‘Goats are just like dogs; they’re funny and they’re playful.’
“I started doing yoga when I was married with two small children. My sister-in-law inspired me to take classes at the Huntington YMCA. I loved it so much! Then, my son got diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died nine months later; he was only 5 years old. In the aftermath, I separated from my husband, but I still had a daughter who I had to take care of. During that terrible time, yoga saved my life.
“Everyone in the yoga community was so supportive. One of my instructors told me I should become a teacher, and that was all the encouragement I needed. I have now been teaching yoga — including chair yoga — in gyms, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals for 25 years. I also enjoy the arts. I make glass flowers and bird feeders, and I sell my creations at craft fairs. It was at a fair that I met a lady named Donna who works at the North Shore Animal Center in Northport on a beautiful farm. I have always loved animals because they are so healing — you can’t be in a bad mood if you have a cat lying on your lap — so Donna and I started brainstorming about ways that we could combine animals and yoga.
We hope that people will enjoy the exercise, the animals and the farm. It’s a fun, healthy and meditative experience.
“On Easter Sunday 2018, we decided on goats. We embarked on a road trip to Florida, where I enjoyed my first goat yoga class! We purchased our first goats in Florida and drove back up to New York with them. Donna and I have since become good friends, and our herd of goats has grown from six to 14. We hold one-hour classes every Thursday afternoon, weather permitting. We also host birthday parties and bachelorette parties and occasionally run classes at street fairs. The goats are a riot; they all have their own names and personalities and instinctively know not to jump on anyone who is too small. Having a goat stand on your back is like getting a deep-tissue massage.
“Goats are just like dogs; they’re funny and playful. In October, we’ll even be dressing them up for Halloween in costumes that are handmade by Donna’s mother! They look really cute, but we have to be careful with the fabric because goats will eat anything! We hope that people will enjoy the exercise, the animals and the farm. It’s a fun, healthy and meditative experience.”
Interviewed by Meagan Meehan