Think about it. The health benefits of a yoga class, with the cuteness of a Nigerian Dwarf goat by your side. Honey Sweetie Acres offers just that with their new Goat Yoga classes.
According to Regina Bauscher, co-owner of Honey Sweetie Acres, goat yoga is just one more wonder that their Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats produce. Regina and her husband, Steve, started the Goshen-based Honey Sweetie Acres to produce goat milk skincare and nature-based products, made from their award-winning Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats.
Nigerian Dwarf milk is very high in butterfat, approximately three times higher than the milk from any other goat breed, so it makes for some luxuriously rich skincare products. Regina and Steve quickly saw success, selling in major retailers such as Whole Foods, and brought more goats to their farm to keep up with the demand.
The inspiration behind offering Goat Yoga classes began when they realized that there weren’t many opportunities for people to meet all their goats. “Goats are very friendly animals and seek human interaction,” Regina says. “They have a propensity to climb into your lap, whether invited or not.”
When they saw the popularity for Goat Yoga classes out West, they knew it was the perfect fit to bring to Honey Sweetie Acres. “We saw how Goat Yoga began in Oregon last year, then it moved to Colorado, Arizona and Nevada, and kept spreading,” Regina recalls. “Since we own the dwarf goats, we thought it was time for Ohio to join in.”
What’s it like? Regina explains: “[It’s] a normal yoga class, in which baby goats are allowed to roam between participants. They visit class members, sometimes climbing in their lap, on their back or just simply take up residence on their mat,” she adds. “Goat Yoga is a wonderful form of stress release when interacting with cute, baby animals.”
Classes are $30 a person, for adults 18 and up, and last two hours with 30 minutes of “meet the goats” time. Bring your own mat, and register online as class size is limited to 15 people and they do sell out. “Pre-registration is required. No-walk ins. The dates and times are all listed on the Honey Sweetie Acres website,” Regina explains. “Click on ‘About,’ scroll down to Goat Yoga, click purchase a ticket and a drop down menu with the remaining available dates and times will appear. Many classes are completely full and therefore, are not listed.”
Regina, at first, thought that the Goat Yoga would be just another fad, but now she sees it being offered for years to come. “We never realized just how many people actually love goats and wish they could own one,” she says. “For those living in the city, it is a bit if an escape for two hours in a beautiful natural environment.”
Regina says she loves to see the joy participants experience when they take a class. “My favorite part is watching the participants laugh; at each other, at themselves and the babies,” she says. “Seeing the smiles and the joy this creates is satisfying and we are happy we can bring the opportunity to so many people. Laughter is a wonderful medicine.”