Gracia Shao-Xue, Staff WriterDecember 8, 2021
A goat stands on the back of a goat yoga participant as she does the table top pose.
Regardless of the poop, saliva, and constant sounds of chewing, goat yoga provides joy and weekly relaxation to customers at Lemos Farm.
Since its creation in Oregon in 2016, the concept of goat yoga has remained popular. Lainey Morse, the founder of goat yoga, had been going through a divorce and was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, according to her personal website.
Similar to other animals that have been known to provide therapy and relaxation as well, Morse found that goats were helpful, and from there the idea of goat yoga developed. and gained national attention from outlets such as National Public Radio (NPR) and Time Magazine.
Animals used for therapy by Gracia Shao-Xue
In the local area, Lemos Farm has been providing goat yoga classes to beginner and experienced yogis for around four years. Their main goal: to provide an environment for their customers to relax and enjoy the company of the goats.
“I hope to give people a pleasurable experience and I like to follow the energy of the goats during my classes,” said Shirley Phelan, a goat yoga instructor at Lemos Farm.
Customers at Lemos Farm enjoyed a 45-minute yoga session followed by petting and photo time. For some, they joined this session hoping for a fun and unique experience.
“I had seen goat yoga on social media before and only decided to attend a class today. Interacting with these cute and cuddly creatures makes me feel calm. Especially with finals coming up, this brings some relief,” said Tizara CheemaMinhas, a local Belmont teen.
For others, the novelty of being able to pet the goats and take photos outweighed the experience of practicing yoga.
“Sometimes people end up doing very little yoga and they just end up being with the goats and sometimes they are really into the yoga but they always come out very peaceful,” said Kasia Szpakowska, an employee at Lemos Farm.
Regardless of whether customers intend to follow through with the yoga routine or just hang out with the goats, everyone is welcome. At Lemos Farm, the goat yoga sessions have been popular since their inception.
“In fact, goat yoga is so popular that it sells out. I mean it’s just slowing down this month likely due to the holidays but usually, it sells out,” Phelan said. “When they first started it in Oregon, [Lainey Morse] had 2,000 people on a waitlist. And, before the pandemic, we at Lemos Farm taught in the big barn and we would fill 30 people in there and sell out.”
For some people, this activity can serve as a way to destress or help someone deal with pressure. For CheemaMinhas, the experience was peaceful.
Interacting with these cute and cuddly creatures makes me feel calm. Especially with finals coming up, this brings some relief.”
— Tizara CheemaMinhas
“Goat yoga at Lemos Farm was a great way to kickstart my Sunday morning. I had never interacted with goats before this and I found total relaxation and joy when a goat sat by me for five minutes. I felt total tranquility and I found it hard to leave,” CheemaMinhas said.
Goat yoga has been a hit since it was created. This phenomenon has become so widely spread that even the employees at Lemos Farm crave interaction with the goats.
Szpakowska said, “I take care of the goats and I end up doing some [yoga] because I am immersed in the class. Isn’t it just so wonderful and mellow?”
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