HANNIBAL | A trip to show goats at the county fair in 2017 inspired a Hannibal mother to blend the therapeutic qualities of yoga with goats — called Show Me Your Goga on the family farm.
After her son, Austyn, 15, returned from the fair, Susan Nowell was “really intrigued and excited” when she saw a picture of her sister performing goat yoga in Austin, Texas. Nowell works at the Illinois Veterans Home as an activities therapist, and she discussed combining yoga with goats with her co-worker, Mia Meacher.
“We just kind of joked that, wouldn't it be cool — I have goats and she does yoga — wouldn't that be awesome to do some goat yoga,” Nowell said.
Meacher might have thought Nowell was joking at the time, but her dedication grew during the following year. Austyn showed his goats again in 2019, and the Nowell family decided to keep them rather than sell them. They soon added three more goats from a friend who was moving. She reached out to Lainey Morris, owner of Goat Yoga Central, in 2019, who created the website for Show Me Your Goga and enabled Nowell to manage her business while being connected to Goat Yoga Central.
Show Me Your Goga grew with sessions led by Meacher and fellow yoga instructors Gloria Kirby and Sarah Blair. Recently, Nowell partnered with the Bhodi Tree Studio in Quincy, Ill., sharing classes with instructor Lindsay Spaulding. She brought the goats to an outdoor space for an outdoor goat yoga session, and she plans to come to Show Me Your Goga for a Friday session.
The goat herd has grown along the way. Patch recently arrived as a baby and loves affection, Nowell said.
Nowell said her daughter, Alivia, 10, and Austyn enjoy relaxing with yoga and the goats, and her husband, Patrick, likes setting up for each session. Nowell also hosts private gatherings like bachelorette parties, and she is reaching out to Beau and Company in Palmyra for holding indoor classes in their barn. More information is available by visiting showmeyourgoga.goatyoga.net, visiting the Show Me Your Goga Facebook page or calling Nowell at 573-424-4285.