Goat farmer Lainey Morse is hosting sold-out goat yoga classes. Yes, you read that right: goat yoga. It’s not yoga for goats, but rather, yoga hosted in a barn or a field, with goats wandering around, looking for a back rub as you forward fold. Currently, more than 1,800 people are on a waitlist.
"Some people fly in, or drive 300 miles," says Morse. "We had a class in my barn when it was 25 degrees out."
It may seem silly to anyone who's not a goat lover, but it makes sense to Morse, who started offering the classes in August. She’s always felt there was something therapeutic about goats. They helped her through a rough patch in her life years ago, when she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Sjögren's syndrome. Today Morse has eight goats—five miniature goats, one adult Boer goat, and two baby Boer goats—living on her farm in the Willamette Valley. Six of them are rescues.
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“It’s hard to be sad or depressed when you have baby goats jumping around you,” Morse says. “I started having people over who were going though hard times or were distressed to hang out with the goats. I called it Goat Happy Hour because everyone always left in a good mood.”
When a yoga instructor who was visiting the farm asked to teach a class on the scenic property, Morse was completely on board. Once word about goat yoga got out, classes started selling out and the waitlist grew. “Everyone who tries it says I’ve really got something special here,” says Morse. “It’s about disconnecting with the world and getting out in nature and interacting with animals.”
And the goats are loving it too. “They want to be where the people are,” says Morse. “They’ll walk around and sit on the mats and chew their cud, which is so methodical. They go into a sort of meditative state when they do it, and it’s really calming to watch.” Morse has partnered with Oregon State University to provide goat yoga to students this spring.
“I think the goats make people really happy,” says Morse, “and staying positive and happy has a big impact on your health.” Cute goats, nature, plus a workout? It doesn’t get much better than that.
If you’d like to sign up for the waitlist and find out about special events, visit goatyoga.net.
Fitness – Health.com