Stretching, breathing and finding one’s center are all an essential part of yoga, but this weekend Macedo’s Mini Acre in Turlock will add some cuteness into the mix with an event that partners the activity with some fluffy friends.
Alpaca Yoga is taking place at the 10-acre property this Saturday, giving the community a chance to strike a pose alongside the docile animals — something yoga instructor Stephannie Schmit was inspired to organize after attending a paint and sip event at Macedo’s Mini Acre. If creating artwork alongside the alpacas could be so fun, she thought, yoga would surely provide smiles for all.
“Once we’re all inside, the gate opens to release the mama alpacas and their babies. They just roam around — it’s a really unique experience,” Schmit said.
This will be the second Alpaca Yoga event Schmit has hosted at the ranch. While the first one held earlier this year was a “Sip and Stretch” day geared toward those 21 and up, this weekend’s yoga session caters to all ages.
Guests will not only be able to mingle with the alpacas — a smaller, friendlier relative of the llama — but can also visit the Macedo’s Mini Acre shop, where owners Maureen and Larry Macedo offer a wide variety of soft gifts made from alpaca fiber, such as yarn, fleece and clothing.
Macedo’s Mini Acre is home to over 70 alpacas, several of which have given birth in recent weeks. These proud parents and their babies will wander amongst the yogis on Saturday, which Schmit said provides plenty of memorable moments.
“There’s a lot of laughing. The alpacas will come up and smell you, and they’re just so calm. Sometimes they’ll just awkwardly stare at you,” she said. “They roam around and bring this great energy. At the first event, a lot of people weren’t even interested in doing yoga. They just wanted to take pictures with the alpacas.
“Them being there makes it so much more special.”
Unlike llamas, alpacas don’t spit. But, Schmit said they have been known to drool on a yoga mat or two. The unique setting not only makes for a fun experience, but can also help introduce people to yoga in a whole new way, she said.
“A lot of people find yoga studios intimidating, so when you throw in something fun and new it makes them think, ‘Hmm...maybe I’ll try that,’” Schmit said. “Yoga is such a beneficial thing to have in your life, and this lets you do it in an exciting way.”
Saturday’s yoga session will last about 50 minutes, and participants will have about an hour or so after the event to get to know the alpacas and the rest of the ranch. Schmit recommends that ages six and up participate in the Alpaca Yoga event, and she hopes the fluffy twist on the activity will spark children’s interest in participating beyond Saturday.
“It’s either going to go great or they’re just going to want to play with the animals,” Schmit laughed.
Alpaca Yoga will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Macedo’s Mini Acre, 11175 Golf Link Road. The cost is $20 for adults and $7 for children, and part of the proceeds will benefit the alpaca farm. Those attending should bring a yoga mat. For tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/o/stephannie-schmit-23204485281.