Bikram…Ashtanga…Vinyasa…Goat. For my birthday this year, I wanted to do something that would be good for my mental wellness but also adventurous. Then I came across goat yoga! I already practice yoga regularly as part of my self-care routine, so I thought goat yoga would be a great way to bring more to my practice. I dragged my friends to Sugar Sweet Farm in Encinitas, CA and it was the best birthday celebration ever!
Goat yoga is exactly what it sounds like. You do yoga with a bunch of goats. So if you’re not a fan of farms or animals (or farm animals) then this is probably not meant for you.
I actually heard about goat yoga through a previous client of mine, so I was intrigued and looked it up. I think the idea behind goat yoga is sort of like animal-assisted therapy. In animal-assisted therapy, animals (think dogs, cats, horses, etc.) are used to complement traditional psychotherapy. Having animals present or caring for them can improve the overall wellbeing for a lot of special needs clients and for those who struggle with chronic anxiety or depression. So in a way, goats are like an added benefit to an already mindful and healing practice such as yoga.
The staff at Sugar Sweet Farm were incredibly nice and helpful through the whole process. Some people our group were actually nervous about the whole idea of doing yoga with a bunch of goats (in fact, our friend Brian has never even seen a goat in real life). Before we started, we learned how to handle them so we don’t injure the animals or ourselves. And throughout the session, there were plenty of staff that would come around to check in to see if you were okay. They also picked up some goats for us to hold! We were also surprised by some llamas at the end, and you can see in the picture below that I was beyond thrilled. Overall, it was such a therapeutic experience and I would do it again. I have to admit though, I was petting the goats more than I was doing yoga. So if you’d like to give it a try, I wouldn’t count on actually “working out” because you’ll definitely be preoccupied with all the cuteness!