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Goat Yoga: Where Barnyard Meets Downward Dog


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Rhona Colburn



Welcome to the fascinating world of Goat Yoga, where barnyard animals meet downward dog! Goat Yoga has quickly gained popularity worldwide as a unique and entertaining form of yoga. Combining the benefits of yoga with the therapeutic presence of goats, this unconventional practice offers a delightful and memorable experience for participants of all ages.


Originating in 2016, Goat Yoga was created by Lainey Morse, a farm owner from Oregon, USA. Morse initially introduced goats into her yoga classes as a stress-relief tactic, but soon realized that the playful and curious nature of the goats added a whole new dimension to the practice. Since then, Goat Yoga has spread like wildfire, captivating yoga enthusiasts, animal lovers, and curious adventurers around the globe.


Goat Yoga offers a unique blend of relaxation, laughter, and connection with nature. The presence of the goats adds an element of unpredictability and joy, making each session a fun and lighthearted experience. Whether you are a seasoned yogi looking to mix up your routine or a beginner seeking a novel way to unwind, Goat Yoga welcomes all levels of experience.


In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the origins of Goat Yoga, explore its various benefits, provide tips on how to prepare for a class, explain what to expect during a session, highlight safety guidelines, and answer some common questions about this delightful practice.


So, get ready to roll out your mat, meet some furry friends, and discover the joyous world of Goat Yoga!


Origins of Goat Yoga

Goat Yoga may seem like a recent phenomenon, but its roots can be traced back to 2016 when Lainey Morse, a farm owner from Oregon, introduced goats into her yoga classes as a way to relieve stress and create a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.


Morse, a former corporate employee who found solace in the therapeutic presence of her goats, started inviting friends and neighbors to join her for yoga sessions in her barnyard. The goats, naturally curious and playful animals, would wander around, interact with the participants, and occasionally even climb on their backs during the yoga practice.


Word of these unconventional yoga sessions quickly spread, and soon enough, Goat Yoga gained national attention. The unique combination of yoga and goats captured the hearts and imaginations of people looking for a different kind of yoga experience. With media coverage from major news outlets, Goat Yoga became a viral sensation, spreading far beyond the barnyards of Oregon.


Today, Goat Yoga has become a global phenomenon, with practitioners and enthusiasts all over the world embracing the joy and novelty of this practice. From the United States to Europe, Australia to Asia, there are now Goat Yoga classes available in various locations, inviting people to connect with nature, animals, and their inner yogi in an unforgettable way.


The popularity of Goat Yoga can be attributed to its ability to combine the benefits of yoga, such as improved flexibility, reduced stress, and increased mindfulness, with the playful and therapeutic presence of goats. This unique blend creates an atmosphere of joy, laughter, and relaxation that sets Goat Yoga apart from traditional yoga practices.


While Goat Yoga may have humble beginnings on a small farm in Oregon, its impact has been tremendous. It has not only brought happiness and laughter to countless participants but has also shined a spotlight on the importance of animal-assisted therapy and the healing power of nature.


As Goat Yoga continues to grow in popularity, it reminds us to embrace the unexpected, find joy in the present moment, and always be open to new experiences.


Benefits of Goat Yoga

Goat Yoga offers a multitude of benefits for both the body and the mind. It combines the physical benefits of yoga with the therapeutic presence of goats, creating a unique and transformative experience. Here are some of the key benefits of practicing Goat Yoga:

