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Goat yoga comes to Alexandria area

One participant got an earful during a goat yoga session Saturday morning in Forada. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)1 / 13
This Nigerian dwarf goat climbed on the shoulders of a goat yoga participant and wondered what she would do next. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)2 / 13
When yoga participants got on their backs they were easy targets for the goats, as one got up close with Charity Kuperus of Alexandria. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)3 / 13
Instructor Heather Godfrey had just as much fun leading her first goat yoga session as the others. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)4 / 13
The yoga portion yielded at times to the goats, who were curious and affectionate. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)5 / 13
Goat yoga brought out a lot of smiles and laughter from its three dozen participants Saturday morning in Forada. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)6 / 13
Danielle Carlson of Alexandria wonders what she got herself into with one goat on her back and another (right) on the way. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)7 / 13
This young goat made a new friend Saturday. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)8 / 13
It was hard to tell who was enjoying Saturday morning's goat yoga session in Forada more, the people who signed up for it or the star attractions. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)9 / 13
If there's one thing goats like to do more that climb up it is jump down. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)10 / 13
Krista Siems of Farwell had not one but two goats on her back Saturday. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)11 / 13
Participants in the goat yoga class Saturday morning in Forada posed for a group photo. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)12 / 13
Joellen Petrick of Fergus Falls had the magic touch, as this goat fell fast asleep in her arms following the goat yoga class Saturday. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)13 / 13

When instructor Heather Godfrey of Alexandria asked her yoga class how many had participated in goat yoga before, not one arm was raised.

It was a new experience for all three dozen people who jumped at the chance to have their yoga session interrupted repeatedly by goats. And judging by the reactions and what many participants said afterward, they could not wait to try it again.

Tracy Becker, who was raised in Alexandria and now lives in Glencoe, and her husband Ed have turned their goats into a growing business. On Saturday morning, they brought around 30 to the Lamb residence in Forada for what Becker calls goga, or goat yoga.

The class swelled as more people wanted to take part, and after the 60-minute session it was easy to see why. It was a unique experience that brought a lot of smiles and laughter, along with a dose of yoga.

"This was great. We just came to play with goats, and maybe do some yoga," said Charity Kuperus of Alexandria, who had goats at one time on the farm where she grew up in Osakis.

"I have been wanting to do it all summer," said Stephanie Schuett of Alexandria, who proposed t-shirts bearing the slogan, "I'm just here for the goats."

"There was so much laughter and fun. I would do it every Saturday if I could," she said.

"It was fun to do yoga and laugh. It's usually so serious," said Joellen Petrick of Fergus Falls, who following yoga was holding a goat that fell fast asleep in her arms. "They were more interactive than I thought, and they went to the bathroom a lot."

"Oh my gosh, it was amazing," said Lynn Williamson of Alexandria, who was talked into participating by her daughter, Heather Godfrey, who was the instructor.

Williamson said the goats made the event the G.O.A.T.

"This was the greatest of all time," she said. "It was awesome."

For more on the Beckers and how they tapped into the burgeoning business of goat yoga, see Wednesday's Echo Press and check out this week.