As social media continues its steady rise, it has become home to a variety of unexpected trends. One trend that has caught the eye of many nationwide is goat yoga.
After making a seamless entry into the media world in mid-2016, the practice has been introduced onto college campuses around the nation as a way for students to de-stress around midterms and finals season. While this relaxation method has been around for a few years now, a lot of people are still unsure of what goat yoga is and if it has legitimate benefits.
Founded on a farm in Oregon in 2016 by Lainey Morse, goat yoga has taken the internet world by storm, especially after Khloe Kardashian and Kevin Hart were seen taking part in one of these yoga classes.
Lainey Morse started goat yoga after realizing the amount of comfort and relaxation she felt by spending time with her goats during some of her worst times. She combined this with yoga as an effort to spread the feeling she felt with others nationwide. Since then, the practice has exploded into a nationwide sensation.
— Original Goat Yoga (@GoatYogaOregon) October 18, 2019
The practice is a form of animal-assisted therapy that helps reduce anxiety and allow participants to let go of any stressors in their daily life. While in most animal-assisted therapies the animals are trained and are heavily incorporated into the routines, in goat yoga, goats have free rein over the area they’re in.
They do not have any specific training. These goats wander around the class doing whatever they please even if it means jumping on your back during plank. The classes are usually filled with baby goats, who are easier to do yoga with and harder to get annoyed with if they mess up your pose or distract you.
Also, since they are baby goats, they’re known to fall asleep in random areas during class. They’re also extremely needy so they will most likely try to get you to pet and play with them. Participants are meant to navigate their way around these sleeping fur balls and maintain as much focus as they can while doing the yoga poses and keep their breathing in check.
Classes usually take place outdoors to promote a serene atmosphere and allow yoga practitioners to feel at one with nature. Overall, the combination of basic yoga practices, the setting and baby goats are meant to promote a more peaceful and rewarding experience than plain old yoga.
What once started on a farm in Oregon has now expanded nationwide thanks to social media. Selfies with goats started going viral along with videos of the goats participating in yoga classes. It caught the attention of influencers and celebrities who took to their own accounts to rave about the practice. This rapid expansion raises many questions about the legitimacy of this trend.
While taking selfies with adorable goats is definitely a stress reliever, is it worth doing yoga with them as well? As mentioned before, goat yoga is an animal-assisted therapy. This form of therapy has been proven to be extremely beneficial because it allows participants to feel safe and calm in the area they are in. Animals also tend to make people feel good, which is a huge factor that goes into goat yoga.
In general, yoga is meant to promote relaxation and inner peace. Vinyasa Flow is the type of yoga that is practiced in combination with allowing baby goats to roam around. This type of yoga focuses heavily on breathing and moving as you breathe.
It incorporates movements that flow together and are kept together by breathing techniques. It promotes a calm state of mind and reduces anxiety levels. It also introduces people to different breathing techniques that may help relieve anxiety in day-to-day life.
Along with this, it enhances focus and allows people to concentrate on only the movements and not any stressors from their daily routine. Due to the nature of Vinyasa Flow, introducing goats to the practice allows for a much more relaxing time. The benefits of animal-assisted therapy and Vinyasa Flow allow for participants to get into a calmer state of mind.
The goats provide that feel-good atmosphere that promotes safety and allows people to fully immerse themselves into the yoga poses. It also allows people to let loose and feel okay with doing yoga poses that they may not fully know how to do. Because of all the emotional healing this practice provides, it is a really good option for people with depression and anxiety.
Since the benefits of goat yoga are reduced anxiety and stress, it is a perfect addition to college campuses. Stressed college students and needy baby goats are surprisingly a good mix. College students face high levels of stress and anxiety, which is why therapy dogs are brought onto campus to help students unwind. However, with the rise of goat yoga, some colleges are also introducing this practice as well.
For many college students, yoga is something they do not really consider doing, but by adding goats to the practice, it definitely spikes interest. On college campuses, goat yoga allows for students to have a good time reducing stress with yoga — something they may not be familiar with — and hanging out with goats.
Many trends have a short life expectancy due to the nature of the internet. Trends come and go as the spotlight gets shifted. However, goat yoga has continued to make frequent appearances on social media. While there might not be as much attention on the practice as there initially was, interest in goat yoga is here to stay. Aside from it being an excuse to spend time with adorable baby goats, it gives people a moment of calmness in a busy day.