Goat yoga, no kidding!

Goat yoga, no kidding!

People, yoga, goats. It’s an unlikely combination but one that’s captured people’s hearts and imaginations. Grab your mat and get ready for fun.

September 20, 2019

I was curious and had wanted to try it for a long time. I’d read that goat yoga had begun in 2016 on a farm in Oregon where Lainey Morse was getting through a difficult period. Cheered by the presence of her lovely goats, she invited friends to share the joy. One friend, a yoga teacher, suggested they roll out their yoga mats. And that’s how the global trend was born.

“Goats have a sense of calm about them. It’s hard to be stressed or anxious,” Morse says. “They’re also funny, they want to snuggle or lay on your mat and be petted. They’re the perfect therapy animals.” The only real difference between goat yoga and a traditional yoga class is the goats, most often Nigerian Dwarfs. When you bend over, a goat hops on your back. If you’re in a lunge, one might come up for a snuggle.

Since Morse launched her business, goat yoga classes have sprung up around the world. I joined the fun at Quinchien Farm, close to Montreal, in Vaudreuil-Dorion. I was a bit skeptical, but my heart melted at the sight of Bonzo, Biscuit, Jellybean, Charlotte, and Zumba—all ready for action … and cuddles! Caroline Roy, the instructor, explained that goat yoga is all about fun. “You can do the poses, stop to pet the goats, hold a pose longer if you’ve got a goat on your back. The idea is to relax and enjoy yourself, and the goats.” She kicked off my class with sun salutations. The goats wandered around, and as soon as we bent over into flat back, the goats sprang—literally—into movement.

My take? Goat yoga has all the elements of yoga alongside aspects of animal therapy, it’s definitely not a conventional practice. My experience was a lot of fun and goats give great massages!

Quinchien Farm also offers mobile goat yoga—including goats, animator and yoga teacher—at the location of your choice. What an excellent idea for a bachelorette party, corporate team-building event, or a creative happy hour with colleagues … the possibilities are endless!

When it comes to goats, zoonosis - or the transmission of disease from animal to human - is a possibility. Before booking your yoga session at any farm, you may want to inquire as to the certification of their livestock.

Photos: Ferme du Domaine Quinchien

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