BOISE - Yoga made its way to the West from India sometime around the late 19th century. But it's what the Pacific Northwest has done with it within that last year that has become a trend across the United States.
Boise fitness instructor Emily Nielsen has been teaching yoga for two years, but recently she's incorporated her pasture and pet pygmy goats into her positions.
"These guys provide a great little energy for us," Nielsen said of the goats wandering about while she teaches a class.
Goat yoga is a truly Northwestern trend.
"Well, it started in Portland with goat yoga there," Nielsen explained. "And so many people started sharing it with me like, 'Well, you do yoga and you have goats. Why don't you do goat yoga?' So I put it out there, and it took off."
A mere suggestion and clients were bending backwards to find a spot in Nielsen's class.
"From the moment I put the first one out I was amazed at how quickly it sold out," she said.
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In an exercise regimen that is already filled with cat-cows and downward-facing dogs, what's the benefit of bringing in goats?
"You know they're just such a happy, carefree energy," Nielsen said, describing the goats' influence. "And the more they get used to people, you can't help but smile, right?"
In this less formal form of yoga, photos are encouraged. Because in the end it's just stretching with somewhat domesticated animals.
"It definitely fills my heart, a lot," says Brittani Bagnariol, a first-time participant in the goat yoga class. "I get this kind of giddy, childlike excitement knowing that there's goats around. I wish I could do this every day."
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