Mind, body, soul and goats

GOGA: Goat Yoga brings wildlife to workouts

photo provided by cathi huff
Kaila climbs the back of Joann Fuller during a yoga session.
photo by kathleen sturgeon
GOGA Owner Cathi Huff holds star performer, Kaila the goat.

A new business is taking a traditional Eastern relaxation exercise and  making things a little funnier and fuzzier.

Since opening in April, Cathi Huff, owner of Love GOGA, which is quite literally yoga with goats, has been entertaining clients by combining exercise with nature.

“I love what I’m doing,” Huff said. “It’s about having a peaceful time when you come, getting a good workout and enjoying the animals.” Last year, Huff and her family, including husband, Dan, and their children, Sam and Katie, moved into a house at 325 Five Acre Road in Milton. Since then, they transformed it not only to their dream home, but also into a business opportunity.

Huff initially wanted her retired race horse, Bronx, to live in the backyard, and from there, Atlantis Dream Farm, where GOGA is held, was born.

Since Bronx had to have pasture companions, Huff slowly added animals to the brood. She started with miniature horses, and then started reading about goats. She reached out to a few breeders and eventually ended up bringing home two pygmy goats.

A few months later, Huff received a call from a woman with baby goats, and she ended up taking Laila and Kaila, the goats, home with her.

Huff’s friends started to ask her if she would be interested in starting a yoga class with goats after they heard of a similar business in Oregon.

“I told them I didn’t know if I wanted to do something like that,” Huff said. “I was tired, we just renovated and my child just gradated. But they kept saying we should try it.”

After thinking about it, she decided to host a few test classes which ended up selling out.

“It was a message to me that maybe there is something out there in this area,” Huff said. “It was more than just goat yoga. It was about embracing the beauty of the area. When you’re sitting there in nature doing yoga with the goats, it’s magical. There’s something Zen about it.”

The Zen-like nature of the class only goes so far before participants’ senses of humor kick in.

The farm’s resident goats are brought in during the classes to partake in the activities by mimicking poses, climbing on participants and occasionally head butting someone. They are able to take away some of the stress from those new to yoga, and they can be encouraging.

“It’s funny but can be surprising at the same time,” Huff said. “They love to be with you. It’s a joyful class. If you’re a true yogi, it’s probably not for you. There are a lot of interruptions in a good way.”

In addition to classes, GOGA has hosted events like Mother’s Day tea, girls’ night out and a company outing.

“I don’t want to do too many of those,” Huff said. “I want to focus on the classes. My brand is goat yoga. It’s what I want to do. I want the people to come and enjoy their time with the goats and experience that.”

However, she will continue to hold classes like yoga and meditation, especially since they will be joined soon by a new baby goat. GOGA will host a baby shower for the new addition June 1, and the kid or doeling is expected to join the class.
But for now, Huff just wants to see where the program goes.

“For me, this was started for fun,” Huff said. “If it ends tomorrow, that’s OK. I have 15, almost 17 pets and have more work than I need. I’m just happy running my farm.”

To learn more about GOGA, visit ■


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