By Selena Haynes | Photo H.N. James
What does Minnie Pearl, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Willie Nelson, Tanya Tucker, and Harvey Milk have in common? They’re all goats! No kidding here!
They’re all part of Shenanigoats where they rent out their older babies for landscaping while the younger ones are busy making people less stressed through laughter and play at goat yoga.
Since June 2017, Shenanigoats, LGBT+-owned and operated by partners Jamie Codispoti and Max Knudsen, has been growing quickly. While this fitness trend isn’t new across the nation, it is fairly new to Middle Tennessee. Yoga offers many health and wellness benefits on its own, but put goats in the mix, and you’re on a whole new level.
“The laughter we hear in each class is what drives us,” Jamie said. “The Nashville community has been so welcoming and supportive. We love hearing ‘this is the best day ever’ and seeing the goats bring so much joy to so many people.”
Who knew goats were so full of shenanigans?!?
A few of us from Focus recently had the pleasure of meeting a few of these sweet babies and participating in the yoga class. Sure, there were warrior, triangle, and tree poses — but have you tried the goat-on-the-back pose?
There is an abundance of cuteness walking into the yoga studio as you see a few of the Pygmy or Nigerian Dwarf goats running around in their winter sweaters. It immediately puts a smile on your face and you begin to feel relaxed right then and there.
If you’re looking for tranquility, goat yoga may not be for you because the goats are busy with their shenanigans, living up to the business name. They are gentle, loving animals and throughout the
Initially, goat yoga wasn’t what Jamie and Max had in mind. As owners of a small farm, they realized quickly that they needed to supplement their income. Max was a firm believer in ‘goatscaping’ as a business. While Jamie was skeptical, she soon discovered there was definitely a demand not only for goat-landscaping, but goat yoga too.
Jamie and Max started out with just two goats, Nettie and Amos, for the purpose of keeping brush clear on their farm. They continued adding to their family eventually acquiring goats that had been socialized alongside pre-schoolers. These goats were more than just help on the farm. They wanted love and affection.
When a friend sent them a link to a goat yoga business in Oregon and asked if they could do this, they laughingly agreed. Jamie and Max were able to put together their first class last June. Almost a year later, Shenanigoats has become a popular attraction around for locals and visitors.