  1. Stress Relief: Interacting with animals, such as goats, has been shown to reduce stress levels and promote a sense of calm and relaxation. The playful and curious nature of the goats can bring moments of joy and laughter, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.
  2. Mindfulness and Presence: The presence of animals can help to bring us into the present moment and cultivate a sense of mindfulness. When practicing Goat Yoga, participants are encouraged to focus on the movements of their bodies, the sounds of nature, and the interactions with the goats, fostering a deep sense of presence and awareness.
  3. Improved Flexibility and Strength: Like traditional yoga, Goat Yoga involves a variety of poses and stretches that help to improve flexibility, strengthen muscles, and increase overall body strength. The added element of goats can challenge participants to maintain balance and engage their core muscles.
  4. Laughter and Joy: Goat Yoga is known for its ability to bring smiles to participants’ faces. The playful antics of the goats, such as climbing on yogis’ backs or nibbling at their yoga mats, create moments of laughter and joy, boosting mood and enhancing overall well-being.
  5. Connection with Nature: Practicing yoga outdoors in a farm or natural setting allows participants to connect with nature and experience the beauty and tranquility of their surroundings. The fresh air, open space, and gentle sounds of animals can contribute to a deeper sense of serenity and connection.
  6. Social Interaction: Goat Yoga offers a unique opportunity to connect with others in a fun and lighthearted way. Whether attending a class with friends, family, or strangers, the shared experience of practicing yoga alongside playful goats can foster a sense of community and encourage positive social interactions.

It’s important to note that while Goat Yoga provides numerous benefits, it is important to approach the practice with an open mind and a willingness to embrace the unexpected. Each session is unique, and the goats may have their own agenda, which adds to the charm and unpredictability of the practice.


So, give yourself permission to let go, have fun, and experience the joy and benefits that Goat Yoga has to offer!


How to Prepare for Goat Yoga

Preparing for a Goat Yoga class involves a few simple steps to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you get ready:

  1. Wear Comfortable Clothing: Choose clothing that allows for easy movement and flexibility. Opt for breathable fabrics that will keep you cool during the practice. Keep in mind that the goats may climb on you, so avoid wearing delicate or easily damaged clothing.
  2. Bring a Yoga Mat: Most Goat Yoga classes require participants to bring their own yoga mats. Make sure your mat is clean and in good condition. You may want to bring a towel or a blanket to place under your mat for added comfort and hygiene.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Remember to drink plenty of water before and after the class to stay hydrated. Goat Yoga can be physically demanding, and proper hydration is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.
  4. Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at the class location a few minutes early to familiarize yourself with the surroundings and meet the instructor. This will also give you an opportunity to interact with the goats before the session begins.
  5. Remove Jewelry and Accessories: It’s advisable to remove any jewelry or accessories that may be easily grabbed or damaged by the goats. Opt for minimal or no accessories to ensure a comfortable and safe practice.
  6. Be Open and Flexible: Goat Yoga is a unique and lighthearted practice, so approach it with an open mind and a playful attitude. Be prepared for unexpected interactions with the goats and embrace the joy and laughter that they bring to the class.
  7. Follow Instructions from the Instructor: Listen carefully to the instructor’s guidance and follow the instructions provided. They will provide information about the poses, safety guidelines, and proper interaction with the goats. Respecting the instructor’s guidance will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Remember, Goat Yoga is not about achieving perfect poses or adhering to a strict practice. It’s about embracing the moment, having fun, and connecting with nature and the playful spirit of the goats. So, come prepared with an open mind, a positive attitude, and a willingness to let go and enjoy the unique experience of Goat Yoga.


What to Expect During a Goat Yoga Class

Attending a Goat Yoga class is unlike any other yoga experience you may have had. It combines the serenity and mindfulness of yoga with the playful and unpredictable presence of goats. Here’s what you can expect during a Goat Yoga class:

