File this under workouts you can’t believe are an actual thing. Goat yoga, which is yoga practiced in the presence of — and in tandem with — live goats, is the latest exercise to capture the imaginations and Instagram feeds of Angelenos.
Tailor-made for the selfie set, each class lets you do downward dog alongside barnyard goats in all their bleating, adorable glory.
For the most part, yoga goats are baby goats, which adds to the cuteness factor and intensifies the workout. How so?
When you get into tabletop, expect a goat to hop onto your back. A 2-month-old Nigerian dwarf weighs roughly 15 pounds, the perfect weight with which to plank.
Hello Critter offers goat yoga at Basecamp in Burbank and recently held a pop-up class at Acorn, a home and garden store in Eagle Rock.
Acorn’s backyard was cleared of its potted plants and succulents, too tempting for the goats that did manage to find a few stray weeds to munch on.
Michelle Tritten, owner of Hello Critter, introduced the yoga students to Floyd and Roscoe, 2-month old Nigerian dwarf goat yoga partners. They were social (“like low-maintenance dogs,” Tritten said), submitting to hugs and not a few selfies (#goatyoga.) There were 10 students and two goats in attendance at this outdoor yoga class cum petting zoo, ensuring lots of 1-on-1 goat time.
“Today we’re working with goats,” said yoga teacher Beverly O’Donohue, who led a gentle hatha sequence. O’Donohue was attentive — giving adjustments, reminding us to breathe— but she also embraced the novelty.
“See how organic this flow is?” she asked when people paused for pictures, explaining, “Why are we doing so many child’s poses? Because — goats. It’s the easiest pose to do and have a goat on you.…” (The goats were ushered aside during vulnerable poses that opened the chest lest we get a hoof kick to the sternum.)
At every safe opportunity Tritten worked as a teacher’s assistant, enticing Floyd and Roscoe to stand on our backs. How did she direct them? We’re talking about goats: She carried a Tupperware full of sliced carrots. For every yogi stepped on, a baby goat got a snack.
Let’s be real: You’re not here to sweat, you’re here because it’s goat yoga. That said, I did exert tremendous effort keeping it together the first time a baby goat, with its hard little hooves, landed on my shoulders. It was hilarious, and from what I could see, everyone else spent a good portion of class cracking up too.
In the end, it’s hard to take anything seriously, especially yourself, when a tiny goat is perched on your spine. About halfway through class, O’Donohue asked how it felt to get up close and personal with baby goats during our practice.
The man beside me shifted into side-angle, as Floyd frolicked nearby. “So far, so goat,” he said.