August 2017 Local's Choice 7

Finding Inner Zen With Goat Yoga

April Gould and Sarah Williams have changed thousands of lives. They’re told that constantly, and they feel it.

In 2016, they made the offbeat decision to meld Gould’s love of animals and Williams’ yoga talent into AZ Goat Yoga, a program they say encourages positivity, fun and healing.

“People always tell us that it’s the best day of their lives,” says the ever-enthusiastic Gould. “They’ve come from all over the U.S. If they’re sad or depressed, it just makes them so happy. It’s the cure for everything, honestly.”

Williams teaches several classes a month at Welcome Home Ranch, at East Hunt Highway and South Val Vista Road. Yogis work out among the animals, who always provide an experience, Williams explains.

“Sarah does yoga—all different kinds of yoga,” Gould adds. “I have goats. I was on American Ninja Warrior for training with my goats. They named me the ‘Goat Whisperer.’ I would do parkour and work out with them. I put them on my back and would do pushups and squats with them.”

Everyone is welcome, and Williams says millennials especially love the opportunities to have their pictures taken with the goats.

“It’s perfect for entire families,” says Gould, a former professional water skier at Sea World San Diego. “We just ask that the kids are able to sit through a yoga class. It’s good for everyone—from those who are new to yoga to the super yogi.”

The women charge a minimal amount for goat yoga—$12 per 100-person-capacity class—but the real benefit is watching the participants’ reactions.

“It makes you so happy because it’s so much fun,” Gould says. “Sarah’s an excellent yoga instructor, so you get a pretty good workout. It’s really bringing the community together.”

To register for a class, go to AZGoatYoga.com.