Local business brings Yoga with Goats to the state Fair

HARRINGTON — When Delaware State Fair officials asked Beverly Geffon, owner of WhYoga in Milford, to bring yoga with a twist to this year’s event, she said, “Why not?”

Aileen Maloney and others were happy to help with the project, so they offered to bring the goats.

With the assistance of a few furry friends, Yoga with Goats was offered for two nights this year at the fair.

“They were coming because they wanted to mingle with the goats,” Ms. Geffon said. “If the goat comes to your mat, they’re going to pet the goats. We expect it.”

Yoga participants spent about an hour in the class with Ms. Geffon, attempting basic yoga positions as their new friends mingled around and, in some cases, on top of them.

“One goat got on top of a guy and started nibbling his straw hat,” she chuckled. “And then he told me afterwards that he wore that straw hat on purpose.”

With the help of Delaware State Fair leadership who allowed up to 25 participants to register for free online, the first night of Yoga with Goats was “sold out.” Several walkins were also allowed to join in the fun. The second night saw about 15 participants due to the rain, although the event was moved indoors.

“I thought it was interesting. It was the first time I had led a class like that,” Ms. Geffon said, adding that she had to take a Goat Yoga class herself before the fair began to have a good idea of how it works.

“That class I took was funny because we did it with fainting goats. I didn’t even know there were fainting goats. So, everytime you would make a noise or a sudden movement, startling them, they would faint,” she said. “This class in Harrington we did with pygmy goats.

Ms. Maloney of Milford brought several of the goats along to enjoy the experience.

“I had four goats there. Goats are always curious; they all seemed to enjoy it. We had a couple escapees Friday from the fence, but they went straight back to the barn. The goats were more at ease on Saturday because of the rain, [so] yoga was held in the show ring,” she said. “I enjoyed watching them interacting; there was some funny moments.”

About WhYoga

Ms. Geffon, a former physical education and health teacher and middle school administrator, celebrated the grand opening of WhYoga in 2016 and has seen her business thrive ever since.

“Yoga is basically thousands and thousands of years old. It was started as a practice to keep people healthy. It’s really designed for smaller boys, so those of us with western bodies, we have to adapt it to our bodies. There’s a lot of modifications that go on, which is good for practitioners, so we can help people of all walks of life,” she said.

“Something I get a lot is people wanting to know if they should do yoga to lose weight. When you start doing yoga, you think more about yourself. You might think twice about having one or three donuts and might think, ‘I’ll go have a yoga instead.’

But, just participating in yoga doesn’t always make someone lose weight. Although, it could have that effect,” she explained.

The greatest benefit for her, she added, is stress relief.

“It’s great for stress relief. When I started, I was in a very stressful time in my life. I had just lost my sister and my father, and I moved up here and knew I had to do something,” she said. Yoga is, after all, good for most bodies regardless of age.

“It is such a benefit to every living being. Kids benefit from yoga, adults benefit from yoga, older people benefit from yoga, people who are suffering from PTSD benefit from yoga, people who are suffering from trauma — the list goes on — kids with autism, kids that need to be centered… It’s such a phenomenal practice. And it takes a while. It’s a mental thing,” Ms. Geffon explained.

“There is a great deal of physical benefit. It opens up the joints, muscles… There’s so many people with back issues that have come in. I have bad knees myself. If I don’t do yoga, it just doesn’t work.”

Classes at WhYoga in Milford consist of beginning yoga, mixed level and hot yoga with pricing fit for any budget, according to the website: www.whyogade.com. Anyone can drop in for a class at just $12 per class. Or, they can purchase a grouping of five classes for $55 or spend $120 for an unlimited number of classes for one month. Private classes are also available.

They also hold a beach yoga class at the Slaughter Beach Pavilion on the first Sunday of each month, during the summer, as long as it’s above 65 degrees and not raining.

“The prices are really affordable because it shouldn’t just be for the wealthy people,” she said. “Everybody needs yoga. The chicken farmers, the school people — it’s not something that should be looked at as a luxury.”

Find WhYoga online at whyogade.com.

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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