Become One With The Herd

Cape Cod Life  /  August 2023 /

Writer: Hannah Eaton / Photographer: Nicole Friedler Brisson 

Getting Your Zen on with Alpaca Yoga on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s not hard to picture oneself in a yoga class on a sunny weekend, surrounded by unfurled mats and workout-clothing-clad people, calmly focused in a moment of deep meditation. Add in the fact that instead of in a studio, you’re outside in a field surrounded by alpacas grazing between you and your neighbor, and you get the idea of the yoga practiced at Island Alpaca in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard.  “We wanted to share with the public how gentle these animals are,” says owner Barbara Ronchetti.  Island Alpaca, run by founder and longtime Vineyard resident Ronchetti, opened in 2004 and it was a love affair from the beginning. “I knew I wanted to build a herd,” says Ronchetti. Now housing upwards of forty Huacaya alpacas (as well as two llamas), the farm is a haven for nature and animal lovers to learn more about these charming creatures. Every year, Ronchetti says they try to keep the farm “interactive,” including community-focused events and programs like Alpaca Yoga. Also available is the Alpaca Walk & Talk, where guests can walk with and learn about caring for alpacas, and Alpaca Pilates. The farm’s alpacas can even be part of weddings, birthdays, alpaca-grams and special events, both at the farm, all over island and off island. For weddings, the alpacas are adorned (safely) in veil and purls or bow-tie and top-hat, which account for fantastic photos.  The yoga classes were a relaxing addition to the farm’s schedule that attracts people from all walks of life, of all ages, residents and vacationers alike.  Yoga instructor Jason Mazar-Kelly, known as “Yogi Jay,” hosts classes at Island Alpaca, June through September, every year. Classes are hosted on Saturdays in June and September, and held three times a week…

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Hannah Eaton