  1. Interaction with Goats: The goats are the stars of the show in Goat Yoga. They will roam around the yoga area, curiously observing and interacting with the participants. Be prepared for the possibility of goats climbing on your back, nibbling at your yoga mat, or even cuddling up beside you during certain poses.
  2. Laughter and Joy: Goat Yoga is all about having fun and embracing the joyous moments that come with the goats’ playful antics. As the goats roam around, their playful behavior may elicit laughter and spontaneous moments of joy, creating a light-hearted and uplifting atmosphere.
  3. Variation in Poses: Depending on the goats’ movement and interactions, the instructor may adapt the sequence of poses or make modifications to accommodate the goats’ presence. Goat Yoga sessions often involve a mix of traditional yoga poses along with poses that encourage playfulness and interaction with the goats.
  4. Relaxed Atmosphere: Goat Yoga classes typically have a relaxed and casual vibe. The presence of the goats creates a welcoming and non-judgmental environment, where participants can feel at ease, embrace mindfulness, and enjoy the company of the animals and fellow yogis.
  5. Improvisation and Adaptability: Goat Yoga is all about going with the flow and embracing the spontaneous nature of the practice. The goats may have their own agenda, and that’s part of the charm. Be open to unexpected moments and allow yourself to be present in the moment without focusing on perfection or achieving specific goals.
  6. Connection with Nature: Many Goat Yoga classes take place outdoors or in a farm-like setting, allowing participants to immerse themselves in nature. The fresh air, open space, and gentle sounds of the farm create a serene and rejuvenating backdrop for the practice.
  7. Memorable Experiences: Goat Yoga is not just about the yoga poses; it’s about creating memories that will last a lifetime. You may have the opportunity to capture unique photos and share laughter-filled moments with the goats and your fellow yogis, creating cherished memories of your Goat Yoga experience.

Remember, Goat Yoga is a joyful and interactive experience that prioritizes fun and relaxation. Embrace the unexpected, enjoy the company of the goats, and create moments of laughter and connection as you immerse yourself in this one-of-a-kind yoga practice.


Safety Guidelines for Goat Yoga

While Goat Yoga is a fun and unique experience, it’s important to prioritize safety for both yourself and the goats. Here are some important safety guidelines to keep in mind during your Goat Yoga class:

  1. Listen to the Instructor: Pay close attention to the instructor’s guidance and follow their instructions throughout the class. They will provide important information on how to safely interact with the goats and perform yoga poses.
  2. Maintain Awareness: Stay aware of your surroundings and the movements of the goats. Be mindful of their presence and avoid sudden or jerky movements that may startle or agitate them.
  3. Respect the Goats’ Space: While the goats may approach you and interact with you, it’s important to respect their personal space. Avoid pulling or grabbing at the goats, and let them initiate any physical contact.
  4. Protect Your Mat and Belongings: Goats are naturally curious and may nibble on or play with your yoga mat or belongings. To prevent damage, consider laying a towel or blanket over your mat or keeping your personal items safely secured.
  5. Be Mindful of Allergies: If you have any allergies to animals, including goats, it’s important to take necessary precautions before attending a Goat Yoga class. Consult with your healthcare provider beforehand to ensure your safety.
  6. Know Your Physical Limits: Like any physical activity, it’s essential to know your own limitations and listen to your body during Goat Yoga. Modify poses as needed and don’t push yourself beyond what feels comfortable and safe.
  7. Be Cautious with Children: If bringing children to a Goat Yoga class, closely supervise them to ensure their safety. Teach them to be gentle and respectful towards the goats, and discourage any rough or disruptive behavior that may startle the animals.
  8. Keep the Environment Clean: Help maintain a clean and hygienic environment during the class. Avoid bringing food or drinks into the yoga area, as it may attract the goats and cause distractions.
  9. Have Proper Animal Handling: Leave the handling of the goats to the owner or instructor. Avoid picking up or restraining the goats yourself, as this may cause stress or harm to the animals.
  10. Participate at Your Own Risk: It’s important to acknowledge that participating in Goat Yoga comes with inherent risks. Recognize that the goats are animals and may behave unpredictably. By participating in Goat Yoga, you assume any associated risks and responsibilities for your own safety.

By following these safety guidelines, you can ensure that both you and the goats have a safe and enjoyable Goat Yoga experience. Remember, safety should always be a top priority, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the joy and benefits of this unique practice.


