​It’s not a secret that yoga is good for your health.  People who do it regularly experience a whole host of physical benefits like better posture, more strength and flexibility, as well as the perks that come with regular exercise.

Yoga also provides mental health benefits too.  It can help to make you feel calm, beat depression, and decrease the hormones that cause you to feel stressed.

Although fitness fads come and go, goat yoga is a new craze that might be here to stay.  It combines the powerful physical and mental benefits of a traditional format with a touch of animal therapy.  This produces some significant, positive health effects that might be surprising to some, but are backed by science.

Scientists who research animal therapy find that spending time interacting with animals, like curious baby goats, can further calm your stress and anxiety and might help you live longer.

In this article, we’ll give you a list of 12 benefits of practicing yoga with goats.  They include improvements in your mind and body and combine to make you feel amazing after a session.

What is Goat Yoga?

Before we dive into the reasons why you should give it a try, let’s cover the basics of this fitness trend.

Goat yoga classes are run by a certified instructor and held in locations where goats can wander freely while participants move through poses.

This sometimes results in cute, cuddly, and hilarious situations where the animals snuggle, rub, or climb on top of students. This interaction is a form of animal therapy, although the goats aren’t trained in any way.

Because they are docile, friendly, and naturally curious animals, the goats can’t help but make friends with the humans in the class, which gives you a unique experience filled with smiles, laughter, and good vibes.

Health Benefits of Goat Yoga

Woman doing yoga on a pink mat

Image via: Pixabay

Before we dive into the reasons why you should give it a try, let’s cover the basics of this fitness trend.

Goat yoga classes are run by a certified instructor and held in locations where goats can wander freely while participants move through poses.

This sometimes results in cute, cuddly, and hilarious situations where the animals snuggle, rub, or climb on top of students. This interaction is a form of animal therapy, although the goats aren’t trained in any way.

Because they are docile, friendly, and naturally curious animals, the goats can’t help but make friends with the humans in the class, which gives you a unique experience filled with smiles, laughter, and good vibes.

Increase Overall Fitness

There are over a dozen different types of yoga, and some require more physical fitness than others. Regardless of which you choose to practice, you’ll get your blood flowing and increase your overall strength and flexibility by hitting the mat at least three times per week.

Most yoga classes that include goats follow a Hatha format, which involves breath work, stretching, and poses. When you sign up for a class, inquire about the style so that you’re prepared for what to expect..

​Increase Mindfulness

Yoga encourages you to concentrate on your breath and clear your mind, which can bring a sense of calmness to your life. This dedicated hour of mindfulness, where you connect with your body and the animals around you, can have significant positive impacts on your health, and stress levels.

​Cardiovascular Benefits

Man lifting a kettlebell

Image via: Pixabay

Decreasing your stress levels can have positive impacts on your cardiovascular health.  People who practice yoga may lower their blood pressure, which reduces your risk of developing chronic health conditions.  

You may also see improvements in your lipid profiles, which can help to manage blood pressure and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

​Improved Body Image

Confidence is a trait that people both respect and admire, and people who exercise regularly may have more than those who don’t.

A regular yoga practice could make you feel strong and centered, which in turn could lead to more confidence and a positive body image.

​Interacting with an Animal Without Having a Pet

There’s also research that shows that there are dozens of positive health impacts to owning a therapy pet.  However, not everyone has the ability or desire to own and care for an animal. This is where opportunities to interact with them, without the drawbacks of being a caregiver, could be a good solution.

Participating in a yoga class that has goats who play with you will give you some of the same therapeutic and relaxation benefits of owning a therapy pet, but without the commitment.

​Enhanced Practice

Woman doing yoga

Image via: Pixabay

If you’re someone who does yoga for the mental benefits, adding goats to your practice might enhance your results.

Yoga naturally helps to calm you, make you feel uplifted, and reduce any grief or sadness you may be feeling.  It can also help make you a better communicator by giving you the tools to organize your emotions into thoughts and then express them to your loved ones.

The kind-hearted, carefree nature of goats will only enhance the sense of ease and happiness that comes from a yoga session.

​Increase Good Hormone Levels

We’ve mentioned a few times that yoga can decrease some of the hormones that contribute to stress. These same hormones may also cause you to gain weight and your skin to break out if you have too many of them in your body. It’s important to keep them regulated and at healthy levels.

On the other end of the spectrum, good hormones are essential to a good quality of life. If these get unbalanced or too low, you could experience symptoms like mood disorders, anxiety, depression, and lowered libido.

You could also see physical changes like hot flashes or difficulty sleeping if they get out of whack.

Yoga is a natural way to boost these feel-good hormones, and classes with animals are particularly beneficial.

It’s worth noting that classes that use poses designed to be calming and restorative will have the largest effect. Movements like child or corpse pose, where you’re encouraged to breathe and connect, are the best to correct hormonal imbalances.

Speak with your instructor before class to let them know if you have any specific goals and ask them to include poses that will help you reduce stress and release happy hormones to restore your natural state.

​Better Quality of Life

Woman wearing gray shirt streching

Image via: Pixabay

Yoga participants are encouraged to practice mindfulness both inside and outside the classroom. This can lead to better daily decisions that will impact your whole life.

For example, connecting deeply with your body may be the first step in helping you to make better nutritional choices. Listening to your internal cues could result in going to bed earlier and getting deeper, more restorative sleep.

Meditating on your feelings could make it easier to communicate with your partner, loved ones, or colleagues which leads to better relationships. Practicing deep breathing techniques could alleviate chronic pain, which might make you more active over time.

All of these decisions are interlinked to form your overall wellness, and they all tie back to the mindfulness you experience in yoga.

These small changes could add up to other external benefits like weight loss, clearer skin, healthy nails and hair, and better relationships.

​Laughter Therapy

In recent years, researchers have identified links between laughter and mental wellbeing.  As one of the most positive sensations, we can experience, a good laugh can also relieve anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, and increase good feelings thanks to the rise in levels of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins.  

These are the same chemicals that surge when you exercise, and by adding goats to your session, you’ll get an added boost.

​Alleviate Pain

Researchers have recently discovered that yoga is good for more than just general health and fitness. People who experience non-specific back pain could find some relief by adding in regular yoga sessions without changing anything else in their daily routine.

It’s also been shown to lessen other types of chronic pain like headaches, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

​Physical Benefits

If you’re curious about the ways your body will benefit from yoga, then check out this list of physical changes you may experience.

  • Stronger and more toned muscles
  • Better flexibility
  • Higher energy levels
  • Better lung capacity and respiration
  • Metabolism balance
  • Weight loss
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Protect bones and joints from injury
  • Increased balance
  • Improved athletic performance

Although this list isn’t comprehensive, it’s easy to see that adding classes into your weekly routine is an excellent way to see improvements in your physical health.

​Beginner Friendly

Although there are 100 different yoga types and formats you can choose from, most are easy to try, even if you’re just starting out.

When you register for a class, ask the instructor what to expect. Most animal yoga practices will feature elements like deep breathing, meditations, and a sequence of poses that will encourage relaxation and interaction with the goats.

Generally, in the goat format, you won’t need to do any complicated sequences or difficult poses making it both the perfect introduction to yoga and a fun way to experience your first session.