In the world of yoga trends, there’s no such thing as too crazy. If it exists, someone has tried to incorporate it into yoga and market the result. It’s no surprise, then, that doing yoga with goats is apparently a thing now. What better way to shake up your yoga routine than adding some farm animals to the mix?
Goat Yoga originated at a child’s birthday party held at the No Regrets Farm in Oregon (of course), about 70 miles from Portland. The child’s mother, who turned out to be a yoga instructor, asked farm owner Lainey Morse if they could hold a yoga class after the party. When Morse’s goats started interacting with the kids and parents during the class, the idea for Goat Yoga was born.
The central concept of Goat Yoga is pretty simple: people do yoga outside at Morse’s farm, while goats mill around just being goats. In keeping with the meditative atmosphere fostered by yoga, the goats are by all accounts fairly mellow, although they do have a tendency to sit on the yoga mats and poop a lot. Goat poop notwithstanding, the classes are already a huge hit — the initial Goat Yoga waiting list accumulated more than 600 names before the first class had even started.
On one hand, this sounds like a classic case of white people messing with yoga for no reason. On the other (and maybe I’m in the minority here), it actually sounds kind of fun. As Morse said in a CBC Radio interview, “I know yoga is supposed to be very strict meditation and relaxation. But I think the goats add a level of happy and fun to it.” Doga, or yoga with dogs, has been around for several years now, so why not goats? Plus, domestic animals are recognized as legitimate therapy aids for people who need emotional support. Let’s not exclude goats because of their minimal popularity and the fact that you can’t keep them inside the house.
Morse’s own experiences with goats also move Goat Yoga away from hipster nonsense and towards a potentially less nonsensical use of therapy animals. On her website, she writes that Goat Yoga is simply a step toward her “ultimate end goal” of specializing “in animal-assisted therapy for people suffering grief or abuse as well as people with special needs or disabilities.” Her goats, she told The Huffington Post, “are gentle and peaceful and just want attention,” and could be a good way to introduce people to animal-assisted therapy.
So maybe we should get on that Goat Yoga waiting list. At a time when basically everything seems awful, finding inner peace through goats isn’t such an outlandish idea.
Original by Kelly Kanayama