When your hamstrings will allow for it, it’s nice to get a little help going deeper into a forward fold.
Goat yoga isn’t the serious kind of yoga, and Spanky and Pippin know all about teaching humans not to take themselves too seriously.
“This is Fire Swamp Ranch, this is where Spanky and Pippin the party goats live,” said Scout Raskin, the goats' owner.
Raskin says she always wanted to have goats, ever since she was a little girl when her parents would take her to a hobby farm near where she grew up in the Washington D.C. suburbs.
She found an ideal property for keeping goats in La Tuna Canyon and created her farm.
She experienced the joy of having goats and wanted to share it with others, so she started her business, Party Goats LA.
“I like to educate people that goats are actually really sweet animals, they’re really cool, they’re intelligent, they’re curious and they really do help you live in the moment,” said Raskin.
Living in the moment is one of the things that yoga teaches, and when the goats are helping people do yoga, that's one of the main benefits. Spanky and Pippin are both two-year-old Nigerian dwarf goats and they act like typical brothers.
But even though goats will be goats, Spanky and Pippin are really helping humans when it comes to practicing yoga and making them feel good from the inside out.
Once a month, Raskin and her goats make their way to GoGa in the Gundo at Aloft LAX.
People are meant to come away from goat yoga feeling good physically. It's also supposed to make you feel good mentally and emotionally.
But it may also be that happy people make goats happy…or at least they prefer a smile to a frown.
In a 2018 research article in Royal Society Open Science, when goats were shown pictures of human faces with different expressions, they found that goats preferred to interact first with happy faces, meaning that they are sensitive to human facial emotional cues.
“I think most people don’t quite know how social the goats are. They really do like to interact with people a lot,” said Raskin.
So if you’re on your belly in crocodile pose, or shift your hips back to downdog, there may be a goat like Spanky or Pippin ready to have your back in yoga.