Goat Yoga

Have you ever participated in a yoga class and thought what it was missing was a cute, snuggly goat?

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Well, your wish has been granted. Goat Yoga is real, and there’s likely a class near you.

Understanding This Unique Fitness Trend

Goat Yoga refers to a traditional yoga class that takes place in a scenic location, such as a farm, with goats wandering freely among the students. Often, the goats jump on the backs of yogis as they perform downward dog, or sneak in a snuggle during bridge pose.

The History Of Goat Yoga: A Happy Accident

Goat Yoga happened a bit by accident, when Lainey Morse offered to host a yoga class on her Oregon farm for an instructor friend who was looking for a scenic location. Morse had goats on the farm and, well, they just started joining in with the yoga class. This was in 2017, and Goat Yoga went absolutely viral soon after, with Oregon, Arizona and New Hampshire leading the way. Many Goat Yoga classes have an extensive waiting list due to the popularity of this yoga craze.

Goat Yoga Details

Goat Yoga uses all the same techniques as traditional yoga, complete with the focus on mind and body. The main difference is that Goat Yoga is rife with distractions – albeit happy ones. Students are encouraged to take breaks to interact with the goats, and laughter and smiles abound.

Preparing To Practice Yoga With Goats

If you’re used to a super-serious yoga practice, you’ll need to set your expectations for Goat Yoga. You’ll be in for lots of distractions, not simply from the goats, but from your classmates laughing, as well. Goat Yoga is more about having a unique yoga experience, and less about mediation or burning calories.

Classes typically last about one hour, and you’ll need a yoga mat and comfortable fitness clothing.

A Typical Goat Yoga Class

As with any yoga class, the instructor will begin with poses designed to help you connect with your breathing. You may also be asked to set an intention for the class.

Next, your instructor will lead you through a series of poses, many designed to open your hips and strengthen your spine. Don’t worry if you don’t get every pose exactly right – some poses are difficult under normal circumstances and downright hard with a baby goat on your back.

Finally, your Goat Yoga class will end with Savasana (Corpse Pose), during which you will briefly meditate (or cuddle an adorable goat, as the case may be).

Special Benefits of Goat Yoga

Yoga classes in general are great for flexibility, balance and core strength. Goat Yoga offers special benefits, as well:

  • Connect with nature
  • Enjoy animal therapy
  • Reduced your blood pressure

Goat Yoga Variations

There are eight types of yoga, and goats can be incorporated into all of them:

  1. Ashtanga Yoga
  2. Iyengar Yoga
  3. Bikram Yoga
  4. Jivamukti Yoga
  5. Power Yoga
  6. Sivananda Yoga
  7. Yin Yoga
  8. Vinyasa Yoga

Whether you’re a yoga pro or a beginner, Goat Yoga is a special experience. You’ll enjoy nature, increased health and fitness and the benefits associated with animal therapy, all while communing with adorable goats.

Yoga in the Pool

If you love the water and the unique fitness benefits it offers, it’s high time you try Yoga in the Pool.

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This modified yoga practice is calming, as well as an effective workout.

The Skinny On Yoga In The Pool

Yoga in the Pool utilizes the principles of traditional yoga, but with modified movements suitable for the water. In many of the movements, the side of the pool replaces the floor.

This type of yoga is also referred to as Aqua Yoga.

A Brief History

Fitness classes performed in the water originated in the 1950s with Water Aerobics, attributed to Jack Lalanne. Water has always been well-known to add resistance and increased balance and core work, and the popularity of water fitness lead to an explosion of classes such as Aqua Zumba and Yoga in the Pool.

The exact origin of Aqua Yoga is not known, but it became mainstream in 2013.

What Sort Of Exercise Is Yoga In The Pool?

This type of yoga is a low-impact, thermal aquatic workout with a variety of modified movements that make it accessible to advanced practitioners, as well as beginners.

Preparation for the Exercise

You’ll want to wear a bathing suit or fitness clothing you don’t mind getting wet. The water will likely be set to 86-90 degrees, and the class will last from 30-45 minutes.

If your instructor makes use of floatation devices, such as kick boards or pool noodles, bring your own or borrow one from your gym before class begins.

How-To

Yoga in the Pool makes use of the side of the pool for poses like Happy Baby, as well as freeform poses and exercises in the water, such as Seaweed Asana. To be less “floaty” during poses, try these three things:

  1. Keep pelvic floor lifted and engaged for balance and grounding
  2. Draw your belly up and in, concentrating on keeping all sides of the waist long
  3. Lengthen the base of your skull upwards so the neck is long

Think about keeping your head in alignment over your heart and your heart over your pelvis, and focus on slowing your breath. Attempt to remain solidly anchored in your feet.

Benefits of Yoga In The Pool

Water has relaxing effects on the nervous system and will help you feel at peace during your practice – even more so than in a yoga practice on land. There are many variations of poses; choose the one in which you feel most grounded in the water.

Water is naturally supportive, enveloping you with each movement. It is ideal for those with physical limitations.

Types of Yoga In The Pool

Yoga in the Pool classes vary in the types of poses used, and in whether they employ floatation devices or not. Just as there are eight types of yoga, including Bikram and Vinyasa, there are Aqua Yoga variations for each.

Yoga in the Pool is a unique, therapeutic form of yoga that can accommodate people of all fitness levels. If you’d like to change up your yoga practice, it offers a unique way to evolve your workout and add a new appreciation for your favorite yoga poses.