Does the thought of doing yoga amidst adorable alpacas in the countryside sound too good to be true? Well, a farm in England offers its visitors exactly this and much more.
Most of our daily schedules are packed to the brim with barely any time to even catch our breaths. If we were to continue on this path without making proper amends, a breakdown is inevitable in the not so distant future. One way to make sure this doesn't happen is by infusing a little peace and calm into our lives through practices like yoga. As serene as yoga in itself is, imagine doing this ancient practice on a farm while adorable alpacas roam around you. Sounds like heaven, doesn't it? If you'd like to experience this slice of heaven, there's a farm in England that can make your dreams come true.
Rosebud Alpacas is a farm located in South Molton, UK, which offers its clients the exciting opportunity to practice yoga in the presence of their uber-cute wooly residents. You can work on your warrior pose while fluffy alpacas roam about and even occasionally come up to you to say hello. Speaking to Metro about their intriguing farm, owners Nick and Lucy Aylett described their alpaca yoga classes as a "unique experience" which is "great for mind, body, and soul." I don't know about you, but doing yoga with their gentle creatures sure sounds like a calming experience to me.
"They live outside and the chickens are protected by the alpaca herd who are quick to alert all around to any unwelcome visitors. We want our land to be an inviting place for others to come and enjoy. It is our home and is a very special place that we would really love other people to enjoy too. It's a place where people can come to escape, take time out from technology and busy lives, a chance to spend time connecting with the land, the animals and each other. Our dream is for this place also to be a sanctuary for people to come and feel at home as well," Nick added.
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Meanwhile, in an interview with Country Living, Lucy elaborated on the benefits of having the alpacas around during yoga. "I just know from being around alpacas that their calming presence reduces stress. They like you to be calm around them so naturally, you drop your energy levels and relax. During alpaca yoga, the alpacas are inquisitive but also relaxed so it appears to be beneficial to all involved," she said. As for how the whole thing affects the alpacas, the Ayletts say all their animals are "raised ethically with freedom of choice, their welfare being paramount."
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The animals have the liberty to interact with visitors as they please. "People love it because they are usually fascinated by the alpacas but also they can be around them in a more natural way. The alpacas choose where they want to be and they usually find the humans just as fascinating," Lucy said. Apart from alpaca yoga, the Rosebud farm also offers one the opportunity to hang out with the fluffy animals during an alpaca walk, an alpaca picnic, and an alpaca art session. There is also the special "alpaca connection" package where guests are guided in meditation and are given the opportunity to "walk amongst the herd in mindful observation."
Every session of alpaca yoga is led by Sian Barlett, a qualified instructor, and guests are provided light food and drinks after class. The official Facebook page of the farm describes itself as an independent farm keen on keeping their alpacas as healthy as possible. "We offer a few carefully selected workshops, events, experiences, and venue opportunities, we pride ourselves on providing a natural calm environment for alpaca & human, our yoga is held in the alpaca paddock with our herd and with views beyond, whilst you meditate you hear the alpacas grazing next to you or the birds of prey above," the description reads.
"The welfare of our animals is important to us and all are raised ethically with free choice, our hens free range within the alpaca herd and our sheep roam the land outside the paddocks," the description continues, adding that even special requests could be accommodated when possible. Meanwhile, Scary Mommy reported alpaca yoga to be yet another entry in the growing niche of animal yoga, in which a variety of animals of the likes of goats, puppies, and horses, serve a similar purpose as the alpacas in this case. Though there isn't any scientific proof backing the benefits of such variants of yoga, they do tend to leave you feeling happier.
Speaking to Shape Magazine about animal yoga, Kundalini Yoga Master, Guru Jagat said, "It doesn't surprise me that the innocence of animals is something that people want to connect with. Everything's just gotten so complicated and denatured that we covet anything that reminds us of simplicity and innocence." The owner of No Regrets Farm, Lainey Morse, provided further support to the practice, recalling how her goats helped her cope with a divorce and an autoimmune disease that hindered her day job as a photographer. "I started to realize how beneficial they were not only for my health but for my mind," she said. Be right back. Booking my tickets to Rosebud Alpacas.