Alpacas at sunrise

Alpaca the yoga mat, you packa the fun

Lizzie Keenan | 07/06/2017 | Animals, Farms & Wineries, Molalla

Move over goat yoga, there is a new animal practice in town and it is snugglier than you can possibly imagine. Did I mention that it includes post-downward dog wine tasting? Because when in Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Region of the year, why not?

That’s right, alpaca yoga has arrived in Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory and it’s kind of the best. Classes are offered on Monday evenings from May thru September. A few coworkers and I went out to Molalla in June to give it a try and I am here to answer your burning questions:

What on earth is alpaca yoga? Great first question. Alpaca yoga is when you take a yoga class either out in a pasture or a barn full of friendly, curious alpacas.

Do the alpacas jump on you during class like you’ve seen the goats do in goat yoga videos? No. Instead, they casually nibble grass nearby or come in for a sniff when you least expect it. Like that time I was deep in savasana and thought I heard a furry friend nearby. I opened my eyes to see an adorable pair of giant alpaca eyes staring right back at me.

Is alpaca yoga peaceful? Absolutely, until, of course you are like me and the delight of alpacas walking around you as you struggle to find balance in eagle pose makes you snort with laughter. Other than that, there is nothing quite like a tranquil yoga practice out in the gorgeous farmland of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The sounds of city life are replaced with the songs of birds chirping, alpacas munching on grass, and the occasional sound from a neighboring cow; it's all very mooving. Yes, I went there.

Do alpacas like cats? Undecided. They certainly love to chase them. There are a couple of barn kitties that might join you for your child’s pose, but as soon as an alpaca spots them, the great kitty-alpaca chase will begin nearby and laughter will commence.

Are alpacas really as cute as they look? Yes. See photo.

Will the alpacas spit at me? Unlikely. The alpacas seemed to pick up on the yogic zen ambiance and were more interested in cuddles, selfies, and kisses.

When is alpaca yoga offered and how do I sign up? Class is offered every Monday night at 7 pm throughout the summer. Sam from Dream Big Yoga leads the gentle yoga practice out in a field full of alpacas at Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch. Call to reserve a space: 503-407-3699.

Did you mention something about wine tasting? Yes, yes I did. After an hour-long gentle yoga session, you can hang out with the alpacas and sip delicious offerings from nearby wineries like AlexEli Vineyard and Winery.

How much does it cost? The yoga class is $15, the optional wine tasting is $5, and the alpaca love is free.

It goes without saying, we were not disappointed by our experience at alpaca yoga. Even if you aren’t interested in the post-yoga wine tasting, everyone is welcome to stay after class to learn more about the alpacas, take one for a walk, or speak sweet nothings into their ears until they are ready to pose for a selfie.

See the Experience

Lizzie Keenan has the lucky job of promoting Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge region of Oregon everyday. When not at work, she enjoys doing yoga with alpacas, taking selfies with llamas, and eating avocados. 

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