Last updated on September 26th, 2023.
Goat yoga is becoming popular among yoga enthusiasts. It allows you to practice your downward dog and warrior pose in the presence of real live goats.
Caprine Vinyasa is goat yoga suitable for beginners because it focuses on basic poses that can be performed at any skill level. Goat yoga is typically practiced with baby goats, which makes it even cuter. It also makes it easier to do a proper plank.
When you go to a goat yoga class, you can pet the goats all you want. If you choose to find out more about yoga with goats, check out this article.
What is Goat Yoga or Caprine Vinyasa?
Goat yoga or Caprine Vinyasa is a typical yoga session with the adorable addition of baby goats helping you with certain poses. The session consists of goats wandering around you as you go into your downward dog and on top of you when you get into plank position. They will also go under you when they are in warrior pose.
With goat yoga, kids (baby goats) are used because they are not as heavy as the older goats. Sometimes the baby goats will have diapers on so they do not go potty on the yoga student. However, if they do go potty on your mat, the yoga instructors typically have spray bottles of disinfectant to keep on top of it.
If you practice goat yoga on a farm with trained yoga teachers and animal handlers, the classes will be safer for you or the goats. Goats love to climb and jump, and they will surely take every opportunity they get to demonstrate this during a goat yoga class. You can also pet the goats as much as you want. Goats are sweet-natured and soft to the touch. Who could resist?
How Did Yoga with Goats Start?
The concept of goat yoga is a relatively new one. It came to be in 2016 when a farm owner named Lainey Morse began to hang out with her goats following a bout with depression, divorce, and an autoimmune disease diagnosis. She started having people come to her farm for “Goat Happy Hour.” As it turned out, Morse knew a yoga teacher who visited the farm.
The yoga teacher connected with the idea of spending time with goats and yoga. The idea took off, and goat yoga classes started cropping up nationwide. Goats have many great qualities:
Goats are also gentle and kind-hearted. They are often good with adults and even children. Goats can be taught their name and can come when called. They can be just as therapeutic as a dog or cat. Lainey says that her goats helped her through a challenging period in her life.
What is the Purpose of Goat Yoga?
Goat yoga is a great way to incorporate a love for animals with working out. You get to have the best of both worlds. There are many benefits to practicing goat yoga:
- Relieve Stress Spending time with animals will lower the cortisol in your body while increasing serotonin and dopamine. These are the happy hormones our bodies produce when we are feeling good.
- Cardiovascular Exercise Practicing yoga will lower your blood pressure and increase your heart rate, as it is a cardiovascular workout. Research has shown that stretching exercises can decrease arterial stiffness and improve vascular function.
- Better Mood When your body releases endorphins, it makes you feel happy, which uplifts you and makes you feel better overall. Research has shown that exercise can help lessen depression and dissipate stress.
- Improve Your Workout Performing yoga with a goat on top of you helps build more muscle strength. It also helps with cardio capacity and endurance. Goats can make great workout partners.
- Cuddle with Goat Research has demonstrated that cuddling with pets releases the happiness hormone oxytocin in animals and humans. The hormone is associated with feelings of trust and empathy.
- Family Activity Goat yoga is not just for adults. Children can benefit from time spent with animals. It teaches them to be compassionate and loving with animals. It is also a terrific way to spend time with the family.
Research has also demonstrated a plethora of mental health benefits when you interact with animals, whether they are therapy animals or pets. Studies have also shown that contact with companion animals can help improve social interaction and functioning in adults and children, regardless of whether they have a mental health issue.
How Does a Goat Yoga Session Work?
Goat yoga is like regular yoga, except for you being in the company of goats. Goat yoga is typically for beginners in yoga, as it is much safer that way for the yoga students and the goats. You should be prepared that the goats may climb over you, chew on your hair, and journey onto your back. These goats are so cute that it should be illegal, but goat yoga is very legal and fun!
The best part is that goats do not require a special bond with a human to go up to them and ask for pets and cuddles. Baby and adult goats often go up to a stranger asking to be petted. Farm sanctuaries and hobby farms run many goat yoga studios. You should always choose a studio that cares about the animals’ well-being and safety and yours.
When you go to a goat yoga class, wear your usual yoga outfit, and bring a yoga mat. You may want to wear clothes you do not care about if they get dirty. You can also expect the workout to be much more laid back than other traditional yoga forms.
Do Goats Help with Depression?
Petting animals releases a feel-good response in humans and lowers anxiety, and it can provide comfort and decrease loneliness. Goats can help with social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. As a therapy animal, a goat can positively affect brain chemistry for people suffering from anxiety or depression.
Goats can also help people recover from mental illness, abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder. For those who may be suffering from addiction or alcoholism, goats will offer non-judgmental support. Some people do not benefit as much from conventional therapy, and bonding with goats may be a source of comfort for them.
How Do I Find a Yoga with Goats Class Near Me?
There are plenty of family farms near the city or county you live in or within that vicinity. Go to the internet and type in “goat yoga near me,” if you allow your computer to be seen, the list of area goat yoga will come up. You may have to provide your zip code if you do not allow access.
For example, when looking for a class in or near Downingtown Pennsylvania, Hellerick’s Family Farm is the first option. It is located in Doylestown, about 45 miles and one hour from Downingtown. These classes were typically designed to occur in a farm setting. Make sure you find a “studio” with enough space for the goats to roam free.
Goat yoga has many benefits for the devoted student who wants to learn yoga and be in the company of goats. It may seem strange, but it is a fun alternative to other, more conventional forms of yoga.