Goat Yoga! Yes, it’s a thing and I’m here to share why you should give it a go. If you’ve never heard of goat yoga or you have but don’t know anything about it, you’re probably thinking it sounds as odd a combo as chicken and waffles (yes, also a thing but not near as cute or healthy for you).
When I first heard about this goat yoga phenomenon, I knew I’d have to check it out. My inner yogi was compelled to get on the mat and the animal lover within me was drawn to the goats (apparently a theme in my life as indicated in this snapshot of me at Busch Gardens circa 1990).
But it was interesting to me that when I gathered a group of gal pals to join me, most were all for it while some were not into it at all! It inspired me to share more about the experience to clear the air.
What I discovered was that while at first glance goat yoga may seem like some random novelty or crazy trend, not only did everyone have a wonderful time, there’s also more substance to it than meets the eye in terms of the experience as a whole.
But first, here’s what to expect
These 4 legged kids have no boundaries, they are curious and sweet and you get to be their playground. When you’re in cat or cow for example, they’ll hop on your back and you’ll get a mini hoof massage. They may walk underneath you and baaaahhh at you to pay attention to them. And guess what? You’ll absolutely welcome it!
It’s not likely that you’ll stay in the flow of the yoga sequences the whole time. This is a light hearted practice and the idea is to have fun! Definitely keep the phone nearby, in camera or video mode so that you’re ready to quickly grab it and get your cute pics.
Here’s 5 Reasons Why You Should Go to Goat Yoga
1) It’s for ALL levels:
Anyone can go to this kind of yoga class because you can make the actual yoga part as optional as you want and feel totally good about it. Some choose to focus more on poses and movement while others choose to simply be more engaged with their new goat friends.
Basically there are no excuses of being inflexible or even never having done yoga before because you’re totally free to just do you!
2) It’s Grounding:
Yoga on its own is very grounding and animals are therapeutic in this way as well. So the blend is like a grounding extravaganza. A grounded person has stability and balance physically and emotionally. Think stationary poll in the game of tether ball (tether ball being your life in this context!).
The opposite of not feeling grounded is feeling fidgety, distracted, or scattered. Moving the body, petting animals, being outside barefoot are actually all grounding techniques and they are part of the goat yoga experience.
3) It Brings You Into The Present Moment
Did you know that the majority of stress is because we are reliving something that happened or worrying about something in the future? But when in the present moment, the past or future isn’t a focus and therefore we feel much more content.
Your new goat friends help you be in the present moment because you are so alert to them, watching them with wonder and anticipation. As you’re capturing a cute photo or balancing a kid on your back, you’ll forget your to-do list or what you’re stressing about.
4) It Opens Your Mind
I don’t know about you but by nature I really love my routine. We routine oriented folk have a lot of strengths to offer- we are typically reliable, disciplined, and we finish what we start. On the flip side, it’s really healthy to try something new and get out of the normal routine. And here’s why…
When we try new things, we actually force the brain to work differently which stimulates creativity. There’s also a little level of fear when trying something new.
Stepping out of the comfort zone makes us realize the mind exaggerates things. It’s really about opening up to new possibilities and outcomes that we hadn’t considered so we don’t get stuck in old patterns.
5) It Awakens the Inner Child
Remember a time when you felt carefree, when you played and laughed, and didn’t have bills to pay or deadlines? For a brief while, goat yoga helps us tap into this childlike energy by lightening up, looking around, and laughing.
As adults we don’t often allow ourselves to play and goat yoga gives us that permission. Play time is actually spiritual nourishment that helps us feel free, emotionally safe, and it’s stress relieving. In other words it’s for the child in ALL of us!
Have you tried goat yoga? I’d love to know what you think! Send me a note here.
About Grady Goat Farm
If you are in the Tampa area, check out Grady Goat Farm. There’s a class every Saturday and Sunday at 10am and it’s located northeast of downtown Tampa. The farm itself is beautiful with green grass and large oak trees; it feels like a peaceful retreat from city life. And all of the goats, from the babies to the adults, are clean and well behaved.
The farm’s namesake, Grady, was a goat born blind and deaf. Debbie and Rob Canton did all they could to help him but eventually little Grady’s short life came to an end despite the special care he received. Now Grady’s spirit is given legacy through the Grady Goat Foundation’s charitable causes and the joy that the goat yoga events inspire!