Frequently Asked Questions about Goat Yoga

Curious about Goat Yoga? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you gain a better understanding of this unique practice:

  1. Is Goat Yoga suitable for beginners? Absolutely! Goat Yoga welcomes practitioners of all levels, including beginners. The focus is on experiencing joy, connecting with nature, and embracing the playful presence of goats, rather than achieving perfect poses.
  2. Is there an age limit for Goat Yoga? While age limits may vary depending on the instructor or location, many Goat Yoga classes are open to participants of all ages. However, parental supervision is typically required for children under a certain age.
  3. What should I wear to a Goat Yoga class? It’s best to wear comfortable clothing that allows for easy movement. Opt for breathable fabrics and avoid delicate or easily damaged clothing, as the goats may climb on you during the practice.
  4. Do I need to bring my own yoga mat? Yes, most Goat Yoga classes require participants to bring their own yoga mats. It’s also a good idea to bring a towel or blanket to place under your mat for added comfort and hygiene.
  5. Are the goats trained to participate in Goat Yoga? The goats are not specifically trained to participate in Goat Yoga. They are naturally curious and playful animals, and their presence adds a spontaneous and joyful element to the practice. The instructor will guide the goats’ behavior and interactions during the class.
  6. What if I’m allergic to animals? If you have allergies to animals, including goats, it’s important to take necessary precautions before attending a Goat Yoga class. Consult with your healthcare provider beforehand to determine if Goat Yoga is suitable for you.
  7. Are the goats clean and safe to interact with? Goat Yoga classes typically prioritize the cleanliness and well-being of the goats. The owners and instructors ensure that the goats are healthy, properly cared for, and up to date on vaccinations. However, it’s always a good idea to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands after interacting with the goats.
  8. Can I interact with the goats during the entire class? The goats will freely roam around the yoga area, and you may interact with them during the class. However, their behavior can be unpredictable, and some may be more interested in interacting than others. It’s important to respect their boundaries and not force any physical contact.
  9. Is Goat Yoga just about yoga poses? While Goat Yoga incorporates yoga poses, it’s not solely focused on achieving perfect poses. The practice emphasizes the joy, laughter, and connection with nature that comes from interacting with the goats. It’s a unique and lighthearted experience that goes beyond traditional yoga.
  10. What if I’m scared of goats? If you have a fear of goats or animals, it’s important to assess whether Goat Yoga is the right practice for you. However, many people who initially have reservations or fears find that the presence of the goats in a controlled and welcoming environment can help them overcome their fear and enjoy the experience.

Keep in mind that specific details may vary depending on the location and instructor, so it’s always a good idea to check with the class organizer for any specific concerns or questions you may have about Goat Yoga.


Now that you have some answers to common questions, you’re ready to embrace the fun, laughter, and connection that Goat Yoga offers!



Goat Yoga is more than just a trend; it’s a unique and delightful practice that brings together the benefits of yoga with the joyous presence of goats. As you have learned throughout this guide, Goat Yoga offers a range of benefits, including stress relief, mindfulness, improved flexibility, and connection with nature.


Originating from a small farm in Oregon, Goat Yoga has quickly gained worldwide popularity, captivating the hearts of yoga enthusiasts, animal lovers, and adventure seekers. The combination of yoga poses and the playful antics of goats creates a memorable and uplifting experience that leaves participants with laughter-filled memories and a renewed sense of joy.


By following the safety guidelines and preparing accordingly, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable Goat Yoga class. Remember to wear comfortable clothing, bring your own yoga mat, stay hydrated, and respect the personal space of the goats. Embrace the unexpected moments, be present in the moment, and allow yourself to let go and have fun.


Whether you’re a yoga novice or an experienced practitioner, Goat Yoga welcomes all levels of experience and encourages you to connect with nature, your inner yogi, and the playful spirit of the goats. It’s an opportunity to find joy amidst life’s challenges, let go of expectations, and create lasting memories filled with laughter and connection.


So, if you’re ready to embark on a unique yoga adventure, grab your mat, find a Goat Yoga class near you, and get ready to experience the delightful blend of barnyard and downward dog. Embrace the unexpected, laugh freely, and discover the joyous world of Goat Yoga.