Goat Yoga. Yes, it’s a thing, and, as Warrior Addict discovers, there are some very surprising benefits. Read this article to find out more....
alt="Goat Yoga"> (Photo Credit:farirview.co.za)
What do you look for in a yoga buddy? Someone who’s well motivated, keen topractice inversions and who’s more than happy to document your more insane moves on Insta? Or how about one that’s really hairy, who will try and eat your t-shirt and who regularly gives you little head butts as you work your way through the session? If it’s the latter then you need to seek out Goat Yoga, which is coming to a straw-covered pen near you.
How did goat yoga start?
It’s origins lie in the US, when a farmer, who used goats as therapy to cut through some of the stresses of modern living, was prompted to include the animals in a class by a yoga-enthused friend. It was immediately apparent that they were onto something as a 1,200-person waiting list soon materialised. However,although it’s obvious to see how a goat’s hyperactivity could distract the stressed out mind, it’s not so easily apparent what they’re are going to bring to a class other than disruption, bleating and the occasional steaming offering on your yoga mat. However, the animal’s most famous characteristic (apart from them trying to eat anything that comes within munching distance) is what gives goat yoga its real appeal: goats love to climb.
(Photo credit: The Denver Post)
"They particularly like poses like seated pigeon, butterfly and hare pose" says qualified Hatha Yoga teacher Donna McCheyne of Simply Soulful Yoga, who runs goat yoga classes at Pennywell Farm in Devon. "These poses are all low to the ground and makes it easy for the goats to come in for social interaction and cuddles." Donna doesn’t take the practice too seriously but is adamant that the goats can enhance anyone’s yoga practice. Her class is fairly light hearted and "do not always go according to plan" continues Donnna. "However, philosophy and traditions of yoga is interwoven throughout and the class helps to relax, stretch and expand the body, mind and soul in different ways; inviting joy, laughter compassion and connection within ourselves, with each other, with the animal kingdom and the natural world around us. What you will have to do is manage your expectations a little - your normal yogaclass, this is not."
(Photo credit: The Denver Post)
"Whilst yoga can help us find a place of inner calm amidst all the chaos in our outside world, and this can be applied both on and off our yoga mat, the goats do not need a sense of calm to interact during class" explains Donna. "They are naturally sociable, inquisitive animals and they come and go organically whilst we practice yoga and will jump up onto someone’s back, or nibble their hair,whenever the mood takes them."
Author- Jon Axworthy
Looking for a goat yoga class near you?
If you are in the UK, find our more about Donna's awsome Goat Yoga Classes
If you are in the US, then we have found these awesome classes in Los Angeles Goat Yoga
Have you every tried Goat Yoga ? We would love to here what you think of it.