 students and community members experienced yoga with a “twist” on Saturday, as 14 goats jumped and ran around during the hour-long yoga session. The event served as a fundraiser to help sustain market operations year-round for the Broome County Regional Farmers Market.
The goats were all under three months old and the youngest was just one week old. They were provided through farms, including the family-owned Our Five Acre Homestead in Berkshire, and the farms had members and youth help handle the animals during the event.
Molly McManus, events coordinator for the Broome County Regional Farmers Market and a Binghamton resident, said this is the farmers market’s fourth-annual goat yoga class. She said they may hold another goat yoga session this year, but it all depends on when the crop of baby goats will be born.
McManus said it’s important that the goats are young since young goats are more playful. Goats over three months old are much larger and could be dangerous, as they are known to be jumpy.
Terry Ross, owner of TRYOGA and a Binghamton resident, said he was asked by Victoria Giarratano, executive director at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, four years ago if he would lead the first goat yoga session.
“Watching all the people and students having fun and everyone smiling is the best part,” Ross said. “It’s great for people of all ages and we even had a 9-year-old.”
McManus said the day is enjoyable for not only those who signed up, but also the workers.
“Just watching the goats interact with people and jump around is amazing,” she said.
Emma Lammers, a senior double-majoring in philosophy, politics and law and English, said although the goats added a layer of excitement, the event remained organized.
“Those in charge did a really good job of educating all involved on how to treat the young goats with care, so everyone had a good time and the animals were safe and happy as well,” Lammers said. “It led to a really fun event that I would definitely return to.”
Maggie Lerner, a senior majoring in mathematics, said although yoga is an expensive hobby, she enjoys it and couldn’t pass up on the event, especially since it was a fundraiser.
“This was a new experience because I’ve never done yoga with goats, but they make it more exciting,” Lerner said. “It was more chaotic than I expected, but in the best way since it was super fun and a great time.”