Goat yoga has been trending for a few years now, but like with any trend, there is always something new and different for people to try.
The Albuquerque Journal shared another way to “find your zen,” and that’s with alpacas, in a class taught at Humming Desert Alpacas in Algodones, New Mexico. Whitney Whetten, Yoga Art Space director teaches the classes, and explains that alpacas are more reserved than puppies or goats, and so it seems like a natural combination.
“They get visitors to visit them all the time just to kind of pet them and just kind of be around the alpacas, kind of as a feeding farm type of thing, like a petting zoo so they’re pretty used to that but this is the first time they had people doing yoga.”
For the first class on the farm, the alpacas just seemed to want to watch what the people were doing, but after the owner of the farm encouraged them, putting food between the yoga mats, the animals starting moving around, often laying down next to the mat so they could be pet during the class.
Whetten explains that at the beginning and end of all of the classes, everyone hums, and this attracts the animals.
Try your next yoga class with alpacas! Sign up for a slow-flow class with Firwood Farm’s 27 alpacas. Class requirements: yoga mat, water bottle and sense of humor. https://t.co/X3QyuvHBGM
— Tacoma Sports (@TacomaSports) July 26, 2019
This is the reason the farm is called Humming Desert Alpacas because the ruminants hum to each other.
“If they’re anxious or if they’re excited so even when a mother just has a baby the mother will hum at the baby for like three days straight to help the baby get to know the mom. So humming is very much what they do. It’s like their way to dispel energy.”
Connecting with the animals is centering and helps people relax as they pursue their practice. Add to that the scenery of being on a farm an in a field with wildflowers, it’s a serene space.
Whetten explains that the class is for everyone and it’s open to people of all levels, saying that they always start with a nice warm-up and stretch, and for those with more experience, there are always some more challenging poses. It’s not flow yoga, because the animals are walking around, but instead it’s “a slow, gentle, kind of almost anybody can do it kind of thing.”
Whetten says that the popularity of alpaca yoga is spreading, and it’s a natural activity to incorporate onto an already established alpaca farm.