By: Hailey Andres
What do you get when you take an apple orchard, sunflower patch, a whole bunch of goats, a yoga instructor, and a little bit of creativity? Yoga on the Farm! I had been practicing yoga in more traditional environments prior to hearing about these classes, but when I heard about the unique farm atmosphere, I knew I had to go!
Leaman’s Green Applebarn is an agritourism destination located in Freeland, MI and they are the hosts of two creative, farm-focused yoga sessions that I have had the opportunity to participate in over the course of this summer. In August I headed to Leaman’s sunflower patch to partake in a beautiful Sunflower Yoga session. During this experience, yoga participants had the chance to be fully submersed in a sunflower field on Leaman’s property. This environment provided some fresh air, beautiful scenery, and an educational experience surrounding yoga and agriculture, alike.
After having such a wonderful time during the sunflower yoga session, I decided to return to try my hand at a yoga session that was even more unique than the last, goat yoga. I had heard of this eccentric yoga practice before, and I knew I had to take the chance to try it. Leaman’s has been hosting goat yoga for the past three years and recently hit a milestone of their 1,000th participant in the goat yoga class. Yoga instructor and owner of Cultivate Balance, Sarah Zastrow, is the wonderful leader of the yoga classes at Leaman’s. As a farmer herself, Zastrow shares “We decided to collaborate for goat yoga because it brings people to the farm who may not necessarily be familiar with agriculture. We use the time we have to teach people about goats, livestock and farming practices. It perfectly combines the health and wellness crowd with farming, so it’s the perfect promotion and education opportunity.” Zastrow also shares the “awkward wonder” that goats possess which truly help participants to relax and de-stress. I could not agree more.
Thank you to Leaman’s Green Applebarn and Sarah Zastrow with Cultivate Balance for providing such a unique opportunity for participants to learn more about Michigan agriculture through a fun wellness activity.