October 5, 2016 12:29 pm

Goat yoga aims to raise money for B.C. man with Stage 4 cancer

Credit: Kenneth Ku.


You’ve probably heard of a yoga pose called downward dog, but downward goat?

Goat yoga has become a popular pastime in Oregon after a farm in Albany decided to hold some classes and they immediately sold out.

And now, Lower Mainland residents will have the chance to do some yoga with some very cute goats, and the proceeds will go to a good cause. Essentially, participants will be guided through a yoga class while the goats come around for some cuddles and nibbles.

Yoga, Pilates and fitness instructor Nicole Roy came up with the idea after hearing the story about a student’s brother and his battle with cancer.

Kendra Hart’s brother, Taylor, is only 27 years old. Last year he was diagnosed with Stage 4 gastric cancer. He underwent chemotherapy but Taylor’s family found out in August that chemo was no longer working.

Kendra Hart and her brother Taylor. Credit: GoFundMe

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Taylor’s oncologist believes immunotherapy will be the best form of treatment going forward but it is not covered by medicare. Taylor now has to fund the treatment himself.

Kendra started a GoFundMe to raise $100,000 to pay for Taylor’s treatments for a year. They have raised more than $62,000 so far, but Roy wanted to help raise more.

“I lost my father four-and-a-half years ago to bone cancer so I sincerely empathize with Kendra and her family,” said Roy. “As the mother of two young men, one who knows Taylor, Taylor’s battle with cancer touches me deeply. Also, I see goat yoga as an opportunity for people to see animals as friends, not food.”

Roy’s friend Ken Ku has a farm in Langley and owns a number of pygmy goats. Ku asked Roy if she would be interested in teaching a goat yoga class on his farm and she knew it would be a good idea for a fundraiser. Later that week, Kendra told Roy about Taylor’s fight.

“I wanted to help Kendra out in some way and I came to the conclusion that a goat yoga fundraiser would be a unique and fun way to raise funds for her brother,” said Roy. “I contacted Ken and asked him if he would be interested in supporting this endeavor and he said, ‘absolutely’.”

The class takes place Thanksgiving Monday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Roy will teach a basic all-levels yoga class while the goats wander around.

The class is by cash donation and all proceeds will go directly to Taylor’s treatment fund.

Word about the class is already generating some buzz.

“People seem very excited about this event,” said Roy. “I have been promoting the event online and to my students after every class and it has definitely created a buzz. Several colleagues of mine have had friends approach them, friends who don’t even know me, and ask, “hey, did you hear about this goat yoga fundraiser?'”

Attendees are encouraged to dress for the weather as the event will run rain or shine. They should also bring their own yoga mat or beach towel.

Anyone interested can sign up on the official Facebook event page.

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