Welcome to today’s exciting Fitlandia Episode #53! If you love animals, practicing yoga and spending peaceful time outside, then you’re going to love today’s show. We are proud to welcome Lainey Morse, CEO and Founder of Goat Yoga to today’s podcast.
Although It might sound a little silly at first, Lainey describes doing yoga with goats as similar to taking your dog for a walk where you’re out in nature, exercising and bonding with an animal.
Lainey always loved and wanted to own goats while growing up, but never lived in a place that could house them until she built her No Regrets Farm located in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon. Lainey tried breeding first, but after one round, she realized that wasn’t the road she wanted to follow. She then began adopting and now owns 11 goats, most of them rescues.
Following her divorce Lainey discovered she was feeling extremely tired and sick with pain in her hands leading to her elbows. After many different tests, she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome. According to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, this is “a systemic autoimmune disease that affects the entire body. Along with symptoms of extensive dryness, other serious complications include profound fatigue, chronic pain, major organ involvement, neuropathies and lymphomas.”
Struggling with extreme fatigue that debilitated her, Lainey wasn’t able to do much, but she vowed to sit outside with the goats every single day. The goats made her smile and laugh and gave her relief her from her pain, more so than she felt from any medication.
Lainey explains, “It’s impossible to think about yourself and your problems and your issues and your stress when you’re surrounded by that energy.”
This is how “Goat Happy Hour” came into existence! Animal assisted therapy (AAT) is used to improve a person’s social, emotional or cognitive functioning and has been proven to reduce anxiety and produce calmness. All types of animals can be used for AAT but goats are especially therapeutic. Even when chewing their cud, Lainey says, “They go into a meditative state and are truly present in the moment.” Humans get an overwhelming calming sense just being around them – happiness, joy and calm. The goats wander around the class and might sit on your mat, lick your face or even jump on your back when you’re in a table top pose.
After starting with Goat Happy Hour, Lainey was auctioning off a kid’s birthday party at the farm for charity when Heather Davis, a yoga instructor said, “You should let me have a yoga class here!” Little did anyone know that a couple promo shots and videos later, the yoga class with goats would have over a million views. People loved how the goats romped all over the yogi’s and although the session was extremely fun, it was also very relaxing. Lainey was interviewed by Modern Farm Magazine soon afterwards, and then by The Oregonian Newspaper. She has now gone international with Australia just launching their first goat yoga session this month.
“The world needed a happy distraction and it happened at the right time” Lainey says.
So, Why Goats?
Lainey discovered a special connection with her goats early on and when Goat Happy Hour came along she saw others found it impossible to feel sad around them as well. Lainey says videos and messages have poured in from around the country about how powerful even watching the videos of the goats have been for people suffering from physical and mental pain. The calmness and presence of these adorable, friendly and loving animals transfers over to the viewer.
For Mental Health:
- The simple touch of an animal automatically makes humans feel relaxed
- Decreases loneliness
- Improves comfort and increases mental stimulation
- Boosts mood, social and emotional development
For Physical Health:
- Decreases anxiousness, helps with deeper breathing, lowering blood pressure and improving overall cardiovascular health
- Reduces physical pain and can result in less medication
- Increases physical activity and therapy sessions because of the bond with an animal
Lainey is dedicated to providing people with the same therapy that helped her bounce back with Sjogren Syndrome. She will be doing Goat Yoga at Hanson Country Inn in Corvallis where she hosts annual events but Lainey will also continue to focus on small therapy groups doing Goat Yoga in a nature place for healing.
What are your tips for listeners feeling stuck?
- Nothing will change unless you make it change. Don’t let your health being taken from you be the final straw for you to start making those changes to give yourself ultimate happiness.
- Take small steps that make you uncomfortable.
- Create a life with purpose and never with regrets.
If you want to get your goat on, check out Lainey’s website and hurry to sign up for one of her events before they sell out! You can also sign up to receive her newsletter with updates on holiday goat yoga, special events and pictures of these beautiful creatures when you can’t make a yoga session.
Are you ready to restart your own journey to living a life of health and vitality? Sign up today for exclusive pre-launch bonuses, discounts and VIP access for