Yoga has been around for what seems like forever — over 5,000 years to be exact. It’s good for improving strength and flexibility. It’s recommended for those with back pain, arthritis and people in need of low-impact exercises. Yoga even helps with heart health, lowering stress and relaxation for better sleep.
For kids, yoga might seem like a lot of boring stretches and an extended period of silence. However, yoga has been taking a new turn in the past several years and incorporating aspects to the exercise that make it a family-fun event — and a good workout, too. That big turn has included adding animals into yoga sessions.
Studies show the addition of animals to pretty much anything releases the positive oxytocin hormone in your bloodstream. Animals reduce stress, lower blood pressure and are just typically fun to be around. When you can incorporate fun and exercise, the family wins.
Yoga With Goats
Happy Goat Lucky Yoga in Noblesville is owned by Jordan Stevens and Lynsay Riddle. They chose to incorporate their love for goats with yoga to share their “kids” with others. The goats are smart, loving and don’t have sharp claws. They WILL climb on you, cuddle and show off their adorable personalities –- making the extra few seconds you hold that pose worth it. To book a goat yoga class, visit happygoatluckyyoga.com. If you want more goat and less yoga, Happy Goat Lucky Yoga also offers private visits with their goats outdoors on their farm.
Yoga With Alpacas
Montrose Farms in Brownsburg was expanded in 2007 by Chris and Lori Lovely, and now offers yoga with their domesticated, friendly and curious alpacas, which join you in a yoga class taught by Indiana Yoga Studio. Alpacas look like small llamas with shaggy fur, and they are just cute enough to take your mind off that difficult yoga pose. Alpacas are family friendly, and a trip to Montrose Farm is sure to be an educational and peaceful yoga experience. Alpaca yoga classes are offered the first and third Saturday of the month. Visit montrosefarms.com/events to learn more.
Yoga With Puppies and Bunnies
Last year, the Irsay Family YMCA in Indianapolis partnered with Helping Paws Indy, a local Indy foster and rescue group, to offer yoga with puppies for a fun-filled class featuring puppies available for adoption. The beginners Vinyasa Flow Yoga is a good start for children and adults, and includes time for photos and cuddles with puppies after the class.
The YMCA also offered yoga with bunnies, in partnership with A Critter’s Chance, an exotic animal and farm animal rescue in Plainfield. The $10 admission is split between the YMCA’s annual campaign to help more families afford membership and A Critter’s Chance, which helps support spaying/neutering and adoption costs.
Yoga With Pigs
That’s right — the pigs want in on the action, too! At Traders Point Creamery in Zionsville, you can participate in a 45-minute beginners yoga session with potbelly pigs from Oinking Acres, a potbelly pig rescue in Brownsburg. Traders Point also offers yoga with goats and puppies, and after your yoga session, you can spend time playing and cuddling with the critters.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many yoga class schedules might change or be offered online or in small numbers. Check the venues website for specifics on COVID-19 protocol and schedules.