Goat yoga, huh really? you’ve got to be kidding me? that was my first reaction to it. If you have not heard about goat yoga before this; it may sound totally weird to you, but many people absolutely love this fascinating approach of eliminating most part of stress from their lives. This practice has crazily gone viral and has sweeped Arizona, Florida and Oregon in the United States and yet hundreds of people are on the waiting list while the classes continue to be sold out. The farm in New Hampshire that started goat yoga classes since a week only, was completely full and sold out until the next three months. This practice was first started in the United States, but because of its multiple health benefits it is now global.
What is Goat yoga?
You might have heard of so many different types of yoga but have you ever considered goat yoga? You might think of goat yoga as a goat performing yoga poses with humans but the concept is far beyond one’s imagination. The classes are held up in a farm with baby goats hanging around the mat as your companion. This animal assisted therapy is all about bonding with nature just exactly what yoga is suppose to be about. There is a healing quality in this human and animals bond, it actually works wonders in helping people forget all the tough times they are going through and eases their mind to help them release all that stress.While connecting with you, these goats are also helping you to connect with yourself. Accept the challenge of performing your yoga pose with the baby goat at your back or get knocked out of your pose and giggle about it as many times you want, either way it is a chilled out class where you feel like a kid once again.
Yoga itself is so healthy for everyone but there are added bonus with the goat yoga. According to the yoga instructor Janine Bibeau from Jenness Farm in New Hamspire; “her face turned sore from smiling” and of course the back massages and the snuggles are added bonus. Its exciting to watch those little animals jumping around, jumping on your back, licking your face and trying to snug around you. Another instructor in Los Angeles shares her goat yoga experience, she says “They’re adorable and they’re friendly,” said Lana after the class. “They do eat your hair, they do leave you presents on your mat but it’s all in fun. “The therapy you get here is priceless.“The happiness the goats bring is great,” she said. “All animals are therapeutic but there is something about these goats that is just incredible.
What research says?
Harvard Medical school is also using animal assisted therapy and in this case it is a dog, to help students cope with stress. There are numerous studies since decades and sufficient research to prove that human and animals bond is tremendously beneficials to people. The animal assisted therapy has enormous health benefits, it lowers blood pressure and stress, aids in the recovery of illness such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, cancer and improves mental health plus boosts ones self-esteem.
How it all started?
A lady named Morse who owns a farm and eight goats at the western oregon held a charity event for a child’s birthday party. A yoga teacher approached her and suggested that she should consider starting yoga classes at her farm with goats hanging around. In a matter of time, the concept was on fire and the classes filled up so quickly with a wait-list of 1200 people.
Morse is very excited about the connection between people and her animals. Morse says”It may sound silly, but goat yoga is really helping people. People come in, that have anxiety, depression; they’re recovering from cancer or illness.” It is fun for Morse to watch people expression, while they are holding a pose and a baby goat suddenly jumps on their back.
Why only goats for yoga among all other animals ?
While you must have heard of cat yoga and dog yoga and some of you might prefer them over goats but goat yoga is becoming popular because some people are allergic to cats and dogs. Additionally cats have paws that could scratch someone and dogs tend to lick. Goats are friendly animals that love to connect with people and are fond of being cuddled. It adds a fun factor to the classes when you are into a pose like the cat or cow pose and suddenly a baby goat jumps onto your back to give you a mini massage.
Goat yoga at the airports
Most of us know how much fun could it be travelling in an airplane with all that handbag, then the security check, the connecting flights if its a long journey and then when you reach your destination and completely worn out, its yet another wait for luggage huh. Would it not make a big difference if there was a room to refreshen yourself and charge yourself with energy? Yes ofcourse with goat yoga! Few folks at the Denver International Airport took the initiative to convert a storage room into a goat yoga room considering the fact that it may help many stressed travellers relax themselves who enjoy yoga and love goats. The Denver Airport communications team claim that they wanted to make the passengers feel that travelling can be fun and packed with surprises too.
Would you give it a try?
I Personally love animals and admire the concept but I rather stay away from it because I feel that it is interrupting to my practice and plus goats tend to poop and pee everywhere unless their owners wear them a diaper lol. Other than that in most places the staff of the farms is always around to take care of any mess. According to Katherine Hof, a yoga teacher at the Circle Bar C Dairy Goat farm in Indiantown. “Just petting them, it brings down your blood pressure, it helps with stress.“ Many people who have experienced it feel that it is a distraction but a distraction that makes you giggle and laugh which is the whole point of it. Lastly, the whole point of yoga is to help yourself relax and connect happily with the surroundings and that same purpose is fulfilled by the cute little animals.
Have you ever tried goat yoga? If not are you thinking of taking goat yoga classes in the future? If you liked this post then please feel free to leave your comments below.
A warm namaste to you from your yogi friend,
The following sources were used