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Goat Yoga: What Are The Benefits And Why It Is So Popular?

Update Date: Jan 13, 2017 09:20 AM EST

Goat yoga is becoming more popular that there are 1,200 people on the waiting list. A recent systematic review shows that yoga may relieve chronic non-specific lower back pain, and the presence of these ruminant animals around added fun to the whole experience.

Yoga enthusiasts are taking a trip to Lainey Morse's farm in Albany, Oregon to experience goat yoga. On warm months, the class takes place in a field, but on colder months, they move inside the barn.

Morse said, in an interview by The Washington Post, that those who have attended the goat yoga class find the experience calming, relaxing and fun. Several studies have been linked to yoga as a complementary intervention for asthma, cancer, heart disease and schizophrenia. However, some of the results of the studies have been inconclusive.

In Morse's farms, there are eight goats interacting with the yoga students. The most popular is Dodger that weighs around 100 pounds and had a brain damage when it was still a kid. There are also five Nigerian dwarf goats, and two adopted baby goats. Morse said that the goats help in animal assisted therapy for those suffering from depression or disability.

Morse was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune syndrome similar to lupus, about a year and a half ago. She went through some difficult times, but spending time with her goats was therapeutic for her. Morse is hoping that goat yoga can also help people cope with whatever they are going through in their lives.

Recently, a new systematic review suggests that yoga may lead to alleviation of chronic non-specific lower back pain over the short term, compared with no exercise at all. However, more studies are needed to show its long term effects. With its increasing popularity, the Oregon State University is reported to provide goat yoga to some of its students in Morse's farm.

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