It may sound like a joke, but Goat Yoga is authentic and popular. The idea is for a yoga teacher to conduct a yoga class with students petting and playing with little goats while performing the poses.
Ideally, the goats should be Nigerian Dwarf goats or babies because they like to climb on humans while doing yoga. And nobody enjoys a 30-pound goat on their back during Downward Facing Dog, no matter how cute and cuddly it is.
The sessions are the same as ever: a soft Vinyasa going through Sun Salutations, Low Lounge, Hamstring Stretch, or Child pose. What’s different is the hoof-back massage, laughter, and overall peacefulness people get while interacting with the baby goats.
A Goat Yoga session can take place in a yoga studio or outdoors. Sometimes, each participant has a dedicated goat. Alternatively, two or three goats may roam around and socialize with the whole group.
In general, goats are adorable, friendly, and cuddly, especially when they are babies (they are the most common animal in baby petting zoos), so there is no danger of them hurting anyone.
Who Invented Goat Yoga?
Goat Yoga is a relatively new thing, invented by Lainey Morse, a PR expert from Oregon.
During a period of hardship, Morse found her joy in spending time with her Nigerian Dwarf Goats on her farm. After going through a divorce in 2016 and getting diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, these miniature creatures helped her keep her spirit high and fight off the symptoms of her depression.
Once she became aware of the positive effects the interaction and cuddling with goats had on her well-being, she invited friends to her farm to spend time with the goats. She called it “goat happy hour.”
One of the visitors on her farm was her friend, who also happened to be a yoga instructor.
The friend commented about the landscape’s beauty and how peaceful it felt with the goats wandering around. That’s how the idea behind Goat Yoga was born, and the two friends started doing yoga sessions there.
Lainey knew that the goats would try to climb over the practitioners while in weird positions, but her yoga instructor friend didn’t see a problem.
Having worked in marketing and PR, Lainey advertised her offer online, and in only a few days, she had more than 2000 interested participants.
Why Goat Yoga?
Every type of yoga is holistic, as the ultimate goal is to achieve a physical, emotional, and mental balance. But how do goats fit into this idea.
Spending time with animals and interacting with them has numerous benefits for people. This was also witnessed by Lainey, who had pushed through her depression thanks to her goats.
Studies have shown that playing with animals reduces anxiety and stress levels while increasing dopamine and serotonin levels. At the same time, it can reduce blood pressure and heart rate and thus improve one’s health.
Goats are some of the most sociable, friendly, and cuddly farm animals, while yoga is a practice of nurturing our minds and bodies. Combined, the two give the optimal self-care experience and connect practitioners with the world around them, especially nature.
Goats tend to make yoga sessions even more relaxing with their presence. People may get frustrated when they struggle with specific poses, and a goat perching on their back makes them feel more at ease, taking off the pressure and subverting a person’s potentially negative mindset.
Standard yoga sessions are usually planned and structured, but having goats around means embracing spontaneity and going with the flow.
The goat may end up on your back while performing a pose, so you’ll stay longer in that pose, probably suppressing laughter. Goats also love petting, and they will ask for it, so you’ll probably pause your yoga activities for a warm cuddle. This often makes Goat Yoga classes longer.
Goat Yoga sessions are open for adults and kids, so this can become a family activity and a way to teach your child about love for animals, nature, and yoga.
What Is the Purpose of Goat Yoga?
The cuteness overload aside, the purpose of Goat Yoga is to add another dimension to the practice of yoga, i.e., animal therapy.
Petting animals and being around them, especially if they are friendly, has many health benefits for people, boosting the beneficial effects of yoga in general.
Goat Yoga is where the stoic exercise of yoga meets spontaneity, cuteness, and a go-with-the-flow mindset.
Goat Yoga aims to let people have careless fun with these cute animals while nurturing their mental and physical health through yoga.
How Much Is Goat Yoga?
The price of Goat yoga classes usually varies depending on the location and school. However, the price is generally between $10 and $40 per class.
In Chicago, you can find Goat yoga classes for $39 per person. These classes are taught by a certified yoga instructor for 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of free time with the goats.
If you can gather a group of 12 people, your Goat Yoga session in Chicago can cost as little as $25 per person.
In Arizona, a farm offers Goat Yoga sessions for as low as $15 per class per person.
Los Angeles dominates the market with their Goat Yoga offers. The Party Goats collective hosts private 2-hour Goat Yoga events for $450 for a maximum of 30 participants.
If you bring a yoga instructor you can get a discount, and if you want an extra class during the same day, they will charge you only $100 plus. Party Goats offers a 1-hour yoga session with goats wandering around the participants and another hour of free time with the goats.
In Dallas, Texas, you can find Goat Yoga classes for $36 per person per class, but they need to be booked in advance as they get sold out pretty quickly.
Goat Yoga is an excellent way to combine fun and healthy activities. Goats are one of the cutest farm animals that bring much joy to most participants.
Both yoga and interaction with friendly animals, such as goats, have mental and physical health benefits. Seeing how affordable Goat Yoga is, it could be the next adventure on your bucket list!