GUERNSEY – It was popular in the decadent ancient Roman empire, although they didn’t have a name for it, open air yoga, wine, cheese, French bread and baby Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats participating in the event at the home of Eddie and Geraldine Delgado.
On a week where Goat Yoga was competing with Treasures Along The Platte countywide garage sales, the heinous gas prices and a stomach flu that was running rampant through Guernsey, the al fresco fun went forth without a hitch last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with two sessions per night.
The first session Wednesday night had to be canceled due to lack of participants, but by the second session Thursday night, the Delgado backyard which was converted into a combination al fresco yoga studio/wine, cheese and grape bar had a packed house. Geraldine Delgado is a yoga instructor in Guernsey, Wyoming, where she introduced “goat yoga” along with the Tri-City Parks and Rec and the Stoneking family from Finally Home Ranch. She uses the event to also promote her yin yoga at the school each week.
“Yin yoga is a real slow, calming yoga that works on your facia and your ligaments way down deep, holding the poses between three and five minutes,” Delgado said. “You have Yin and Yang. Yang is go, go go. It’s the hard muscle type yoga.”
Delgado who develops her own sequences and music usually uses a calming Zen meditation music, but for the outdoor Yoga the music was a bit more eclectic.
Some of the terminology was changed, like “downward dog” to the “downward goat” position that people were experimenting with as goat handlers Macoyia Stoneking, Billie Jo Stoneking and Reva Marie Fallen were gathering goats and matching them to eager and willing participants who were desiring the whole goat/yoga experience.
According to Delgado, this is a unique opportunity to create a balance between yoga and nature while interacting with adorable baby goats. Some of the sessions were packed and according to Delgado, even in sessions where there were no reservations made, people just showed up with their yoga mats.
“The response has been fabulous,” Delgado said. “Every time I open another session it filled up. We had 23 signed up for tonight’s second session and that’s not counting those who will just show up without a reservation. This year I had the same sequence for the yoga as last year, which is second to the goats.”
“Everyone that has come has asked us to do it regularly,” said Billie Jo Stoneking from Finally Home Ranch who co-own the goats with her daughter, Macoyia who works with the goats as if they were her puppies
Each night there were two sessions. The first which was for anyone, but the second session was for 21 years of age and older and included a happy hour bar with wine, goat cheese, meat and hors d’oeuvres.
There were 26 new young babies that needed to be socialized. There was also a cleanup crew that kept the goat pellets to a minimum and away from the yoga mats.
“The real stars of our yoga session are provided by Macoyia Stoneking from Finally Home Ranch,” Delgado said. “Macoyia raises Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats and is Youth Ambassador for the American Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goat Association. What better way for her to share her passion and love for this breed with others. A little exercise and focus with these cute little guys and gals is guaranteed to be entertaining.”
In actuality, the Stonekings are thankful for the opportunity because they “socialize” all of their young goats so they will not be mean spirited or wild. Stoneking, a 2021 graduate from Guernsey-Sunrise High School is somewhat of a goat whisperer. She has successfully raised a herd of goats on her family farm that are trained to be as obedient as domesticated pets. The trick is socializing the goats.
“Macoyia spends hours and hours with her goats getting them used to human contact,” said Billie Jo Stoneking. “She is the reason our goats are tame and manageable.”
Macoyia Stoneking was busy loading and unloading her many goats each night of the event.
“I have 25 milkers, five bucks, and 26 babies on the ground right now,” she said. “They do good, I mean they’re ready. They did good last night so I am happy about that.”
Some say it started in the ‘60s in Hippie communes, and another claim is that it started in 2016 by Lainey Morse, an Oregon farm owner who was already organizing a “goat happy hour,” which was an event where people spent time with her goats.
When the suggestion of throwing in some yoga into the mix was suggested, they laid claim to be the inventors of what is now a popular activity and after the sophomore season in Guernsey last week, it could be a regular crowd pleaser.
The number one asked question was, “Can I take one of these goats home with me?”
Delgado wanted to make sure to thank the sponsors: Finally Home Ranch, Lori Ibarra and Tri-City Parks and Rec.
Next on the agenda for the yoga program in Guernsey is “Yoga on the water” with special aquatic yoga mats at the Guernsey Municipal Swimming Pool. For times and reservations, you can call the Tri-City Parks and Rec. department and talk to Lori Ibarra at: (307) 836-2736