Goat Yoga: Vinyasa in the Barnyard

Thu, Feb 1st 2018

Beeta Hashempour

4 mins read

white baby goat smiling at camera

We’ve officially seen yoga take on as many forms as Katy Perry’s hair. Just when we thought wine yoga and nude yoga were exotic, there’s now an incredibly popular type of yoga called goat yoga.

Goat Yoga and Where It All Began

The whole goat yoga craze started with Lainey Morse, the owner of a small farm in western Oregon. When Morse moved to Oregon and purchased the farm, she was at a point in her life in which she had been recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and was going through a divorce.

She didn’t purchase the farm with the intent of creating goat yoga classes but rather as a place to slow down and refresh her life.

It was during a chance encounter on the farm that Morse was given the idea to host yoga classes on her picturesque farm. Morse had a feeling the goats on the farm would want to crash any kind of yoga class held on the farm but decided to give it a try anyway.

white goats in front of a barn on a farm

As she predicted, the goats excitedly joined in on the yoga class, but class participants didn’t mind. In fact, they loved the inclusion of the goats so much, that word about Morse’s goat yoga classes instantly spread. Instagram featured Morse’s goat yoga class on their account, encouraging a huge wave of people to follow Morse’s account and sign up for her goat yoga classes.

Morse’s yoga classes grew so quickly that she had to create a waitlist, which had more than 2,400 people on it. People who had never even tried yoga before in their life were signing up for Morse’s goat yoga classes.

Morse’s classes are continuing to grow, with the waitlist increasing by dozens every day. The enthusiasm for her classes continues, even as goat yoga classes pop up in other parts of the country.

The goat yoga trend has spread all the way from the west coast of America to the east coast.  More than that, you can find goat yoga in metropolitan studios that aren’t on rural farms, such as a yoga studio in Santa Monica, California.

Why People Love It

Do the goats ever pee on the yoga mats, or worse, on the people in the class? Yes. But most people don’t seem to mind. This seems like a small price to pay for what the goats contribute to the class experience.

The overall consensus is that the goats bring a sense of joy and uplifting energy into the room. For most, this counteracts any silly or messy behavior exuded by the goats.

person holding a baby white goat in arms

Many go into the goat yoga class expecting an amusing and playful twist on classic yoga. They’re seeking a different type of yoga experience than the ones they’re used to. In a goat yoga class, it’s not odd to find a goat perched up on someone’s back while he or she is doing downward dog or nudging them for attention and affection.

In general, the goats might not adhere to the calm, meditative poses a yoga class usually dictates, but they provide good vibes, and that’s something all types of yoga classes aim to do.

The goat yoga experience has been lighthearted and therapeutic for many class participants. Goat yoga classes will sometimes end with cuddles from the goats, providing many the relief they’re seeking from anxiety, depression, or other illnesses they’re battling.

Whether goat yoga is a trend that will go away in a year or two or is here to stay for good is unknown. What is clear is that many people are enjoying the connection with animals and nature in their yoga practice, and that’s never a bad thing.

References

Willingham, A. (2017, January 12). ‘Goat yoga’ is a thing – and hundreds are lining up for it. Retrieved February 01, 2018, from https://www.cnn.com/2017/01/12/health/goat-yoga-oregon-trnd/index.html
News, C. (2018, January 21). Welcome to Goat Yoga. Retrieved February 01, 2018, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/welcome-to-goat-yoga/
‘Pee on your yoga mat’: Goat yoga craze is sweeping the country. (2017, April 28). Retrieved February 01, 2018, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/04/28/pee-your-yoga-mat-goat-yoga-craze-sweeping-country/307495001/

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About the Author
Beeta Hashempour

Born and raised in Southern California, Beeta has embraced a healthy lifestyle focused on farm-to-table cooking, natural products, and wellness routines. When she’s not writing up recipes or discussing the latest trends, Beeta enjoys spending time trying new restaurants, traveling with family and friends, and cuddling on the sofa with her little pup.

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