Lainey Morse was at a turning point in her life. She had been diagnosed with a debilitating auto-immune disease, went through a divorce, and was on a path to change her career. A professional photographer by trade, Morse dreamed of hosting an animal therapy destination at her privately owned, No Regrets Farm.
The Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy goats Morse owned were a source of therapeutic comfort to her. Spending time with goats made the stresses of the world melt away, and she desired to share her healing discovery with others. After discussing the idea of hosting a yoga class at the farm with local yoga teacher Heather Davis, Goat Yoga was born.
A person might think that the idea of Goat Yoga is ridiculous. Who would possibly want to do a downward-facing dog with little furry goats frolicking around? Turns out everyone thought Goat Yoga was a grand idea. The first class was held on August 13, 2016 and since then classes sold out quickly. So many people wanted to attend Goat Yoga that a waiting list formed. News articles about the class spread on the Internet, and instantly, Goat Yoga became an international viral sensation.
Viral fame aside, Morse continues to focus on providing a therapeutic experience for those that come to her classes. Therapy animals provide affection and comfort to people who are suffering from stress, depression, illness, autism, or PTSD.
The Original Goat Yoga website states that current research “indicates that interaction with therapy animals can temporarily affect the release of various neurotransmitters in the brain. Oxytocin levels (linked with bonding) and dopamine levels (involved in the reward-motivation system) are increased, while cortisol levels (an immunosuppressant associated with stress) are decreased. All of which are very beneficial to the patients.”
With the current political climate and global state of affairs, humanity is in need of the healing powers of animal therapy. Morse spends time every evening with her goats, getting in as much goat therapy time as she possibly can. There is no longer a waiting list for Goat Yoga. Weekly classes are now offered, and discounts are available for students and veterans.
For more information about animal therapy and Goat Yoga go to www.goatyoga.net
By Jennifer Moreland