Friday, 07 July 2017 06:41

‘Goat yoga’ proves popular at Grotto Gardens

Written by  Andrea Carol
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Dana Hassett at the gate of Grotto Gardens. Dana Hassett at the gate of Grotto Gardens. Andrea Carol

What do you get when you mix goats, hay, and yoga mats? That’s right. You guessed it. It’s Goat Yoga. 

The latest fitness trend has sprung up in Maple Creek and is filling classes and turning heads.
The idea was birthed at a Tourism Saskatchewan training course last October and it has been met with much enthusiasm by yogis and locals in Maple Creek.  
“People just love the goats and think they are therapeutic,” says founder Dana Hassett. “A neighbour in town sent me a video suggesting we do goat yoga and I laughed. I thought it was weird and wacky and just filed it away. We were invited to a SaskTourism Workshop in October and we went to that at the end of the season. The whole workshop was called an Awe Workshop. We were supposed to brainstorm about an idea that was way out in left field. And that’s where I thought, ‘What’s more out in left field than Goat Yoga?’  Everybody in the room loved the idea and it grew from there. We brainstormed and came up with a plan to develop the concept of Goat Yoga. We approached instructors and they loved the idea.”
Animals know no bounds and the mischievous little goats have joined in the fun whether it’s snuggling up to someone in downward dog or nibbling on yoga mats.
“The goats love it and love being around people. They nibble at your mat or snuggle,” says Hassett. “We have two little babies and they are a highlight in the class because everyone gets to cuddle with them. It’s well liked and the classes are filling.”
A Goat Yoga class has about 15-17 people in it and is takes place in an open building on the north side of the Grotto Gardens acreage. It was offered every Sunday in June.
Hassett along with her husband Dean Silinger have been married since 1988. Along with their daughters, they opened the doors to the Grotto Gardens last year.
Hassett shares a heartfelt account of why they started the business.
“We built a grotto on the northwest part of our property. It’s where the goat yoga takes place. The grotto is a stone and concrete structure I put together with our son Dean’s ashes in his memory. We tried to make that area beautiful with garden and flowers,” Hassett tearfully explains. “Dean passed away in 2006 from leukemia. His sister gave her bone marrow to Dean in 1996 before he relapsed with a brain tumour.”
Grotto Gardens is beautiful gem tucked away just south of Maple Creek on the edge of the Cypress Hills.
The carefully manicured gardens and landscape add to the peaceful tranquility the log cabin and picturesque property offers. 
It’s a relaxing spot to visit and is a must-see if you are driving through southwest Saskatchewan.
Looking to change things up and find a new spot? The Grotto Gardens is a fantastic place to sip a cold beverage, do some goat yoga or walk through the tranquil gardens. It’s family friendly and is home to Saskatchewan’s only goat walk.
Now serving Cypress Hills Wine and a variety of treats, Grotto Gardens is a fantastic place to visit.

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