That soothing feeling that sweeps over you when you spy a cute canine, spend too much time watching internet cat videos or even just spot a picture of a newborn animal — that's the feeling at the heart of Australia's newest wellness sessions. Sure, you've been to kitten yoga and puppy pilates, and they're both great. But we're guessing that you haven't tried meditating with baby goats or getting mindful with soft, cuddly lambs.
Currently held in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, with plans to expand to the Sunshine Coast, Sydney and Melbourne in the near future, attendees at Karmably's classes attempt to find inner bliss while they're surrounded by rescued baby farm animals. In short, it's the best way to de-stress when life's got your goat. After all, who can remain overwhelmed, exhausted or annoyed when they're sharing their chill-out session with actual goats?
The classes focus on relaxation techniques, and boast names such as Breathe In & Bleat Out and Breathing and Baa-ing, which gives you an idea of just what's in store. Those heading along can expect three parts to each session: mindful stretching, meditation and snuggling the four-legged participants.
If you're wondering where the concept came from, it was inspired by organiser Berenice Tan's own experiences trying to find something other than the usual mindfulness classes within Australia. Unimpressed with the options already available, she flew to Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco "and experienced every meditation class under the sun," she explains. "Funnily enough, I heard about goat yoga and laughed it off as something ridiculous I wasn't interested in trying."
Upon returning to Brisbane, Tan began to research animal therapy and, after learning of the benefits (and realising that everyone loves cute critters), her sessions with goats, lambs and even piglets were born. The bliss goes both ways, too — with Karmably not only helping humans to relax in a fun manner, but also assisting animals in need. Tan works with sanctuaries, rescue centres, and organisations such as Harmony Hooves Healing Hearts, Brisbane Pony Parties and My Little Farm Friends. They're all outfits that raise baby creatures who have either been rejected by their mothers or lost their mums in other ways, and hand-rear them until they can be adopted out as pets to families who live on suitable properties.
After setting up shop in August, classes in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast are already selling out two months in advance. To meet the demand, they're now held every weekend at various locations, but reserving a spot early is a necessity. Folks in Sydney and Melbourne should watch this space — although New South Wales is no stranger to combining wellness with farm animals, with the state home to a goat yoga retreat just last year.
Karmably hosts Breathe In & Bleat Out and Breathing and Baa-ing meditation and mindfulness sessions at a variety of Brisbane and Gold Coast venues — visit the Karmably Facebook page for further details.