The New York City Department of Health wants you to say, “namaste away” to goat yoga.
The organizers behind Gilbertsville Farmhouse, an upstate New York yoga studio, are no longer able to bring their animal experience to Brooklyn as planned. The company issued an emailed statement to those who had registered for their Bushwick pop-up Sunday night, letting yoga-seekers know they were unable to obtain proper permits.
“Goat yoga is something new to NYC and therefore uncharted territory when it comes to the permit application,” the statement read. “After weeks of communication and brainstorming, we feel that the concept of goat yoga is just not possible within the laws of the city at this time.”
The pop-up yoga class was expected to kick off April 17 and run Tuesdays and Thursdays through June 12. The 45-minute session was expected to be just like “regular yoga,” except adorable baby goats would roam around the practitioners.
New Yorkers would otherwise have to travel nearly 4 hours (each way) to the farm for the experience which made the rounds on social media through shareable videos showing the animals climbing on yogis. Tickets to the $40-per-class Brooklyn experience sold out quickly.
The popular pop-up even got a mention on “Weekend Update” during the April 14 episode of “Saturday Night Live.” “The way it works is: It doesn’t,” comedian Michael Che joked. Turns out, he’s right.
Gilbertsville Farmhouse explains it submitted an application to the health department a “few weeks” ago and was working to figure out how to fit the program into the city’s restrictions. “Initially we were very optimistic. The health department was intrigued and receptive to the idea,” the statement read.
Currently, goats make the health department’s list of animals illegal to keep as pets in New York City, along with pigs, sheep and other farm animals. They’re also unallowed to be held within a city building, according to the department.
The Health Department said in a statement that it worked closely with the company, but because the department prohibits direct contact with certain animals, it was unable to process their application and issue a permit.
Offering apologies, the organizers said Brooklyn ticket holders will be issued refunds. It also extended its Brunch on the Farm + Goat Yoga Day Trip program, which provides New Yorkers round-trip transportation to the farm for the yoga class. Tickets for the $95 retreat, stretching Sundays through Sept. 2, are available at eventbrite.com.
With Meredith Deliso