If you’ve heard of goat yoga, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that alpaca yoga also is a thing.
We went in May to the first in a summer series of yoga classes at the urban farm, not knowing exactly what to expect. The alpacas also didn’t know what to expect from our group of 20, posing on colored mats clustered in their field. Farm owner Kim Rassi tried to lure the alpacas over to us with containers of food, but none was interested.
After an hour of yoga flow, Kim taught us about the animals — which are apparently afraid of most everything, hence their hesitation in approaching a group of strangers doing yoga.
Alpacas are from South America, where they are preyed upon by most animals and their lifespan is about three years. Domesticated alpacas, however, can live more than 15 years. They’re raised and bred for their fiber, which is sheered in the spring.
Kim took us on a tour of the farm so we could meet more of the social animals. Alpacas are skittish; some of them would run over to us and then immediately run away. We were allowed to pet them, but it took some time for any of them to warm up to us enough to let us touch their backs.
Kim also taught us how to put a muzzle on an alpaca, which farmers do when showing the animal (yes, like a dog show). Danielle and I partnered with Ginger, who was kind enough to take a selfie with us.
After some time at the barn and walking around with the alpacas, they got a bit more comfortable with us.
It was an awesome evening. We had beautiful weather and a relaxing yoga session, followed by a stress-reliving visit with beautiful, happy, soft animals.
If you’re interested in doing alpaca yoga, check out the events on Vintage Alpaca’s Facebook page. There you’ll find the dates and links to purchase tickets, which are $20. You can buy tickets at the door, but I recommend doing so in advance because sessions are limited to 20 people. Bring a yoga mat and a bottle of water.
I would recommend wearing closed-toed shoes because, well, it is a farm, as well as bringing hand sanitizer or wipes to use at the end of the alpaca interaction when you’re ready to leave. Also, it is a farm, so it’s gonna smell like a farm. You may not want to make, like, lunch or dinner plans at a restaurant immediately after the event. But, you know, you do you.
Kim has said that since this first session in May, the alpacas have grown more comfortable with the yoga classes and are getting closer to the people there. Also, some alpacas have given birth, so there are cria on the farm. (Yes, Danielle and I will be back to see some baby alpacas!)
Vintage Alpacas is at 4933 Schaaf Lane in Brooklyn Heights, in the middle of an industrial park.
For more information on Vintage Alpacas, visit www.facebook.com/vintagealpacas.
Follow Cheryl Sadler on Twitter at @sadlercheryl.