Houstonia Magazine — We were stretched out on foam yoga mats in corpse pose — Savasana in yogi speak — under the broad canopy of a live oak tree, the smell of fresh-cut grass all around. It was mid-morning in League City, not yet hot, and a gentle breeze fluttered across the lawn outside the historic Butler’s Courtyard while a couple of young goats nibbled at our toes. Savasana encourages you to relax and recenter yourself at the end of a yoga practice; the goats provided their own encouragement—namely to smile and laugh, because that’s what Houston’s first Goat Yoga class is ultimately all about.
After the practice, one yogi approached instructor Rachel Henson and told her: “That was the first time I’ve laughed in two weeks.” A few days later, by phone, Henson tells us: “That mattered more to me than any money you could give me. Baby goats chewing on your ear during yoga; what more could you want?”
Henson only began practicing yoga five years ago, though goats have always been a part of her life. Raised on a farm outside Madisonville, the University of Texas graduate still lives on 60 acres of her own land in Friendswood, where she keeps horses, geese and—right now—two baby goats, abandoned by their mother, named Ray and Conway. Black-and-white-spotted Ray and tawny Conway were the stars of our Saturday morning class, leaping from one lap to another for sweaty cuddle sessions.