Goat yoga offers relaxation, interaction with nature

Lil Holler Farm in Westminster held its first goat yoga class this weekend.

A cool breeze rippled through the grass as baby pygmy goats roamed inside a fenced-off section of the field.

In the distance, donkeys moseyed through the field outside the fence while a gray cat romped through the property's entirety, brushing up against any leg in sight.


The gentle call of birds floated overhead, occasionally mixing with the goats' bleats.

That back-to-nature feel — and the goats, in particular — is exactly what brought a small group with yoga mats out Saturday for Lil Holler Farm's first goat yoga. Yoga involving goats is a type of program gaining popularity around the country.

Claudia Konkus, an owner of the family farm at 3950 Bixler Church Road in Westminster, said for the first class, things went really well. The hope is to grow and continue the goat yoga, and branch out into other classes, like yoga during a full moon by a bonfire, she said.

Yoga instructor Erica Chesnik, of Owings Mills, said she's taught one other yoga class involving goats so far. She and Konkus plan to continue working together throughout the summer at Lil Holler Farm to keep the goat yoga classes going.

"It's just an awesome experience," Chesnik said.

People don't always get outside and interact with nature, but they really crave it, she added. This type of program lets the average person get a little taste of farm life without living on the farm, she said.

Konkus echoed those thoughts.

"People like to get out. People need to get out," she added.

Saturday's class had 14 members plus an instructor, and a handful of pygmy goats. Before the classes start, goat food was placed on the end of every yoga mat to encourage the furry friends to interact with the participants.

The pygmies were shy at first, though eventually some grew braver, a few even grabbing a couple of minutes of sleep at the end of a yoga mat. Others were curious, coming up to participants to check for food or sniff them before galloping off.

Carrie Miller, of Baltimore, is no novice to yoga. She teaches it, but said Saturday's class was the first one she's done with goats running around.

"I love animals — I'm a vegan," Miller said. "It's just so wonderful to be part of this planet."

Miller said Saturday's class was exactly what she imagined it would be, and it was great.

"I imagined it being awesome and it was awesome," she added.


And, Miller said, she'd definitely do it again. Miller even said she may look into trying to teach a class that involves goats.

Becky Keys, of Fells Point, said she came out to Saturday's yoga class to support Chesnik, the instructor. Keys said she loves Chesnik's energy.

"It was cool," she said. "It's nice … to have nature all around you."

Those interested in future classes can visit the farm's Facebook page at or email The next class, according to a post on the farm's page, will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 16. Classes cost $35 and can be paid by check or through PayPal in advance to save a spot.