We’ve heard of some crazy fitness trends, but this one takes the cake.
When Laughing Frog, one of my favorite yoga studios in Los Angeles, sends out a newsletter asking whether students would be interested in taking a goat-yoga class, it takes me all of 15 seconds to hit reply and send a resounding YES. Apparently, I’m not the only one. Very quickly, their single-class offering turns into eight consecutive weekends as class after class sells out.
Goat Yoga Origins
I first witnessed goat yoga early last year. Insta-yogi Rachel Brathen shared videos of her baby goat climbing over her back during her home practice. Shortly after, a farm in Oregon starts offering goat yoga classes. Then a farm in New Hampshire. And before you know it, it’s all over the news and spreading like wildfire across the nation.
How Does It Work?
The classes at Laughing Frog are run in partnership with Party Goats LA. In the classes, two adorable baby goats named Spanky and Pippin accompany two trainers. A yoga instructor teaches class as she normally would, except the baby goats have free rein to come and interact with you in your practice.
“Spanky and Pippin are trained to jump on people during key yoga poses such as plank, down dog, upward dog, child’s pose, boat pose, bridge, and wheel. They’ll also go under your legs during warrior and other standing poses,” says trainer Scout Raskin.
Indeed, the trainers guide the baby goats with feed, and also stop them from occasionally munching on a ponytail. (Trainers also take responsibility for cleaning up any accidents. But be warned: There’s no guarantee a goat won’t do its business while on top of your back.)
But Seriously, Are There Any Benefits To Goat Yoga?
Admittedly, this isn’t the most physically intensive workout I’ve partaken in. Although the 25-pound goats can add a little extra resistance to your planks, they have a lot of people to circulate through in class.
With that said, it’s hard to not giggle at goat yoga.
“Let’s face it: The whole idea of goat yoga is a little absurd, but don’t discount it as a novelty. The goats force you to be light-hearted and not take every little thing so seriously,” says yoga instructor Jodi Michaels from Laughing Frog.
“It’s not a traditional yoga experience, but it’s one that’ll definitely put you in a good mood,” agrees Scout from Party Goats LA.
And there is certainly something to it. A recent study on laughter yoga shows significantly higher mood and happiness as immediate side effects, plus decreased blood pressure with regular practice. Another study on laughter therapy shows a positive effect on the immune system. Laughter reverses the stress response with lowered levels of cortisol. Also, it can alter dopamine and serotonin activity making it an excellent form of alternative therapy.
Can you say, bahhhhmaste?