why you need to try goat yoga as soon as possible


Illustration by Camryn Calderwood

The unusual combination of farm animals and yoga probably seems odd to most people, but goat yoga has been a fitness craze sweeping the nation in recent years. 


In my experience, not a lot of challenging yoga actually happens during goat yoga and that’s okay! The point of goat yoga isn’t necessarily to have a physically intense or challenging yoga practice, but rather to boost serotonin and relaxation through the presence of adorable baby animals. I’ve been to goat yoga in two different states put on by two different companies. During both seasons, the instructors were acutely aware that there would be spontaneous petting breaks and pauses during irresistible photo moments. In both classes, there were lots of laughs, uncontrollable smiles and frequent reverting back to table top or child’s pose so as to not accidentally boot a cute baby goat off a back.

Having little 15-pound goats walk around on your back feels surprisingly like a massage, although they require a little coercion from the goat “herders” to get them up there. Luckily, they are very food-motivated.

According to an article from the National Institutes of Health, being around animals is proven to decrease cortisol levels, lower blood pressure and boost serotonin. So by doing goat yoga (or kitten or puppy yoga, because those are real activities too), you combine the stress relief that yoga provides alone with the additional benefits of adorable animals.


One thing to be aware of is the possibility that a goat might have a little accident on your yoga mat. Considering this, I wouldn’t bring your favorite or most expensive mat to goat yoga and having a towel or two on hand isn’t a bad idea either.


For readers in Kent, my first and favorite goat yoga class was through Release Yoga in Akron. Recently though, I participated in a session followed by NamastHay Yoga in my hometown of Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, due to the outside nature of the classes, the goat yoga season in our area usually closes mid-October, so be sure to keep an eye out for when goat yoga classes resume in the late spring or early summer!

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