By Virginia Pellington
Blacksburg, Va., Sept. 28— Goat Yoga: The new fitness trend Goat Yoga is taking on Blacksburg. Hoof Hearted Farm has over 25 goats ready to interact with their yoga guests. Photo: Virginia Pellington
by Virginia Pellington–
The art form of yoga has been around for centuries, but recently, it’s taken a new twist. Goat Yoga is the new craze in the fitness community, and residents of Blacksburg are jumping on board.
After a Facebook video went viral, Goat Yoga events began popping up in yoga studios around the country. In April 2017, the Blacksburg Yoga Collective (BYC) decided to give it a try; what they thought was going to be a one-time event, has turned into a weekly occurrence.
Kacy McAllister, a BYC yoga instructor, mentioned that they started Goat Yoga after someone posted the viral video to their Facebook page.
“We did it once and the turn out was so huge that we knew we had to make it a regular thing,” McAllister explained.
Goat Yoga is essentially a regular yoga class with goats roaming around the studio and interacting with the guests. The inspiration comes from Lainey Morse, who started the trend on her farm in Oregon. Currently, her classes are so popular that there’s a waiting list of 1,200 people that grows every day. According to Morse, Goat Yoga is no different than taking your dog on a walk; the combination of exercise and interacting with animals is apparently very therapeutic.
CiCi Sobin, a regular BYC yoga attendee, said her favorite part about Goat Yoga is that it gets people who aren’t normally into yoga outside and active.
“Yoga is so great for the mind and body, and I really enjoy seeing people get into it—even if they are just here for the goats,” Sobin said.
What Sobin says about its health benefits is true according to research. One study conducted by Harvard Health found that participants who spent three months doing yoga experienced a 30 percent decrease in anxiety and depression. In addition, GoatYoga.net, Morse’s website, explains that Goat Yoga is not actually curing any diseases, but offering a necessary distraction from day-to-day stress.
Morse and the Blacksburg Yoga Collective are taking advantage of this fitness trend while it’s still relevant. Morse quit her job in marketing and photography to devote her full attention to this new idea; she currently works full-time developing her new Goat Yoga business. McAllister from the BYC says she is just excited to see more people get into yoga.
“My goal is to see at least one new face at every event,” McAllister said.