Combating Stress With the Latest Exercise Craze: Goat Yoga

Goat yoga is the latest exercise craze: It works your funny bone as much as any other body part. Add in a free beer and an Instagram-worthy pic—who could ask for more?

By: Donna Lugo

In an age when activities are often judged by their potential toyield the highest number of likes, one can feel weary of every new trend thatcrops up. However, in the case of goat yoga, you may find yourself sodistracted by cuteness and laughter that you’ll forget your phone altogether.Goat yoga is pretty much what it sounds like: Participants follow along to ayoga instructor as they inadvertently become a human jungle gym for small goatsto jump on and crawl through as they pose. Thanks to a collaboration betweenGolden Road Brewing Los Angeles and Hello Critter, a goat yoga business foundedby Burbank native Michelle Tritten, this unique experience is more accessible thanever.

Jean-Luc Cavnar-Lewandowski, the assistant special eventscoordinator for Golden Road, approached Hello Critter with the idea to bringgoat yoga to the pub’s “lawn,” a small indoor space with Astroturf and thelingering yet alluring odor of pub food. A $30 ticket will get you one hour of hathayoga led by a certified instructor (with a seemingly endless arsenal of goatpuns at the ready), a free beer insidethe brewery after the class, and a meet-and-greet with the goats photographedby Hello Critter staff.

“Both my boss and I went to college in Colorado where the trendis said to have started, and we thought it was an interesting idea,”Cavnar-Lewandowski says. “I personally really like animals and the idea ofbeing able to interact with animals that you usually wouldn’t get to be around.”Apparently Angelenos think it’s an interesting idea, too. Every class has soldout since the series began back in March of this year.

The yogi-to-goat ratio is rather small (around 15 to 20participants per session), so plenty of face time with a goat is ensured. Trittencoaxes the goats around the class with a saucer of carrot and banana chips.It’s at this point when you’ll likely find yourself in a fit of giggles, aseither you or the person next to you is surprised by the gentle nudge of a goathead grazing your belly while in downward-facing dog, or some babysock-cushioned hooves lay claim to your back as you try to hold child’s pose.And while the goats do have the occasional “accident,” be it their tiny “blackbean” pellets or what Tritten refers to as “holy water,” Tritten is there tospring into action with a broom, dustpan, and disinfectant, cleaning the scenein seconds. She also notes that goats are vegetarians, so their “deposits” arevirtually free of any unpleasant odor.

Tritten, who has kept goats and horses since childhood, relishesthe opportunity to share the playful silliness of the critters with others. Classfavorites such as Nigerian Dwarf goat Billy and his comely cousin, Burlap, arehappy to oblige.

“What I enjoy most about the classes is the people who come toparticipate because they have a great sense of humor, they’re animal lovers,they’re very tolerant,” Tritten says. “It’s such an honor to be in the presenceof people who are having such a good time. I never experienced that until goatyoga, where I’m constantly around laughter and happy faces. It’s a dream cometrue.”

Golden Road Brewing Los Angeles, 5410 W. San Fernando Road, Los Angeles. Ticketsare available at eventbrite.com/goat-yoga.

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