Blog Post

Goat Yoga Gets the Boot in NYC

Just days before the hotly anticipated first goat yoga class was scheduled to launch in New York City last week, officials forced the event to close due to permit complications.

The New York Post is reporting on the cancellation of the “trendy workout that combines sun salutations with barnyard animals” that was supposed to take place in the city last week.

A pop-up class from the South Berlin, NY-based NY Goat Yoga, which operates out of Gilbertsville Farm, the latest yoga gimmick involves a yoga workout performed with a bunch of baby goats milling around. For sanitary purposes, the goats wear diapers to avoid accidents.

However, the city doesn’t allow goats in any city buildings whether they’re wearing diapers or not.

Sharon Boustani, owner of NY Goat Yoga, told the Post that the health department was open to evaluating goat-related requests on a “case-by-case-basis.”

“We were very optimistic,” Boustani says. “And so were they, kind of.”

The city could not review their application until everything was in place, then decided it was a no-go because of how the animals would be allowed to freely wander through the class and make contact with participants. The permit would only allow something like a demonstration with the goats, but no class participation with the animals was permitted.

“Unfortunately, the laws [in New York City] do not allow for anything close to what a goat yoga experience should be,” Boustani says.

She didn’t define what a “goat yoga experience” should be, but participants in other classes say it’s not the best environment for a good workout. The reason is because participants are more interested in what the goats are doing and forget all about their downward dog pose.

As crazy as it all sounds, two years ago when we first reported on it, this yoga-petting-zoo gimmick seems to be appealing to some yoga enthusiasts with the classes springing up in over 200 locations across the U.S.

The workouts aren’t the best but the animals are cute and it keeps the money flowing so why not? These are the kinds of gimmicks that keep the multi-billion dollar yoga industry in business - dog yoga, face yoga, laughter yoga, hot yoga, Dru yoga, naked yoga, baby yoga, topless yoga, etc.

Who cares if keeping the magic alive means we can continue to make money off of the cultural appropriation of someone else’s religion?

Suhag L. Shukla Executive Director and co-founder of the Hindu America Foundation criticized the adulteration of yoga in America in a Huffington Post article and this long and ludicrous list of contortion-fests that have strayed so far beyond the ancient spiritual tradition that she holds dear.

“The truth is that none of these are yoga simply because they incorporate some form of asana and say they are. What’s the saying? ‘You can put lipstick on a pig...’”

. . . Or a goat.

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