Goat yoga in Williamston with MSU student discounts? You’ve goat to be kidding me!
The social media phenomenon of goat yoga started with Michigan native Lainey Morse who now resides in Oregon.
This phenomenon has expanded and created goat yoga satellite locations such as Hilltop Views Farm in Williamston. Shawn Cannarile is the owner of Hilltop Views and began her goat yoga satellite location in April 2018. A satellite location is one branch of a franchise, the franchise here is Goat Yoga.
“She started goat yoga, two years ago in 2016 [and] she was going through a difficult time in her life,” Cannarile said. “She lived on a farm, small farm, but she was going through a divorce and was also diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and she started spending more time with her goats and that was her emotional therapy.”
Soon Morse started inviting friends and family over to interact and spend time with the goats. One of her friends happened to be a yoga instructor and mentioned starting goat yoga after seeing how the goats interacted with humans according to Cannarile.
Cannarile had been going to yoga and owned goats already at the time when the goat yoga videos surfaced on the Internet. A few of her peers sent her the videos and she became interested in starting her own satellite location.
“One thing led to another and I talked to Lainey Morse and said, ‘Tell me, help me understand what this was all about’, said Cannarile. There was a course, a very strict vetting process to become a satellite site.”
The goat yoga sessions are taught almost every weekend with varying times depending on the Facebook event. Just on the edge of Williamston at 161 E Frost Rd, the large white barn with string lights strung in the rafters and goat yoga merchandise in the left corner holds roughly 20-35 participants each session. The only equipment required is a yoga mat which they are also able to provide as well.
On occasion, the Cannarile family partners with the husband’s family’s vineyard and has a happy hour with wine and the goats. However, three instructors are needed in order to switch it up.
Cherie Ferro is one of the instructors for goat yoga. She is the owner and an instructor at Our Space Yoga in Williamston. Ferro has been teaching yoga for roughly 25 years and her studio in Williamston has been open for around seven years.
“In a regular yoga class, you’re trying to teach something that they’ll continue to use and grow on, at least that’s the way I teach,” Ferro said. But for goat yoga, it really is about everybody having a fun time.”
Nearly every session runs the exact same way with a 10-minute warm-up to get in the right headspace, 20 to 30 minutes of goat yoga and then goat happy hour, which includes photos, grooming of the goats and feeding them.
Kenzie Cannarile, Shawn’s daughter, has been helping her mom with all the goat yoga sessions and is currently training to be an instructor. Cannarile is an MSU junior studying psychology and Italian.
“It’s been amazing meeting so many new people and finding commonalities,” Cannarile said. “I have met people with my same interests in Italian language, psychology, travel, owning goats, fellow MSU students, and more.”
The Cannariles are attempting to market toward MSU students. There is a discounted rate for participation specifically for MSU students. All the goat yoga information can be found on their Facebook page or their website.