Goat yoga has proven to be a hit in some locales in the US. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any goat yoga classes in our vicinity but that won’t stop us from celebrating International Yoga Day by wishing we could do a bit of downward dog with some downward goats.
Though it takes many forms and is offered in many places now, it all started with Lainey Morse at a small farm in Oregon. And it wasn’t all butterflies and rainbows for the entrepreneur, either. Goat yoga was actually borne out of a very difficult time in her life – she was going through a divorce and was also diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
To allay her depression, she would go out and spend time with her goats, calling that time ‘Goat Happy Hour’. She started to invite friends over to share in goat happy hour and one, who was a yoga instructor, suggested they should do a yoga class amongst the beautiful surroundings of the farm and mountain views.
When Morse said that the goats were going to be “all over the humans”, her friend’s response was “Cool”. And as it turns out, Morse’s friend wasn’t the only one down with the presence of goats during yoga – her classes have proved immensely popular since then, with classes being booked out weeks in advance.
Rather than coercing the goats to fit in with the classes, Morse encourages the goats to just be, well, goats. They often wander between people’s mats and sometimes will chew on people’s hair and if you’re lucky, they’ll even jump on your back so you get a workout AND a massage at the same time.
All kid-ding aside (haa, haa) goat yoga is meant to be a potent form of relaxation and stress relief, increasing feel-good hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine while reducing cortisol, the stress hormone.
Morse says that her goats are therapy animals and that the yoga classes can be a source of relaxation, comfort, mental stimulation and a distractor from pain.
We also hear that Morse also offers goat yoga and wine tasting packages. Is that something we’d be up for? Heck yes – sign us up.
Source: The Original Goat Yoga, CNBC