Pet fitness classes seem to have become all the rage.
You can work out with your dog, cat, bunny and hamster. OK, maybe not your hamster. But you can definitely do yoga with some baby goats.
I got the chance to try goat yoga or “goga” on a recent trip to Austin, Texas, where I attempted to do some sun salutations and other asanas with a baby goat plonked on my back.
Contorting your body in awkward poses isn’t easy in the first place, so doing it with little goats on your back can get interesting – to say the least. But thankfully, the Pygymy baby goats at “GogaGoatYoga” were not just adorable, but also well behaved.
Goat yoga isn’t all fun and games either. While this may be the latest fitness fad, turns out hanging out with pet animals has tons of health benefits.
It can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels as well as feelings of loneliness, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention – all of which make them the perfect fitness companions.
While I didn’t exactly get to check my blood pressure and cholesterol levels afterwards, I left the studio feeling pretty damn happy.
Here’s how I spent a spring afternoon doing yoga with baby goats:
I headed to the Goga studio close to the Alamo Drafthouse movie theatre near downtown Austin at noon. There were a few people already there, with three baby goats roaming about.
Here they are…
Rachael Phillips started Goga back in September 2017 with her boyfriend Trey Kitchen. It started as a fun activity to raise money for Hurricane Harvey victims but has become a flourishing business since.
The yoga session I went to was sponsored by goHappy at SXSW. GoHappy is a startup app that helps people plan group get togethers, assisting with everything from date polls and invites to checklists and photos.
While most goat yoga sessions are guided, the one I went to was a do-it-yourself kind of class — if you can call it that.
There were people of all fitness levels doing whatever poses they pleased. And taking tons of pictures while doing it, of course.
Here’s a pro…
…And some amateurs. (Yes, that’s me.)
There were also some unforeseen circumstances: baby goats pooping.
But they were still adorable. This one even nibbled on my cheek while I was trying to get him to pose for a selfie.
Honestly, I’m not a fan of yoga. But adding baby goats into the mix made yoga a lot less boring and and a lot more appealing to me.
But if you’re looking for a hardcore workout, this probably isn’t the best option for you. Goat yoga was hardly the best yoga class I’ve ever taken. Then again, that’s not what this was about.
I was able to stretch, interact with people and play with goats while my stress levels dropped. I walked out feeling happier, especially after the busy week I had.
And there’s no doubt it was certainly a very unique experience. If you’re an animal lover, you’d probably want to try it out at least once. Maybe not in New York, though, where an event was recently canceled due to health concerns.
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