A few months ago, I had never even heard of goat yoga. So, when a bright yellow flyer with the words ‘goat yoga’ printed on it arrived at my doorstep, I was immediately interested. As it turns out, goat yoga is exactly what it sounds like: yoga practiced in the presence of live barnyard goats, in all of their bleating glory. And so, it should go without saying, goat yoga is much different from your average yoga class.
Firstly, goat yoga means going to where the goats are. That means successfully navigating a minefield of goat poop and laying down your yoga mat inside their farmyard pasture. You’re in the goats’ world now!
The goats look very cute frolicking around the pasture until they frolick over to your yoga mat and pee on it. Goats are not housebroken. Fortunately, yoga mats have two sides- flip it over. Don’t make the same mistake that I did by borrowing another person’s yoga mat for goat yoga. If you don’t have a yoga mat, just bring a beach towel that can later be washed (or disposed of).
Goats love to chew, except that they have no upper or lower teeth in the front of their mouths. But that doesn’t stop them from awkwardly gumming anything and everything that they can, so tight clothing is a must. Hair should also be pulled back tightly, especially if it’s like mine and is passable as a tasty, straw dinner. My shoelaces also made for fine goat cuisine.
Nearly every yogi in my class had their mat peed on, but I was the only to have a goat poop all over their mat- lucky me! As I said before, goats are not housebroken. And they’re not concerned with cleanliness either as many of them proceeded to walk through the poop and track it onto my classmates’ mats. On other occasions, at least in my experience, you may have to politely ask the goats not to eat their own poop. Aren’t they adorable?
As the old saying goes, “if you move to downward dog, the goats will climb.” And climb they did. Although the goats are not heavy, their hooves pressing into your back are not particularly comfortable. But, such a pose makes for great Instagram fodder (no pun intended).
Goat yoga is an up-close and sometimes too personal experience that I would not recommend if you do not have a sense of humor or, more urgently, a severe animal allergy. Otherwise, go for it! At least you can say that you tried it. Just know that, if you’re like me, you’ll want your next stop after goat yoga to be the shower.