Namaste in My Pajamas: Goat Yoga Helps Warriors Connect and Relax
We had enough sour moments in 2020, so it’s only natural to seek sweeter and cuddlier pursuits at year’s end. What could be cuddlier or sweeter than baby goats? How about doing yoga with baby goats while wearing your pajamas?
Injured veterans and family members came together at a socially distant Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) event in Chesapeake, Virginia, that combined yoga poses, gentle goat nudges, and cozy pajamas. The goats might not have held their poses for more than three breaths, but they did a good job of distracting veterans from PTSD, chronic pain, and other issues.
“This event was different from other Wounded Warrior Project events I have participated in because this was the first one I was able to attend that had animals,” said Navy veteran Katie Cooper. “I feel like animals are a great way to get out of your own head and just have fun.
“I felt more relaxed and happier than I had in a long time and felt like this was the perfect event to get me out of the funk I had been in.”
Katie enjoyed goat yoga enough to attend another session the following week. She made such a strong connection that she was offered a job working with the goats and said she’s looking forward to starting in January. “I haven’t been as excited for a job in a really long time.”
A self-described introvert, Katie said she has taken advantage of the virtual events WWP has offered during the last few months of the pandemic. But getting outside and connecting with animals “was really good for my mental health and well-being.”
“I have been impressed at how Wounded Warrior Project shifted so quickly to virtual events, and it seems they have increased the variety of events to provide a little something for everyone. I am finding more and more events that I am interested in than ever before.”
After the goat yoga class, veterans chatted with each other and enjoyed free time interacting with the roaming and bleating goats. The informal structure allowed injured veterans to get outside without pressure and have opportunities to connect with other veterans in a serene and safe environment.
WWP transitioned its lifesaving programs and services from in-person to virtual in March, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Through engaging events, WWP brings veterans and families together using teleconferencing technology to foster healing and recovery. Recognizing that veterans depend on each other for support, in-person activities are also available when it’s safe and appropriate.
Learn more about how WWP connects warriors to build strength through community.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.