Goat yoga is your typical yoga class with the slight exception that a dozen baby goats are free to roam not only around the room but also all over you. And, yes, this is real.
Instant Stress Reliever:
Human-animal interaction releases oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress and induces feelings of happiness. Additionally, goats are carefree, kind animals that make not smiling impossible. Combine that with yoga, and you can kiss any anxiety you’ve been feeling goodbye.
Petting and playing with animals boosts your brain’s levels of serotonin and dopamine, hormones responsible for impulse control and mood moderation. Moreover, the combination of interacting with animals with a yoga class lowers the body’s blood pressure and improves lipid profiles.
Pushes You Outside Your Comfort Zone:
Of course, you may not be comfortable with the concept of goats hopping onto your back while you’re mid-downward dog, but this easy activity gives you the perfect opportunity to branch out and do something you normally wouldn’t even think of.
Try Something New:
How can you not be excited to try goat yoga? Like tasting new food for the first time, experimenting with unfamiliar territory is stimulating. Testing out a class presents you with the chance to spice up your week, and if it turns out that goat yoga isn’t for you, at least you have a good story to tell.
Connect With Nature:
You’re outside with the fresh air, you’re surrounded by baby animals, and you’re getting in touch with your, mind, body, and soul. This setting gives you the perfect break to clear your mind. What could be more peaceful and rejuvenating?
Sure, goat yoga doesn’t work miracles or cure diseases, but it certainly helps people manage. As Lainey Morse, one of the original class instructors, said, “One lady had stage 4 cancer and said nothing had helped her heal more than goat yoga.”
Let’s be real. The majority of people who sign up are doing it for the killer picture that they can post on Instagram later because who doesn’t like the blend of baby goats and yoga on their feed? Join the trend!
Focusing is nearly impossible when you have a dozen tiny animals constantly prancing around and jumping on your body, so if you’re looking forward to an absolutely serene and silent class, this type of yoga isn’t ideal.
Not a Workout:
Similarly, it won’t be the most physically demanding since the atmosphere is more light-hearted than your typical, intense hot yoga class. Rather than strengthening your core through balance, you’ll be tightening those ab muscles through laughing.
Not for Animal Lover:
If you’re not a fan of fur, hair, and pets, don’t let your friend talk you into this one. Goats are friendly animals that love attention, so they will regularly rub up against you, and if you aren’t gung-ho about animals, then you most likely won’t enjoy yourself.
Watch Where You Step:
Fair warning: This class definitely requires you to look before you put your hands down. Naturally, goats are living, breathing creatures that have to go when they have to go. If you’re not willing to look past the animals’ inevitable bodily functions, then go ahead and pass on this one.
Don’t Use Your Own Mat:
Likewise, it is not recommended to use your own yoga mat due to possibilities such as those mentioned above. Depending on the yoga studio, you might have to give up your attachment to your go-to mat or even rent one.
The well being of these baby animals is still in question since accidents do happen. The Department of Health has refused to issue permits to some studios for the safety of both the goats and humans.
Unconventional Yoga Classes to Try
1) Aerial Yoga
2) Glow in the Dark Yoga 3) Partner Yoga
4) Foodie Yoga
5) Heavy Metal Yoga
Written by: Hope Hathcock | Photography courtesy of Kathryn Weller