Sure, some people have heard of goat yoga, but have you ever heard of farm yoga?
My typical response to yoga is nama-stay out of it, which is the exact way I’ve led off prior columns on my yoga experiences (some feelings never change). However, when I was informed about yoga amid baby goats and pigs, free-roaming cats, chickens, sheep, and horses — the horses were not free-roaming; they were in a paddock — I couldn’t resist.
The Green School in Sagaponack, which was founded in 2008, is tucked away so well that a local of 30 years told me she never even knew the place existed. Now the secret is out. Its Yoga on the Farm program kicked off for the season with the intention of connecting animals, humans, and Mother Nature. According to its website, “Walking barefoot, also known as ‘earthing,’ has remarkable health advantages, such as increasing antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep. Extensive research shows the emotional support offered by animals.” I was just there for the animals; happy coincidence with the benefits.
As someone who enjoys being constantly stimulated most days, the natural activity of the animals around me provided comfort and calm at the same time. They’d eat the grass, make their animal noises, walk around, and sniff away. It was adorable. I swear I could almost sense them feeling more relaxed as well, as though the energy of the group reached them.
The yoga itself felt more like strength training, with breathing exercises and typical poses. For those, like myself, who don’t find yoga particularly appealing, the sheer act of lying and meditating as the yoga instructor spoke was calming. The fresh air, which wasn’t smelly, cool breeze, and animals made the environment holistic and grounding.
This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper. Read more about #EverythingEastEnd here