GET ACTIVE: Goats and giggles and yoga

Greene County Parks & Trail has partnered with GoatCountry to offer goat yoga at the Russ Nature Reserve - CONTRIBUTED

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Greene County Parks & Trail has partnered with GoatCountry to offer goat yoga at the Russ Nature Reserve - CONTRIBUTED

Ernie is quite the character, Eva is a bit of a diva and Etta is a superstar. They are all part of an unforgettable furry fitness team – a goat yoga team.

Greene County Parks & Trails has partnered with GoatCountry to offer goat yoga classes at Russ Nature Reserve in Beavercreek. In addition to cat and cow poses, there will be plenty of cuddles from the crew of baby goats during the eight weeks of classes that get underway on May 11.

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“All of our goats love to cuddle,” said Cassie Keeton, of GoatCountry. “It’s very therapeutic. “I’ve never seen anyone leave a class that wasn’t happy.”

Keeton knows firsthand how healing goats can be. After overcoming illness in 2020, the mother of five, welcomed the family’s first goat Ernie into the household in January 2021.

“I don’t think goats get enough credit,” she said. “They are so sweet and so affectionate.”

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Greene County Parks & Trails has partnered with GoatCountry to offer goat yoga classes at Russ Nature Reserve in Beavercreek. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Greene County Parks & Trails has partnered with GoatCountry to offer goat yoga classes at Russ Nature Reserve in Beavercreek. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

caption arrowCaption
Greene County Parks & Trails has partnered with GoatCountry to offer goat yoga classes at Russ Nature Reserve in Beavercreek. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

The Keeton family quickly noticed Ernie’s playful side. Not long afterward, they heard about goat yoga and decided to add six more goats to the family – GoatCountry LLC began. The family business is just that as daughter Carter leads the practice at the Beavercreek yoga studio and will do the same at the Greene County Parks & Trails classes. Cassie is the “goat coach” while the rest of the children help as goat wranglers when needed or take pictures of the goat antics.

“We are excited to partner with Greene County Parks because we will be reaching a lot more people,” Keeton said.

The goat yoga classes are designed for all ages and all ability levels. No yoga experience – no problem.

“It’s not just about fitness,” Keeton said. “We have people who come just to play with the goats.”

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Classes begin with a quick goat primer. GoatCountry has both Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy goats. Ernie is on the bigger end, weighing between 70 and 80 pounds, while the girls are smaller – about 30 pounds. There are also several babies in the mix as the goat yoga team is now 15 goats strong.

“We’re probably kind of goat crazy now,” Keeton said with a smile.

The practice itself is geared toward beginners with basic poses and easy-to-follow guidance from Carter. But there will likely be more laughter than lotus poses as the goats are prone to scamper through legs and climb onto people’s backs – much to the delight of the yogis.

“It’s really humorous to watch them interact,” Keeton said. “And laughing is good for the soul.”

Goat Yoga with GoatCountry

What: Enjoy the great outdoors and quality time with baby goats in this beginner-friendly yoga class offered by Greene County Parks & Trails

When: Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m. May 11, 18, 25 and June 1,8, 15, 22, 29

Where: Russ Nature Reserve, 2380 Kemp Road, Beavercreek

More: Bring a yoga mat and water. Classes will be cancelled for inclement weather.

Info: Call 937-562-6440 or visit www.gcparkstrails.com

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