What is Goat Yoga? All You Need to Know About This Adorable Practice

Written by Nina Phillips
Published: December 6, 2023
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Want a change of pace from regular yoga? Goat yoga may be just what you need.

©SFIO CRACHO/Shutterstock.com

Yoga is made to be a relaxing but healthy exercise. However, some people want a little more excitement in their daily meditation and yoga sessions. There are classes like hot yoga to get you sweating, or vinyasa yoga for an aerobic workout. For a little more of a boost to your mental health, there’s goat yoga.

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If you want to learn more about goat yoga and how it differs from regular yoga, you’ll want to read below. This article covers the good and bad parts of the adorable new trend known as goat yoga.

What Is Goat Yoga?

Make sure you’re baaaa-lanced, or your goat partner can knock you over.

When you first hear of goat yoga, you may think of some unique yoga position meant to mimic one of these hoofed animals. In reality, it’s the combination of yoga and cute goats.

If you don’t have your own goats, don’t worry. You can go to a specific class, or you can hire goats for an event, class, or video. If you become friendly with the owners, you may even be able to host several sessions a month.

Sometimes the goats get the freedom to run around and explore the new people. Other times, the animals are specially trained to add an extra challenge to certain positions, such as adding extra weight on your back to make a pose more challenging.

Some poses that goats most interact with people include:

  • Plank
  • Downward dog
  • Upward dog
  • Boat pose
  • Bridge
  • Child’s pose
  • Wheel

The Benefits of a Yoga Class with Goats

Goat yoga is often a lot of fun. It’s also definitely a practice of patience and meditation.

Goat yoga has a few extra benefits over regular yoga. There have been numerous studies on how interactions with animals benefit people. A few minutes with animals a day increases happiness, lowers blood pressure, and makes for a great form of therapy

There are a few reasons why people do yoga. It’s said to improve posture, stress, sleep, heart health, and relax your system, among other things. For many of these, having an animal around increases the benefits you receive.

Goats are the perfect animal companion to have when you’re practicing yoga. They are amusing and entertaining, without overwhelming you. They help you relax and feel happy with their inquisitive and playful natures. However, they aren’t so annoying as to distract you from a good meditation session.

Additionally, goats are sure to climb around and nudge you. Even the stretches you’re quite good at will be a little extra challenging with a goat putting extra strain on you. You’re sure to activate your core and have to focus more on your poses as they nudge and climb around so you don’t lose balance.

Is Yoga with Goats Messy?

Goats are natural climbers, which makes them the perfect animal to climb on your back during a yoga session.

Goat yoga can be messy. As cute and adorable as goats are, they aren’t exactly potty trained. While it’s rare, it’s possible that goats will use the bathroom while on a mat. Even more rare, but still as possible, goats may use the bathroom while on your back.

The lessons themselves are also usually somewhat of a mess. As adorable as baby goats crawling around sounds, they are still animals. There will be times when they are unruly and cause problems.

If you aren’t a huge fan of mess or animals, then goat yoga might not be for you. It sounds cute and romantic, but it’s just as likely to be chaotic and messy. It’s also not a great option for those who enjoy having peace and quiet while practicing yoga. The goats will be making sounds, and people will likely be giggling and talking as the goats run around. For those who want to focus, it’s a bit of a distraction.

Despite the mess and sometimes unruly goats, it’s a great practice, can be fun on occasion, and is an experience any animal lover should try at least once.

Is Yoga Good for Goats?

If you’re worried that these classes hurt or stress out goats, don’t be. Most goats enjoy interacting with people. They are also curious. Meeting new people and getting the chance to explore during yoga sessions acts as a form of enrichment for goats. They may not get quite as many benefits from the yoga session as a person would, but they’re still enjoying themselves.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Robert Michaud

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About the Author

Nina is a writer at A-Z Animals. Her focus is on wildlife, national parks, and the environment. She has been writing on animals for over three years. Nina holds a Bachelor's in Conservation Biology, which she uses when talking about animals and their natural habitats. In her free time, Nina also enjoys working on writing her novels and short stories. As a resident of Colorado, Nina enjoys getting out in nature, traveling, and watching snow hit the mountains from her enclosed porch.

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