A yoga-based fitness regime often incorporates other techniques. On top of stretching, in a yoga class you might also meditate or do breathing exercises. And one yoga collective in Deep Ellum is branching out even further: It's incorporating 20 baby pygmy goats into its classes.
“I was an event planner; then I got certified to teach and wanted to incorporate yoga into my career," says Haley Capri, owner of Deep Ellum Yoga. “People kept saying, ‘You should do goat yoga,’ so I’m giving the people what they want.”
This Thursday through Saturday, Shannon Joesphson, a yoga instructor at Sunstone FIT, will lead her first goat class in the backyard of East Bound and Down Icehouse on Ross Avenue. It will be set to Texas country classics — and probably the crying of baby goats.
"Attendees may be subject to being climbed upon, and pranced around by joyful baby goats," the Facebook event page reads.
“Haley told me she was working on [goat yoga], and I told her, ‘I better be the first one you call!’” Josephson says.
Although this is Josephson's first goat yoga class, there is a precedent. An Oregon woman named Lainey Morse began hosting similar events on her farm last summer.
Contact with animals is proven to have therapeutic benefits, so Morse thought they'd make a great addition to yoga, which is intended to work out both the body and mind. Goat yoga quickly became a national fitness trend, appearing everywhere from Time to USA Today.
“People think of yoga to be a very serious exercise, and this is an easy way to have fun with it,” Josephson says. “These are two awesome things combined together for a good time.”
A food truck will be onsite at East Bound and Down Icehouse, providing food and drinks before and after each class.
Like Morse, Capri is known for putting a spin on yoga through her pop-up events. Earlier this year, she hosted gangster rap yoga and Michael Jackson/Prince yoga at Jade & Clover in Deep Ellum.
Goat yoga will be the first event under the umbrella of the new Deep Ellum Yoga organization. Its next event, “Sky Flow,” will have participants doing yoga on top of the 561-foot-tall Reunion Tower.
“One of the cool things about gangster rap yoga was that so many people that hadn’t tried yoga were trying it and loving it and were saying how good it made their bodies feel,” Capri says. “I really value that and wanted to continue that with goat yoga.”
The Dallas edition of goat yoga will also support a cause. The North Texas Food Bank will be able to feed three people for each attendee at the class. Deep Ellum Yoga will feature a new instructor and charity at each event.
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Capri hopes that her wacky events will inspire people to reconsider their preconceived notions about what yoga is and who does it.
“I hope that any kind of stereotypes or boundaries that they have conceptualized about yoga are broken down,” she says. “I love the way yoga makes me feel and bringing the community together, and I want to share that.”
Deep Ellum Yoga's pop-up events are for people of all levels of experience. Some of this week's classes are already sold out, but a new class has been booked for Saturday, June 24, at Texas Ale Project.
Goat Yoga, 7 and 8 p.m. Thursday, June 15, through Saturday, June 17, East Bound and Down Ice House, 3826 Ross Ave., $30, eventbrite.com.