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Goat Yoga stretches its way into Southwest Florida

10:21 AM, Aug 28, 2018

If you’re interested in getting into the business of goat yoga, you’ll need more than just goats.

The latest exercise trend, goat yoga, has made its way to Southwest Florida.

Goat yoga originally started on a farm in Oregon around 2016. But some longtime yoga instructors would argue the practice originated in Northern India , which is the home of yoga.

Business Side

If you’re interested in starting a goat yoga studio, there are several things you’ll need to get things up and running, besides goats.

“You’ll need a yoga alliance certified teacher, like me,” says Suzanne Dzija.

Suzanne has been practicing yoga for nearly 50 years. Suzanne partnered with Cigdem Thanhoffer, owner of Little Big Beak Farm in Pine Island, Fla., and started offering goat yoga classes in April 2017. Classes take place every Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Cigdem and her husband own a 3-acre farm where they own more than a dozen goats. It goes without saying, that you’ll need a spacious piece of land for the goats to roam.

Both Suzanne and Cigdem says you’ll also need to have a genuine love for animals.

Over in Lehigh Acres, Mary Burgess started to host goat yoga back in February 2017 through her business Barnyard Yoga . Mary currently runs Good Fortune Farm, which is made up of 10-acres of land.

“We wanted to find a way to bring people to our farm,” says Mary who asked her longtime friend and certified yoga instructor, Jenna Love, to team up to teach goat yoga classes on the farm.

At the moment, Barnyard Yoga only offers classes several times a year.

“The challenge we have is how do we manage adding more classes for those who want to come more regularly.”

Goat yoga is another fitness trend that is sweeping across the nation. If you’re not into starting a business with farm animals, then maybe a barre or cycling studio is more attractive.

Both barre and cycling studios fit into the high-end fitness category which pulled in nearly $22 billion in revenue in 2015.

Although there is money to be made, the owners of Little Big Beak Farm are trying to keep their goat yoga business low-key.

“We think it should stay as a family business,” says Cigdem.

The goat yoga team over at Barnyard Yoga are trying to work out some of the kinks before they think about taking their business to the next level. In the meantime, Jenna says they will continue to focus on the practice of yoga.

“The trends will come and go, but what’s left behind is the experience and knowledge of yoga.”

– Namaste

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