The Newest Holistic Trend has Made its Way to Texas – Goat Yoga!

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With mental health awareness being a bigger part of our daily lives than ever before, there are lots of holistic practices to give a try as we attempt to address anxiety, depression, and a myriad of other mental health issues. These days, yoga is a popular holistic answer to these problems. However, it’s been taken to a whole new level with baby goats. The newest trend in yoga is called caprine vinyasa – it’s a laid-back form of yoga with pygmy goats in an enclosed area, and it’s everything you’d hope it to be – fun, challenging, and filled with goat cuddles.

The Newest Holistic Trend has Made its Way to Texas - Goat Yoga!

Facebook / North Texas Goat Yoga

The concept of goat yoga began in 2016, when Oregon farmer Lainey Morse decided to host yoga classes at her farm with her baby goats present. She was going through a difficult personal time herself and found that her goats improved her quality of living and her outlook on life. She claims it’s difficult to be sad when baby goats are jumping on you! She decided to extend this gift to others, and this is how goat yoga was born.

The Newest Holistic Trend has Made its Way to Texas - Goat Yoga!

Facebook / Goat Boat Farm

To fully appreciate the complexity of goat interactions combined with the ancient practice of yoga, a brief history of both is in order. Yoga has a long and somewhat muddled history – some people believe that it’s at least 10,000 years old, but the earliest documented texts recording it are only 5,000 years old. However, it is generally accepted that it that began in India. How yoga is practiced has evolved over time; in the early days, it was a religious ritual, detailed in sacred Indian texts meant for the priests. Over time it became a ritual for enlightenment through physical discipline. Now, it’s a popular mindfulness practice and is used for emotional healing, better focus, better posture, and muscle strength.

One of the reasons that goats were the obvious choice for caprine vinyasa is because goats were one of the first animals to be domesticated. There’s a long and rich history of human-goat interaction; Neolithic farmers used goats for meat, milk, fuel, and clothing. Though the kind of farm life that requires barn animals may not be as common today, the need for contact with other species is still alive and well and is fully realized in goat yoga.

The Newest Holistic Trend has Made its Way to Texas - Goat Yoga!

The goat yoga experience typically focuses on Hatha yoga, which is a basic category that includes many different forms. It’s a relaxed style with breathing techniques and specific asanas (yoga poses) included, so it’s an accessible style for beginners and advanced yogis alike. Goats are naturally social creatures and don’t need to form a bond with yogis before interacting with them, which is one of the reasons they make such excellent therapy animals. Practicing yoga with the goats includes its own challenges; the goats tend to climb on yogis in the middle of their poses, which can make balance and proper form more difficult. Baby or pygmy goats are often the teacher’s herd of choice because they’re lighter than full-grown goats. Since goats are naturally friendly, cuddles are inevitable, and sometimes they’ll even take a nap on a lucky yogi’s mat.

Video: YouTube/Rated Red

Goat yoga quickly made its way to Texas, and now there are several organizations offering goat yoga sessions across the Lone Star State. Goat Yoga Houston and Goat Yoga Texas each offer classes out of their base locations and are mobile. North Texas Goat Yoga offers weekly classes in Arlington. There have been goat yoga pop-ups in Lubbock, Cypress, and Friendswood, and College Station. With the approaching new year, it’s always good to be thinking of healthy recreational activities to try – maybe goat yoga could be yours!