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Goats add farm flair to Gateway yoga sessions 

SALT LAKE CITY — On a night when it was raining cats and dogs, the herds downtown were already headed indoors. That, however, didn’t explain the arrival of several goats to a storefront at The Gateway.

They were just there for the latest weekly renewal of “goat yoga.”

“It’s kind of combining the therapy of regular yoga with animal therapy,” said Paige Hamblin, owner of Goga LLC, which has also operated under the name Utah Goga Guys.

During a regular session of yoga, the goats made their way around the room and occasionally onto the backs of participants.

“I mean, I think it makes people a little less afraid to try doing yoga if they’re not that familiar with it and since we keep it pretty beginner level it’s kind of a nice distraction to feel like people are not looking at you—they’re looking at the goats,” Hamblin explained. “Sometimes our goats will just fall asleep on people and they still will say they had the best time ever because they just got to have that animal therapy.”

Staying healthy and fit through the pandemic has been a challenge for everyone, and lasting through the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge of its own for the unique business.

“It definitely slowed things down for a while,” acknowledged Hamblin, who took over the enterprise in 2019. “We have less babies this time around and we’re kind of blaming that — blaming COVID for that — just because it was an off-year for everyone it seemed like.”

She said interest in the form of yoga has been on the upswing, however, and certainly, the mood was up among those who took part Tuesday night.

“It’s not only dogs and cats,” Hamblin said. “You can get that kind of relief from all different animals!”

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