Yoga with Goats

If you enjoy exercise or yoga practice in a playful and meaningful way, then Yoga with Goats classes at Returning Home Farm in Verona, PA are for you! And for everyone else – all ages, all bodies, all skill levels (including no skill).

If you’ve ever said “I’m not flexible enough to practice yoga,” or “I’m way too laid back for yoga,” or “I am not laid back enough for yoga,” those are three great reasons for practicing yoga with goats.

Visit our classes page for essential information about classes and covid-19 precautions.

Schedule

Yoga with goats is canceled until further notice due to covid-19. Stay home, wash your hands, wear your masks!

Classes

Need to know

Sign up: Everyone must register in advance for each class, and sign a release form once per calendar year.

Cost: All classes are $15, or $10 for people who have a plot at Penn Forest Natural Burial Park. Pay on arrival. Cash only, please.

Schedule: Classes are on Saturdays, but not every week or always at the same time – please read the schedule page carefully! All classes are one hour with a half-hour afterward to mingle with the animals or for a tour of Penn Forest Natural Burial Park.

What to bring: Bring a face mask and a mat. We practice outside in the barnyard and there is very little shade. Wear sunscreen and a hat, and bring plenty of water!

What to wear: Dress in loose or stretchy clothing that you don’t mind getting hay all over (also, the goats aren’t house trained)

Where it’s at: For GPS, use 227 Kansas Street, Verona PA 15147. Enter at the wide gate on Return Road opposite the big wooden farm sign. Please park on Return Road on the same side as the sign, or in the Penn Forest Burial Ground parking lot – not by the neighbors’ homes! Check this page for a map.

Cancellation: Classes will be cancelled if it’s raining. We will notify you at the email you register with of any cancellation due to weather by 8 a.m. that day.

Covid-19 precautions

Masks are required: Everyone must wear a mask over the nose and mouth while on the farm and during class, even if you don’t feel sick. Not everyone who is infected shows symptoms of covid-19, and there are people who handle the goats who are at high risk of infection or complications.

Social distancing: Mats must be set up at least six feet apart from anyone else, except for people who live in the same household. We strongly recommend bringing your own mat, although we do have a few for loan that will be disinfected.

Screening: Do not come to the farm if you have a fever, new onset of unexplained cough,  shortness of breath, or lack of smell/taste; or if you are at high risk of complications from covid-19 or live with someone who is.

Class descriptions

Hatha: Hatha yoga classes feature classic yoga postures with slower transitions and longer holds so you can focus on alignment and how each pose feels. Physical movement is supplemented with breathing techniques and meditations.

Kundalini: Kundalini yoga incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras, such as Sat Nam, meaning “truth is my identity.” The goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness.

YogaNuvo Flow: YogaNuvo has a goal to make fitness options available to people of all physical abilities. Even if you never exercised before, are uncomfortable with your body image, or have limited flexibility, this training is for you. If you want to experience the well-documented health benefits of yoga, including muscle strength, balance, bone density, flexibility, improved posture and circulation, not to mention the feeling of well-being known as “bliss,” give this class a try. You may even begin to experience more deep and refreshing sleep.

Teachers

Myrna (YogaNuvo Flow)

Myrna took her very first yoga class in 2002 and it was love at first full body twist. She began training immediately, becoming certified to teach in 2004 by the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association. Already an aerobics instructor at the YMCA since 1998, the shift to yoga was seamless. She since has taught workshops in and around Pittsburgh, including a teacher training at Schoolhouse Yoga, warm-ups for runners at the Pittsburgh Marathon and annual workshops for young adults at the Children’s Museum.

YogaNuvo was born when she became aware of a need for affordable, alternative and gentle physical fitness options in the community. Having taken classes in belly dance, Pilates, tai chi and hula hooping (believe it), she began to fuse these disciplines into her yoga classes and formed YogaNuvo with its signature flow.

Moni (Kundalini)

Moni Wesner started her yogic journey in 1996 at Omega with a weeklong course on Mindfulness Meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. This led to a daily practice of meditation and gentle Hatha Yoga. At age 60 she wanted to find a way to become a healthy and happy old woman. In the following years she studied more Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga with nationally known teachers at Omega each summer. 

In 2001 she found her true teacher, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. As a retired physician the ancient and pure teachings made perfect sense to her as all aspects of it can be explained by modern science. She became a teacher in 2005, just to learn more about the science and art of Kundalini Yoga for her personal reasons. Once she was certified as a teacher by the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association, students appeared and she has taught students of all ages and all abilities ever since.  In her words – as long as we can breathe, we can practice yoga.

In her classes the experienced yogi or athlete and the very beginner have a meaningful experience. Kundalini Yoga creates a sense of good health by strengthening and balancing the nervous system and glandular system.It energizes the body, calms the mind and nourishes the soul. Moni considers herself the best advertisement of Kundalini Yoga – 24 years later she is indeed a happy,  healthy,  drug free  old woman!

Leslie (Hatha)

Leslie initially came to yoga wanting a physical practice but found so much more. Her journey has involved stepping into a Vinyasa class and finding that slowing down into a Hatha mindful practice was the perfect fit. She has traveled nationally and internationally to different yoga retreats and other similar experiences to create a very spiritual and mindful practice. She finally completed her Yoga Teacher Training at Illume Pittsburgh in 2017-2018 for 200+ hours with Jennifer Ferris-Glick. This experience was not only extraordinary but helped empower Leslie to find her voice in teaching yoga and meditation. She also provides other healing like Reiki and individual yoga/mental health therapy. Namaste.

Returning Home Farm

Returning Home Farm is an extension of Penn Forest Natural Burial Park that provides model projects in sustainability. Penn Forest owns 35 acres of land in the Penn Hills/Verona area, but only about two acres are currently used for green burials. Another ten acres are set aside as a wildlife refuge area. That leaves about 23 acres that can be used for other sustainability projects that benefit the community.

Ongoing projects include:

  • Raising goats for clearing brush in burial areas
  • Raising chickens and ducks for eggs (we share extras with visitors)
  • Beehives
  • Hiking trails
  • Tree/shrub planting for forest restoration
  • A quarter acre native PA meadow restoration project
  • A Hügelkultur garden
  • A sally garden to grow willow for baskets (and maybe coffins)

Planned & hopeful future projects include:

  • Expanded wellness classes and activities for every body
  • A hoop greenhouse for raising tea
  • A berry garden
  • A mushroom walk trail
  • An artist residency
  • A center for events, classes and trainings central to life and death

We are always open to additional sustainability projects. If you’d like to bring your project to RHF, please tell us about your idea.