Remember when just yoga was a trendy thing to do? You sounded so cool being like, “Oh, just heading to yoga!” as you sauntered out the door with your mat and funky yogi socks. Now you have to be like, “Oh, just heading to a yoga sesh where goats are involved—BRB!”
To be fair, regular yoga is like vanilla yogurt and will never go out of style, but add some fruit in there and suddenly your workout is not just way more fun, but way more Instagrammable (which, let’s be honest, is a real goal these days). There’s vin and vinyasa (been there, drank all that), nude yoga for a truly spiritual, “owning yourself” moment, paddleboard yoga, cannabis yoga (makes sense), and, of course, goat yoga. All these—goat yoga included—are exactly what they sound like.
I’ve already done the wine thing, going nude and assuming any position with a bunch of strangers doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever, and my water skills are subpar. But goat yoga? Hell yeah. Fortunately, Phoenix had nearby AZ Goat Yoga, co-founded by yoga instructor Sarah Williams and goat owner April Gould, so off to the farm/studio I went.
“Goat yoga was inspired by the need to make exercise more fun,” Williams, who’s been instructing for two decades, told Bravo. “We thought it would be an awesome way to get people out in nature and laughing. Our mission statement is "to make people happy!”
That is an understatement. When I got there, people were deliriously happy and the excitement was palpable. And though there were people of all ages and sizes, we all had two shared goal: pet a goat, and then take a selfie with it. Which leads me to a very important point. Goat yoga is like 25% actual yoga, and 75% goat fawning. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Upon arrival, we all laid our mats out to form a giant circle with the instructor in the middle. She spoke a little bit about the goats, about how crazy this trend is, and how much fun we were all about to have. Meanwhile, goats dressed in tutus, bunny ears, Hilda hats, and pajamas were everywhere. They were head-butting, snacking on grass (like actual grass, this wasn’t cannabis goat yoga), and literally jumping on top of people.
Turns out, Gould extensively trains the goats to jump on top of yoga-goers, and it is an essential part of goat yoga. At the very end of the session, there’s even an opportunity to assume difficult poses with friends in which the goats participate, as well. Talk about an awesome photo op!
In the moments when the goats weren’t hopping on you, real yoga was done. I snuck off to go get some water at one point and realized that this “yoga focused time” is when the goats go through your belongings. Anything made of paper, and all open water bottles, are free game, so beware. And if you leave your mat unattended, they will assume it’s theirs and take a nap.
I know what you’re wondering, though: Can goat yoga actually keep you healthy? Is it a true replacement for your regular workout? The answer, quite honestly, is no. There are way too many (awesome) distractions that prevent you from breaking a true sweat. That said, I did hear from several attendees that they felt sore afterward, so it’s doing something.
Williams told us, “Anything that gets you outside and moving is good for you. If you did goat yoga on a regular basis, you would be a happier person, and happy people make better life choices.”
I totally buy that, because I was elated during the whole session, and for the rest of the day I was just plain happy. I have every intention of returning, and this time I'm bringing friends because more people need to get in on this thing, as ridiculous as it may be.
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