The Incredible Benefits of Goat Yoga
Goat Yoga has exploded in popularity over the last few years – quite possibly boosted by adorable marketing shots of baby goats frolicking amongst participants, or the rise of online goat videos. Whatever it is, goat yoga has taken the country and internet by storm, giving way to a viral sensation that disrupts the standard vision of a quiet, serene yoga class. But did you know that goat yoga has an amazing number of benefits, outside of cute photo opportunities and a chance to play with goats? Yes, it’s true! Goat yoga is actually good for you. So, check out the below list, and prepare to be surprised by the many health benefits linked to goat yoga. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to break out your mat and try a session for yourself.
But first, about goat yoga. If you haven’t seen the pictures, goat yoga really is just that. It’s a yoga session completed in the presence of, and usually in interaction with, goats! Here at Madd House Hill, our Nigerian Dwarf kids are a part of the session and roam about throughout the practice, stopping to receive attention from participants and occasionally climb on them! The serene nature of the yoga practice is balanced out by the fun-loving antics of the goats. Best of all, goat yoga is inclusive of all levels, from the true beginner to the experienced yogi. There is no need to worry about striking a perfect pose, as the class is focused on overall well-being versus yoga skills…and the goats aren’t judging! Ready to learn more? Here’s a few other benefits you can expect from a goat yoga class…
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
How can stress not melt away while you’re in the presence of baby goats? Goats are enthusiastic, joyful little creatures that bring happiness wherever they go, and are always excited to make a new friend. Compared to dogs and cats though, they are a little more cautious, meaning they won’t overwhelm you with their affection. They’re happy to receive whatever attention you’d like to provide. Studies have shown that even five minutes of interacting with an animal helps lower stress and anxiety through reducing cortisol, our stress hormone, and increasing serotonin and dopamine. So, imagine what nearly an hour of goat love will do! Goat yoga also helps to reconnect participants to nature, releasing tension and stress. While it’s not a cure for illness, the relaxation of the animals and yoga practice can reduce feelings of anxiety and help participants cope with the stresses of everyday life.
Reduce Blood Pressure
The CDC has reported that nearly a third of American adults suffer from high blood pressure, which can be a risk factor for other health problems. But did you know that researchers have found that the presence of an animal can reduce heart rate and blood pressure? Just the presence of an animal, even if unfamiliar, can provide these benefits – and research suggests that petting animals can reduce heart rate even more. Goat yoga sessions capture both of these benefits through a relaxed practice structure, meaning if a particular goat approaches you during the session, you can simply stop what you’re doing to play with them. In fact, you’re not just allowed to…we encourage it! We like to call it goat therapy.
Health Benefits from Yoga
While the goats are great, we can’t skip over the many health benefits of yoga itself. First of all, yoga is a low impact, adaptable and inclusive workout modality for all ages! All you need to get started is a willingness to learn, and a yoga mat or beach towel. Yoga builds strength, flexibility, and self-confidence with consistent practice. But most of all, yoga offers numerous mental health benefits by encouraging a sense of calm and mindfulness. Over time, these are linked to long term stress management, positive self-image, and a sense of control over one’s life. And let’s just say this one more time: you don’t need to be flexible to practice yoga! Remember, everyone was once a beginner. And the goats don’t care about your yoga background – they just want to visit!
There are a few common misconceptions about goats that we feel we should address here. The most common of these are that goats are dirty animals and possibly aggressive with large horns. This could not be farther from the truth. They are very clean, social animals, the majority of which do not have horns! We like to compare our goats to a medium size family dog in terms of personality and demeanor. Like a small golden retriever, our goats are friendly, playful, and intelligent. It’s not uncommon for them to stand peacefully by a single yoga participant if they find someone who will give them non-stop attention!
While not a strenuous workout, goat yoga has definitely become a popular fitness trend due to its many physical and mental benefits. It’s a great opportunity to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and reconnect with nature. Plus, you’ll be able to connect with like-minded goat enthusiasts and fall in love with the participating goats throughout the session. What’s not to love? So, grab your mat, and find a session…the goats will be waiting for you.
Until Next Time,
Madd House Hill
P.S: If you’re interested in trying a goat yoga session, check out our calendar! We offer sessions throughout the summer and fall. If you have questions or are interested in booking a private event for a group, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org