Who Was the First Goat Yoga?
Above Photos: Photo of April Gould taken from the TV show American Ninja Warrior season 7, 2015. Sarah Williams teaching paddle board yoga. Goat + Yoga = Goat Yoga
As Goat Yoga increasingly becomes popular, and as others start popping up around the country, it makes you think. Who was the first? To answer, you would have to dive into the minds of the original creators, April Gould and Sarah Williams.
April and Sarah both grew up in Mesa, Arizona and graduated in 1996 from rival high schools. Sarah was always into fitness and entrepreneurship. She had many started a few sucessful businesses of her own, one being a yoga paddleboard. constantly coming up with new business ventures.
Goat yoga planted seeds in 2015. go into a little history way back in 2015 (ok only 4 years ago) When was the first Goat Yoga? The concept of performing yoga goats started on a small farm in Gilbert, Arizona, February 2015. This is why we celebrate “National Goat Yoga Month” in February.
April Gould was training for the hit show American Ninja Warrior. Trying to think of ways to set her apart from the other competitors, she was inspired to put a baby goat on her back and do planks, pushups, and squats. Essentially using her goats her “training partners”. *Please see top photo of April doing a yoga plank with a goat on her back. This is an actual photo taken from season 7 of the TV show American Ninja Warrior, when they featured her as one of the competitors. We only reiterate this, because there is some confusion of when, where, and how Goat Yoga started. Needless to say, April got on the show and was deemed “Goat Whisperer” by Host Matt Iseman.
Sarah Williams, coincidencly was a fun paddle board yoga instructor . She also enjoyed having fun with her exersize routines, and being different. Partners April Gould, Goat Whisperer, and yogi instructor, Sarah Williams, came up with the concept one day while Sarah was thinking of a new fun way to workout. Sarah knew April was training with her goats for American Ninja Warrior, and, being a yoga instructor, she instinctively thought it would be fun to combine the two! This simple idea, which originally was playfully mocked, has grown into an international trend!
Having specially trained yoga goats interacting, jumping, and doing yoga WITH you is a completely different way to do yoga, and a different way of playing with goats, that has never been done before. Arizona Goat Yoga grew from a small quirky class, into a full blown business, April and Sarah knew the vision of what they wanted it to become. As a backyard trapeze artist, and acro-yoga enthusiast. April and Sarah were the first to incorporate specially TRAINED circus-type yoga goats in adorable costume to interact, jump, and love on you during yoga. It takes a special goat with hours of training and specific breeding to perform on command. Baby goats naturally love to jump and play and get a lot of attention while they are “cute” (that is why you see all the cute “baby goat” videos) but as they grow, they lose their spunk are regarded more as “farm animals”. They are left alone with their herd in a pasture, waiting to be milked or eaten. They are instinctively skittish. After 8 months old they see everything as a threat, and stop trusting humans. At Arizona Goat Yoga, we belive in the humanity of kids, even Goat Kids! These Goats are our beloved pets. They all have names, individual personalities, and their own story. Here, you will see all ages of goats, because we think they are ALL cute, not just the little ones. The adult goats love to jump and play and love on you just as much as the kids.
We continually feel blessed to see how much goat yoga has grown. What once started as a fun quirky idea has spread smiles throughout the world. We live by the idea “there is never such thing as a dumb idea.”