Yoga With Goats is one of the best known and practiced physical activities in the world. One of the advantages it has is that there are numerous types of Yoga, so we will always find one that suits our needs, tastes and lifestyle. Within these different types of Yoga, in recent years it has begun to talk about Yoga practiced with animals (both domestic and farm). One of the questions that arises is whether it really benefits the fact of practicing Yoga with animals and, in addition, if it is beneficial for animals or can harm them.
Apparently, one of the bases to perform Yoga, including animals in the sessions, is the idea of creating greater communion with nature. The idea is to move Yoga sessions abroad and, during our Yoga class, interact with the animals around us.
The most common is to integrate goats, usually newborns, in these sessions. This practice was initiated by Lainey Morse, who had a farm with goats. He started programming “happy hours” (for people to interact with his goats, then invited his Yoga teacher to teach during happy hour and from there they went on to combine both.
According to the creator, the use of goats is not only because it was the animal she had on the farm, but because they are animals that do not need to spend much time with humans to start interacting with them. In any case, the practice has been extended to other animals. For example, it becomes more common every time to include dogs (“Doga”), rabbits, cats, horses and other animals in these Yoga sessions.
There are different types of practices, since in the case of Yoga with rabbits or goats, it is the human beings who carry out the activity and, meanwhile, the animals interact freely with these humans, but they are not part of the practice as such. Beyond that they approach humans, they climb on their backs, etc.
However, in the case of the Doga, the practice is oriented towards the dog rather than the human. That is, stretching and massage are performed, seeking to eliminate the stress of the animal, helping you relax and improving your connection with us. To do this, humans and their dogs share a mat and both work together.
Believing Any Of These 5 Myths About Yoga With Goats, Yoga With Dogs, Is It As A Good Idea As It Seems? Keeps You From Growing
According to those who practice it, although they entail the challenge of the little control over animals, these types of practices help to improve our mood, to feel better, to improve our level of attention and to feel motivated, in addition to increasing Animal happiness. At the moment, it is a very recent practice and there is no scientific research on the real effects that having animals in our Yoga sessions can have. Currently, we can find numerous lists of these alleged benefits, but all are indicated by advocates of this practice or, directly, by those who derive an economic benefit from it.
In any case, there is research done on the benefits that animal therapies can have. Unfortunately, and although they sound great and are very attractive – hence they have numerous defenders – there is still no clear evidence that performing animal therapies has real benefits. Thus, although some investigations have found advantages derived from these practices – or at least correlation -, others have not found any and, even, in some cases, damages derived from these therapies have been found.
A study carried out in 2014, reviewing studies carried out in this regard, indicated that, for the moment, no quality studies have been found that confirm the benefits of animal therapies. There are very small samples, they do not control other possible variables or they present an inadequate methodology. Another 2016 research, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that the existing evidence was “murky” and that in the cases in which benefits of these therapies are found, it is not clear that the animals are responsible for them. In addition, they point out that each individual responds differently to animal interventions.
On the other hand, there is no research done with all types of animals, so it is difficult to ensure that the possible benefits provided are common to all the animals with which we interact. In short, although it is a practice that seems very fun and instagrameable, there is not a single real evidence that Yoga with animals is beneficial for us.
In addition, if what we are looking for are physical benefits, derived from Yoga itself, this will not be our best option. We must bear in mind that in these cases the animals interact with us, step on us, nibble on us, etc. That is why, although it can be fun and funny, we can not get the most out of the positions.
What is known is that they are an important business. We must bear in mind that, in Spain, an online course between 6 and 8 weeks costs about 99 euros. While, in the United States, we can find Yoga classes with goats that are around $ 75. In fact, the CNBC reported that the creator of this practice had had 160,000 euros in revenue in 2016 and expected to double that figure in 2017.
In 2018, the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Organization in the United Kingdom published an article about the reasons why we should never try a class like this. As indicated, some centers offering Yoga with goats had received complaints about animal abuse because the goats were dehydrated and malnourished. And they encouraged their readers to stay away from “attractions” that animals used.
In the case of classes with our dogs, they will probably not suffer any damage since it is we who take care of them and, unlike the farms or zoos that offer Yoga with animals, we can control their status. In any case, our animals They cannot speak and cannot tell us if they are well or not. If we want to practice Doga and we have doubts, our best option will be to consult our veterinarian to give us his professional opinion on the possible benefits and damages.