The latest in a string of animal-related yoga practices? Ohm MacDonald's goats head to the mat.
OK, so the goats won't actually be practicing their upward dogs, but they are free to move about the practice space to interact with—and enjoy time with—yogis on the farm.
Goats and Yogis
Modern Farmerreports that Lainey Morse is responsible for the latest rendition of animals joining in for yoga practice. According to Modern Farmer, Lainey invites yogis to “the back field” of her farm to practice yoga amongst the goats. If you're a little apprehensive about sharing the field, Lainey makes a point to reassure the potentially wary. The goats, Lainey says, "have been socialized with people from the day they were born. They are so calm and friendly. They just wander around everyone, sometimes sitting down right next to someone to get pet."
Animals have been popping up at yoga practice for some time now. While we've seen the more common place animals heading to the yoga studio—like cats and dogs—the trend has been reaching species we might not as likely expect. Horseback yoga is a thing, and bunny yoga, too. Bunnies recently hopped their way into our hearts, and the yoga studio recently as a means to bring awareness to a bunny rescue mission in Richmond, British Columbia.
Sans studio, the goats found their way, instead, to the yoga field. Modern Farmer notes that “Morse’s goats—a mixture of Nigerian dwarf and pygmy goats, with one full-sized Boer—serve more like therapy animals during a normal human yoga class.” The association between therapy animal and goat might not be immediately apparent, but Lainey tells Modern Farmer that her goats are “very peaceful animals and everyone that comes over leaves stress free and happy.”
So, how did "Goat Yoga" start?
With a kids' birthday party.
One of the mothers in attendance was a yoga instructor; she told Lainey how peaceful and scenic she found the farm. Lainey recalls, "she suggested holding a class in my field." She being yoga instructorHeather Ballenger Davis, from Live Well Studios in Corvallis, Oregon.
Lainey held her first Goat Yoga class at her farm, No Regrets Farm, and was blown away by the response. People came from miles away—some even drove 100 miles each way—just to attend the class. A few extra farm animals even attended that first class. On the property, amongst the goats and yogis, were four friendly chickens, and a barn cat. Lainey remembers one particular interaction: "At one point the yoga instructor picked up a chicken and just cuddled it while she taught the class."
Go for the Goats
Judging by the positive reaction by the yogis in attendance, she realized maybe she was onto something. Lainey has decided to add a few more Goat Yoga classes to her schedule for September. Weather permitting, classes will continue on through the fall.
Sound like something you might enjoy? You're not alone, I'm right there with you. Classes are $10 and they do good, too. Lainey says that, "50 percent goes to charity and the other portion goes to the farm operating costs." Understanding, and seeing first hand, the happiness that the goats bring has led Lainey to dream big for the future. She explains her end goal, saying that, "the end result in the near future will be to specialize in Animal Assisted Therapy for people suffering from grief, abuse, or even disabilities."
To learn more about No Regrets Farm, or to reach out to Lainey visit the website here. If you can't make it all the way to Oregon to visit the farm to practice, but you're still looking for a daily dose of goat-cuteness, visit the farm's instagram page, Your Daily Goat.