PEACEFUL PASTURE: Agape riding center provides perfect backdrop for yoga classes

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GREENFIELD — Some thought it was wacky at first when goat yoga — the trend of doing yoga in the presence of miniature goats — was started in 2016. Yet the trend stuck, and pig yoga came along a few years after that.

In Greenfield, yoga lovers are invited to practice the art in the presence of horses at the Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources barn, 531 W. 100 S.

Sessions are open to the public from 10 to 11 a.m. Fridays, weather permitting. The cost is a donation of $5 or more to the Agape program, which offers therapeutic riding lessons and group activities to those who can benefit from the gentle power of interacting with horses.

Site manager Jennifer Wright launched the program in April to provide a peaceful place for people to practice yoga, the ancient art of mindful exercise.

“Just being in the presence of these wonderful animals provides a lot of peace and relaxation,” said Wright, who said the tranquil pasture setting is the perfect backdrop for a yoga class.

Marcy Westfphal of Morristown started attending in the spring, and quickly got hooked. She’s been four or five times this year.

“I decided to go and try it and it was wonderful,” said Westfphal. “When you’re outside, and especially with horses, you just feel more relaxed and at ease. It’s a great way to connect with nature.”

The classes, which are for all ages and abilities, are led by Monica Hamill, who has made a name for herself by offering mobile yoga classes throughout the community.

Yoga offers a multitude of benefits, said Hamill, who has been doing yoga for over a decade, and teaching since 2014.

“It just helps you to slow down and take a look at your health needs. It really helps you to understand your breathing. The breathing is the biggest part of it,” she said.

Wright hopes many more will come out to the pasture to give yoga a try, and to learn more about the Agape riding program in the process.

The program is always seeking volunteers 16 and older to assist young riders and help care for the horses, she said, but those coming out to do yoga are under no obligation.

“We just invite people to come out and relax in our beautiful park-like setting,” said Wright.

For information, visit agaperiding.org or email Wright at jennifer@ agaperiding.org.

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Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources is offering yoga classes at its horse pasture and barn, at 531 W. 100 S. in Greenfield.

Enjoy an hour of yoga in the presence of horses from 10 to 11 a.m. Fridays, weather depending.

Classes are led by local yoga instructor Monica Hamill.

The cost is a a $5 minimum donation to the Agape program, which offers therapeutic riding lessons and group activities. Reservations are not required. Weather-related cancellations will be listed on Agape’s Facebook page.

For information, visit agaperiding.org or email [email protected].

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