This time it isn’t California introducing the newest weird trend … but Oregon is close enough.
It’s called “goat yoga” – not goats doing yoga, but humans doing yoga while baby goats frolic about.
“People are desperate for something that is pure and peaceful,” Lainey Morse, owner of No Regrets Farm in Albany, Oregon, told the Oregonian. “It’s really hard to be in pain and sad when there’s baby goats jumping around you. It’s just you’re letting go.”
But what was once a simple startup in her barn has taken off as a full-blown business with a line of goat-yoga apparel, seasonally themed Holiday Goat Yoga sessions that draw attendees from across the country, “Sunset Goat Yoga & Wine Tasting” events in coordination with a local winery and, of course, all the problems other new businesses encounter.
Success has forced Morse and her goats out of the barn – goat yoga in a barn is not a legitimate category to Oregon zoning officials.
“It’s been such an uphill battle trying to create this new thing,” said Morse, who quit her job of 10 years to do goat yoga full time. “I had six liability-insurance companies turn me down.”
Morse’s fledgling business was profiled by local media in August. She now has a waiting list of over 1,100, according to her Facebook page, and is offering licensing agreements to the growing number of copycat yoga instructors entering the new market.
The practice of goat yoga involves baby goats scampering among – and often upon – her clients. The classes last about an hour until the goats lose interest.
“My goats are very social and friendly animals and love to interact with people,” she said. “Animals are known to have so many health benefits for humans as well, so the mix of goats and yoga seemed to fit.”
In other goat news, the hooved critters in Turkey have just gotten their first sperm bank to help preserve the highly prized Ankara goat, which has nearly become extinct in its homeland. Selective artificial insemination and methods like embryo creation in laboratories have resulted in Ankara goats that produce 350 percent more of the expensive wool that other goats.
And in Maine, Phelan Moonsong – a pagan priest – has successfully convinced the state’s department of motor vehicles the goat horns he attached to his forehead and has worn since 2009 are legitimate religious items that should be included in his driver’s license photo, just as a nun’s habit would be.
Moonsong won the right without the support of the ACLU, which declined to take the odd case.