Find your balance amidst the bleating at Goat Yoga in Albany, Oregon. What seems like the storyline of an episode of "Portlandia" is completely real – and for $30, you can sign up for a Goat Yoga class and practice downward dog beside a wandering goat.
Like dogs, goats are very social animals who are naturally interested in human activities. This is especially true when the humans are stretching, posing, and om-ing in the goat’s natural environment. And when you participate in Goat Yoga, you’re stepping into the world of the goat – a world where being present in the moment is not a goal but a way of life.
The Beginning of a Trend
Situated about 70 miles south of Portland, Oregon, Lainey Morse’s No Regrets Farm boasts a collection of a dozen or so miniature goats. Like many pet owners, she realized the therapeutic potential of these easygoing animals, which were also a big hit with kids. One of Morse’s yoga instructing friends came up with the idea of yoga with goats, and soon thereafter – Goat Yoga was born last spring.
Since then, Morse’s Goat Yoga classes have been profiled in the New York Times, Yoga Journal, and Oregon Live. The New York Times reports that more than 600 people had "joined a waiting list before the first half-dozen classes were even held.”
Why Goat Yoga?
Cute little goats wandering around help alleviate some of the seriousness that can sometimes accumulate amidst the yoga mats in class. For many, especially newcomers, yoga can seem intimidating--designed for lithe, serene women who have it all together. But it’s hard to be intimidated when there’s a curious little goat staring you down and wiggling her tail.
Animal-assisted therapy is well documented, and friendly, small goats are a soothing presence for yoga practitioners. Dogs and horses are often used to help people heal from emotional and physical trauma. Animal-assisted therapy can also alleviate symptoms of depression and illness, and can help children with learning disabilities make progress. Why not goats?
The relaxing farm setting is not to be discounted either. Located far from the city madness, Morse’s farm features a bucolic atmosphere with chickens, a barn cat, and plenty of grass for stretching out. It’s just the type of setting that many city dwellers crave as they go through their lives surrounded by glass and concrete.
Get Your Goat On
Each class lasts for three hours and begins with one hour of chill time that lets the humans and goats get to know each other. This is followed by one hour of vinyasa yoga, and then another hour of goat playtime and selfie sessions.
Springtime classes are in the works for 2017, along with Goat Yoga retreats and therapy sessions. To get on the waiting list, please email Lainey Morse at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Goat Yoga website to request information, see pictures, and learn more about this unique endeavor.
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