Chatter, giggles, and bleats filled the air as students and some faculty members rolled out yoga mats as goats grazed on hay in the Main Quad.
There seemed to be a little nervous energy inside the wooden lattice enclosure among participants, but that nervousness dissipated as they laughed, took selfies and played with the goats.
The TN Tech Counseling Center staff sponsored the yoga classes where they provided yoga mats and goats in conjunction with Shenanigoats, a Nashville company, to create awareness for suicide prevention month.
Goats and yoga might seem like an unorthodox combination to draw attention to suicide prevention, but the event organizers believe otherwise.
Ashley Gilbert said yoga helps to reduce negative emotions such as depression, anxiety and stress.
“The reason we really chose goat yoga was for the mindfulness benefits. Yoga helps you become aware of your body. Your body can then help you assess your moods way easier when you are being mindful,” Gilbert said. “So whenever you just take a few minutes just to do a self-assessment which is what you do during yoga, you feel your breathing. You feel your heart rate. You feel the ground underneath. Those things help ground you. So, with suicide prevention specifically, it does help to ground you in the moment.”
Though the event turned a few heads, it received positive attention from students.
“I think you should try it even if you’re a skeptic about it. And you’re like, ‘that’s weird.’ You should just do it,” freshman Aspen Jones said.