Local business Goat Yoga Richardson brings the ‘baaahmaste’ with unique exercise

Anywhere from 10 to 20 goats are present at each Goat Yoga Richardson class, held at a cottage off Highland Boulevard.

Anywhere from 10 to 20 goats are present at each Goat Yoga Richardson class, held at a cottage off Highland Boulevard.

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Goat Yoga Richardson
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Goat Yoga Richardson

Amanda Henderson’s foray into goat yoga was both serendipitous and welcomed, she said.


Henderson said she felt pulled between her roles of traveling saleswoman and first-time mom. She was yearning for a way to spend more time at home, and while that is not what caused her to bring home two miniature goats, Larry and Mitch, their addition was the answer to her prayers.


“This time [with your child] is so precious, and you can’t get it back,” she said. “... It was divine intervention that kind of threw all of these things together.”


What began as a spontaneous weekend activity in the backyard of her Richardson home in early 2017 quickly became a business, Henderson said. The trend of goat yoga had just taken off in the Pacific Northwest, but very few classes were offered in Texas, she said.


“Before we knew it, so many friends of friends wanted to come, so we got more goats and eventually had to move out of Richardson,” she said.


While two to three classes are still held at the company’s Richardson cottage each month, Henderson’s family moved to a farm in Crandle, Texas, that could support their livestock. Today, Henderson’s menagerie includes 34 goats—some she rescued, others she inherited—two alpacas and a horse.


“I’m one goat away from being the crazy goat lady. No wait, actually, that was me 20 goats ago,” she said.


The goats are a hybrid breed of Nigerian dwarf crossed with pygmy, Henderson said, and when fully grown, they weigh between 45 and 50 pounds. After their first birthday the goats retire to pastoral life, Henderson said.


“We are a working family. They have to earn their keep,” Henderson joked. “Then they get to be lazy and live the rest of their lives on the farm.”


The concept of yoga is flipped on its head with goats thrown in the mix, but Henderson said none of her animal-lover clients seem to mind. Ten to 20 goats are present at every class, and at any given time goats are hopping on the backs of unsuspecting yogis or engaging in friendly head-butting.


“[Goat yoga] is yoga outside of the box,” she said. “It’s a test of being present in a moment when your attention is being taken in so many different
directions.”


Still, Henderson said her certified instructors are trained in offering modifications for all ability levels so guests get the most out of their experience.

By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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