Move over puppy yoga, there’s a new wellness trend in town — and it’s something to bleat about.
Baby goat meditation has hit Brisbane and no, we’re not kidding.
Its founder — Berenice Tan from Karmably events — says the practice isn’t just super cute but full of health benefits too.
“I wanted to show Aussies meditation doesn’t have to be so serious,” she told Be. “Animal therapy is tremendously beneficial, both physiologically and psychologically.”
“Studies show it eases anxiety, reduces cortisol and even alleviates PTSD symptoms. It also improves overall cardiovascular health and lowers blood pressure,” Ber continued. “Even Harvard has a an have animal therapy program.”
The certified meditation and mindfulness teacher from Brisbane decided to take her wellness classes to the “next level” after hearing about goat yoga whilst studying in the US.
While initially laughing off the fitness craze, she decided to incorporate animals into her teachings after discovering how beneficial they were, particularly in the art of relaxation.
“Beginner meditators have tremendous expectations the first time they attempt to ‘sit’ for meditation, and it very rarely goes the way they hope,” the 30-year-old said. “There’s so much hype around meditation being ‘blissful’ straight away, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.”
But why baby goats?
We live in a society of chronic overthinking and instant gratification, Ber explains. So when we finally withdraw our attention from the outside world to look inwards, our minds become bored, and start leaping around like an untrained puppy.
“Meditating with baby goats is a metaphor. Your meditation is not going to be perfect, and it certainly won’t be still,” she said.
“You’ll have thoughts, feelings, memories, fantasies, dreams jumping over you, gnawing at you and hollering for your attention — just like the little goat.”
Since announcing her first session of ‘Breathe in & Bleat out‘, Ber said she has been inundated with requests from those who are usually turned off by strict, traditional meditation classes.
“You don’t have to be peaceful, perfect or spiritual, to meditate,” she explained to Be. “You don’t have to do anything at all except be completely present. That’s what meditation is really about.”
What can animal mediators expect
Just like life, you’ll experience the ups and downs of mediation while finding your inner zen with the kids.
“They’ll throw your carefully controlled routines into chaos, they’ll nibble, nuzzle, dribble and even piddle,” Ber said. “But because they’re so adorable, you probably won’t mind.”
“Even the coldest of hearts can’t help but melt in the presence of a baby goat.”
The idea is that if we can smile and appreciate this craziness with baby goats, then why can’t we have the same compassion for our own inner chaos, thoughts and feelings?
“Hilarity aside, studies have shown that humans and animals produce oxytocin during cuddling. This has been called the love hormone and eases cravings, improves self esteem and helps people form deeper relationships.”
Plus, the goats used in the session are rescue billies, loaned by local animal shelter Harmony Hooves Healing Hearts.
Talk about the being the cutest way to chill.
BRB, we’ve goat-ta get our zen on.
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