Have you ever participated in a yoga class and thought what it was missing was a cute, snuggly goat?
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:
- Ashtanga Yoga
- Iyengar Yoga
- Bikram Yoga
- Jivamukti Yoga
- Power Yoga
- Sivananda Yoga
- Yin Yoga
- 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.