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UC-Santa Barbara students use ‘goat yoga’ to relieve stress

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University of California-Santa Barbara students will soon be able to take advantage of the latest hip trend in so-called animal therapy: goat yoga.

According to the Daily Nexus, goat therapy began last year and features goats “interact[ing] with participants by jumping on participants’ backs or snuggling on the yoga mat.”

UCSB student Eli Bahar, the host of the event, says goat yoga has more benefits than standard yoga “because the interaction with goats releases endorphins, which stimulates a positive feeling in the body.”

“It connects you to the people around you and provides a friendly atmosphere,” he said. “It is more than zen and more of an experience.”

From the story:

Bahar grew up in Los Angeles and said he discovered goat yoga last August. He was on a waitlist for three months before he could participate because there is only one studio in Los Angeles that offers the unique yoga class.

“It was an amazing experience and a crazy wild adrenaline rush. You are just surrounded by people having a good time,” Bahar said.

Bahar said he wanted to bring goat yoga to I.V. because UCSB students “stress out and don’t find time for themselves.”

Bahar contacted a farm in Sun Valley, Calif. that brings certified goats to yoga events. It is “fairly expensive” to bring this experience to Isla Vista, Bahar said, but he expects a good turnout at the class.

Goat yoga was created by Lainey Morse, a goat owner from Albany, Oreg. Morse was encouraged by a local yoga instructor to connect her love of goats with the practice of yoga.

Goat yoga is animal-assisted therapy, according to Morse’s website, and is an “unbelievable distraction” from work, politics or sickness.

Bahar also has assisted Santa Catalina Residence Hall students “destress” during midterms and finals by selling them ice cream sandwiches.

Read more.

MORE: ‘Therapy dogs’ available at U. Oklahoma to help ‘de-stress’ during finals week

MORE: Goats vs. labor union at Western Michigan University

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