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Goat Yoga: New Fitness Craze Hits People, Animals Around the World

Mar 23, 2017 06:45 AM EDT
Who wouldn't want to practice yoga with a goat by their side?
(Photo : Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A new fitness craze is sweeping over yoginis: goat yoga. It sounds strange, but it's a legitimate new way of keeping fit and relaxed that involves combining asana and baby farm animals.

Reports of this strange new way of exercising first came from the No Regrets Farm in Albany, Oregon, according to a report from Oregon Live back in January. It's simple: people practice yoga in a barn as adorable little goats wander around interacting with the crowd.

In a video posted on the 60 Second Docs Facebook page (see below), it was revealed that the class lasts one hour, beyond which the goats tend to get restless already. Part of the allure of goat yoga is the mischievous nature of these farm animals who tend to indulge in a variety of activities during class such as nibbling on the yoga mats or snuggling with the participants.

"My goats are very social and friendly animals and love to interact with people," owner Lainey Morse told Oregon Live. "Animals are known to have so many health benefits for humans as well. So the mix of goats and yoga seemed to fit."

While it is certainly unorthodox, people embraced this bizarre fitness craze. In fact, the waiting list for the class is now up to 900 people. Morse can no longer hold the classes in her barn because of zoning rules, but she now works with Oregon State University to hold the classes in the campus.

Goat yoga even made its way around the globe to the Ridammerhoeve Goat Farm in Amsterdamse Bos, according to a report from The Independent. When Dutch yoga instructor Brenda Bood heard about the farm animals being used in yoga in Oregon, she reached out to Morse and started her own practice across the world: Goat Yoga Amsterdam.

Bood explained that interacting with goats can do wonders to the participants' moods.

"They cause your body to produce more oxytocin," she said, referring to what's commonly known as the hug hormone. "I notice that, after a goat yoga session, class members want to stick around chatting to each other. They even arrange to meet up with each other. That doesn't happen so much when I lead a conventional class."

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