Three rows of yoga mats line much of the green lawn between a farmhouse and barn on a back-road property in Groveport.
Strategically positioned between the mats are bowls of goat food.
While 28 students spend an hour moving through downward dog and cat/cow, a revolving cast of goats — cheerfully ignoring the odd human activity — circulate among the food dishes and seize the opportunity to indulge in some tree bark and wildflowers along the fence on the edge of the yard.
Goat wrangler Marissa Mulligan, an animal-science major at Ohio State University just finishing an assistantship before heading home to Philadelphia for the summer, keeps the goats in line, warding off any potential head-butting incidents.
Chickens, as serenely indifferent to the goats as the goats are to the humans, also stroll through the yard, pausing occasionally to take thorough dust baths while roosters perch on the fence and enthusiastically announce their presence.
Yoga, at one point esoteric and then mainstream, has lately moved into wild territory.
Dana Bernstein, who teaches the goat yoga classes held twice a month at Harrison Farm from May through September, specializes in “experiential yoga,” including classes that combine yoga with wine and chocolate.
(In Columbus, you can also enjoy yoga with cats – “yogatos” – at the Eat, Purr, Love Cat Cafe, or take aerial yoga at Yoga on High.)
Goats make for a far less solemn hour of yoga than some offerings, even if the class moves through a typical vinyasa sequence.
The experience offers its own special set of hazards, as well as welcome distractions.
“Got a little overactive bladder over here,” Bernstein warns. “I don’t know what I’m stepping in.”