If you’re lucky enough to live in or around Oregon’s Willamette Valley, you can now take yoga classes with goats. Yes, you read that right—goat yoga is a thing in Oregon.
Michigan native Lainey Morse moved to Oregon a decade ago and fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning goats. She started by buying a farm and named it No Regrets Farm.
She told The Washington Post, “I had never had [goats], never been exposed to them, never even touched one. But I’d see videos and think they’re just such cool animals.” She bought two goats, a copy of Raising Goats for Dummies, and became a goat farmer.
After going through a divorce and being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an immune system disorder, Morse said that she discovered the therapeutic value of spending time with her goats. “It’s hard to be sad and depressed when you have baby goats jumping around you.”
Soon she began to invite friends over to share in some goat therapy, which eventually led to goat yoga—and even goat yoga with wine tasting.
“I think the whole combination of country life, animals and yoga just went so beautifully together that people just resonate with it,” she said. “The world is so stressed out right now, and they don’t want to think about politics, ISIS and war. It’s a happy distraction.”
According to the Goat Yoga website, the farm offers more than a traditional yoga class. “It may even sound silly but it’s helping people in extraordinary ways and it’s making people SMILE! It’s really about disconnecting with day to day stress, sickness or depression and focusing on positive and happy vibes.”
The classes offer 360-degree views of the Coastal Mountains and the Willamette Valley “while adorable, friendly and loving goats wander around and hope to get snuggled by the humans.”
“I know it may sound silly, but it really helps people,” Morse said. “It helped me when I went through this diagnosis, which was just awful. I have had people who had cancer come to the classes and they’ll tell me, ‘That helped my head more than anything I tried.’ It’s not curing diseases or anything, but it’s helping people cope.”
There are currently eight goats on “staff” at Morse’s farm. Dodger is a 100-pound boar goat who is the veteran of the team. There are also five Nigerian dwarf goats and a pair of baby goats named Romeo and Fabio.
“They basically think that humans were put on this earth to pet them 24/7,” said Morse.
Reviews have been very positive—even inspiring.
“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. The yogini was great, and the joy in that barn was palpable,” wrote Cherie Twohy on the Goat Yoga Facebook page. “And the snuggly babies? Well, I hope they counted them, because I know there was temptation to sneak one into a yoga bag.”
“Baby goat yoga was amazing,” Lauralei Schuster wrote. “Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. The baby goats played all around us and climbed on laps or chewed on various things while their mamas looked on. The yoga was relaxing and energizing and occasionally hilarious when the goats jumped on someone.”
Theresa McLaren wrote, “Such a fun way to have an expanded yoga practice with sweet breath, the breeze, the gentle chewing of the goats and occasional head butting. Heather Davis is a great yoga teacher and Lainey has super sweet goats!”
Unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait if you’re interested in signing up for goat yoga. There’s currently a waiting list of over 1,100 people! But here’s a baby goat yoga video to tide you over until you can score a yoga date with these sweeties:
Baby Goat Yoga happened and it was amazing! 😍🐐#goatyoga #babygoatyoga
Posted by Original Goat Yoga on Wednesday, December 21, 2016