We’ve all heard of dogs having therapeutic properties, but goats?
That’s the basis of Lainey Morse’s new business: goat yoga classes. And if you’re wondering who would want to practice yoga in a barn with goats, the answer is thousands. That’s right, her classes at her No Regrets Farm in Oregon has a wait list of over 1,200 people as of yesterday.
“Goats are perfect for the yoga practice because it’s not only combining nature and animals, it’s combining yoga, and they all go together so well,” explained Morse. “The most fun part for me is watching people’s faces when a little goat comes up to them while they’re doing a yoga pose. It’s a distraction, but it’s a happy distraction.”
Morse formulated the idea of her yoga practice after hosting a child’s birthday party on her farm. A mother who taught yoga attending the party informed Morse that having a yoga class on her farm would be a popular attraction.
“I said okay, but the goat have to join in,” quipped Morse.
Morse knew that the goats would provide therapeutic support to the yogis due to her own personal experiences. After she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder a year and a half ago, she turned to her pet goats for help.
“I would come home every day and spend time with my goats, and it was so therapeutic for me,” she says. “It’s hard to be sad and depressed when there’s baby goats jumping on you.”
Her own experiences with her goats would quickly translate into others receiving joy and relief from her eight goats. Morse welcomes visitors from far away cities like Seattle and Portland who are lucky enough to ensure a spot in her highly sought after classes.
“It may sound silly, but goat yoga is really helping people,” Morse says. “It’s not curing diseases, but it’s helping people cope with whatever they’re going through. People come in that have anxiety, depression; they’re recovering from cancer or illness.”
Morse continues on, explaining how she uses her goats in animal assisted therapy for people that suffer from disabilities and depression. One participant, Cherie Twohy, concurs with this sentiment explaining: “I’ve had a rough couple of years, and this put a smile on my face that I can’t remember feeling in a while.”
While unconventional, Morse and her students can’t deny the power that these baby goats have in helping with the anxiety, a phenomenon that people commonly seek yoga out to combat. With pupils coming in from states far away to get a piece of the action, this is one trend that is not dying out anytime soon.
“I can’t believe ‘Portlandia’ hasn’t called me yet,” Morse remarked.
It’s just a matter of time before we see Fred Armisen practicing the downward dog surrounded by these cuddly little goats.