The University of Connecticut’s Earth Day Spring Fling, hosted by the Office of Sustainability, has been an annual tradition since 2008. Every year, vendors of sustainable and artisan goods, organic and local foods; environmental organizations; and student groups come together to serve, entertain and educate UConn students. This event occurs simultaneously with UConn’s annual Arbor Day celebration, featuring the “class tree” planting ceremony.
This year, there were a lot of fun events and attractions such as the Zero Waste BBQ, Environmental Art Show and Goat Yoga, the latter of which I registered for before the 75 spots filled up.
Upon arriving at the event, all participants checked in and formed a single file line. We were admitted into the fenced area with the goats in shifts of five to prevent the goats from escaping. When the yoga instructor told us to get into tabletop position, she warned us that the goats may jump on our backs, so if we didn’t feel comfortable with that, we should remain seated.
“I was so excited to do yoga with the goats,” Jordan Madison, an eighth-semester human development and family sciences major, said, “I had a hard time keeping a smile off my face as the goats jumped on our backs.”
“HUMANS GET TO INTERACT WITH THE GOATS AND THE GOATS GET TO SOCIALIZE WITH HUMANS. THEY FEEL THAT HUMANS ARE THEIR PLAY GYM AND THEY LOVE TO JUMP ON THEM. IT’S A NICE WAY TO GET THEM TOGETHER!”Annelise Dadras
Annelise Dadras, the owner of Bradley Mountain Farm, discussed the benefits and origin of goat yoga.
“Humans get to interact with the goats and the goats get to socialize with humans. They feel that humans are their play gym and they love to jump up on them,” Dadras said. “It’s a nice way to get them together!”
Dadras said they started offering goat yoga to the public in 2017. Additionally, they offer events such as Goat Cuddle Therapy, Goats N’ Pajamas and Goat Stroll. You can even make your own soap using goat milk, personalize it and take it home.
Participating in goat yoga was a very unique experience, which I’m lucky enough to have taken part in. Having students gather together enjoying the sunny day while goats pranced around us was comforting and uplifting, especially as I embark upon my last few weeks of classes as a UConn student.
“With classes coming to a wrap and final exams approaching, goat yoga was the stress reliever I didn’t know I needed,” said Brandon Lyons, an eighth-semester communications major.
Goat yoga was originally created by Lainey Morse in 2016, so it is a relatively new concept which has quickly blossomed into a popular trend. Morse found that being around these small animals, especially when doing a relaxing activity like yoga, proved to be very comforting. The concept also proved to be profitable, as Morse made $160,000 in her first year of business.
Bradley Mountain Farms, located in Southington, Connecticut, partnered with the Office of Sustainability to make this event possible. Its farm is located on a 200-year-old dairy farm built by Ichabod Bradley in 1813. Bradley Mountain Farms has the honor of being on the registry of National Historical Places, which is an official list of the nation’s notable properties deserving of preservation and protection.