Due to its rise in popularity, many different kinds of yoga have popped up in recent years that are quite a departure from the spiritual and cultural practice that originated in ancient India. While not shockingly, some of the more absurd yoga classes we found such as Harry Potter yoga have seemed to fade out of the picture, there’s still plenty of head-scratching studios offering a very…different take on the discipline.
Goat Yoga, Origins: Oregon
When it comes to weird yoga, this is probably the kind that you’ve heard of. Goat yoga has received a good amount of attention in the last few months due to its peculiarity and of course, cute animals. The new type of exercise actually originated on a farm in Oregon, where the owner began holding classes…with her goats. People actually showed up for this and as the classes grew in popularity, the waitlist exploded to over 1,000 people. I mean, the goats are pretty adorable. The creator firmly believes that animals help heal people on an emotional level, so not only do participants get a strengthening and relaxing class but also the therapeutic benefit of hanging out with cool goats.
Paddleboard Yoga, Origins: Hawaii
You better have a good balance for this one. It’s okay if you don’t of course because paddleboard yoga will only help you! The classes take place on calm bodies of water where those taking the class will stand or sit on the paddleboards as they work through their flow. The classes really focus on balance and aren’t meant to make you fall off the boards, but it’s best to wear a swimsuit just in case, obviously. You can find these classes just about anywhere that there’s water. Paddleboarding in Hawaii? Sign me up!
Laughter Yoga, Origins: India
Okay, this one is a little funny (pun intended). Laughter yoga was created by Dr. Madan Kataria and is a type of practice where you use prolonged amounts of voluntary laughter. So basically, you force yourself to laugh for long amounts of time. It sounds weird, but the form of exercise is supposed to help with depression and anxiety, under the assumption that voluntary laughter is just as beneficial to an individual as spontaneous laughter. Since this one doesn’t involve anything crazy, like goats or the ocean, you can do it in the comfort of your own home by just watching some tutorial videos available on the internet. It’s probably best NOT to do this if you have thin walls unless you want a concerned neighbor knocking down your door.
Beer Yoga, Origins: Germany
This class really is exactly what it sounds like, drinking beer while doing yoga. The classes are often held at the breweries themselves, rather than an actual studio. Beer yoga originated in Germany and after getting very popular there, has begun to rise in popularity in Australia as well. If you’re interested in the new favorite activity of your local hipsters, no worries, the classes are becoming more and more common in the states and other places as well. Just make sure you get a DD before you hit Shavasana.
Tantrum Yoga, Origins: California
This new kind of yoga was created by a woman in LA who has essentially given everyone the opportunity to scream at a safe place, rather than at unsuspecting drivers or in their pillow during lunch hour. In actuality though, tantrum yoga allows participants to de-stress by screaming, stomping and yelling, similar to how a child would have a temper tantrum. The classes also incorporate more traditional movements, so go in expecting a little bit of both. If you really need to blow off some steam though, people are said to leave the class laughing and relaxed again, so try it out!
Blindfold Yoga, Origins: New York
It’s pretty straightforward: yoga but blindfolded. This form of practice has gained a lot of popularity at the New York City studio, WOOM Center where it originated. One of the key aspects when it comes to blindfold yoga is sensory deprivation. Taking away your eyesight temporarily makes you more aware and in touch with all of your other senses. Another huge benefit of blindfold yoga is the fact that it makes you less self-conscious. Many people talk themselves out of a session because they’re embarrassed that they may get judged or mess up, but if you and everyone else is blindfolded, who’s going to watch you awkwardly stumble in tree pose?
Karaoke Yoga, Origins: California
When you think of yoga, you probably think of a relaxing and quiet environment, right? Think again. Karaoke yoga might be the exact opposite of traditional yoga and is possibly one of the most “LA” types of exercise there is. The creator of karaoke yoga built this class with the goal of giving people an opportunity to let loose and have fun. While the creator does have experience teaching other types, karaoke yoga is not about the technique or hitting the perfect pose but just enjoying yourself. Classes are said to create a positive environment that relieves stress and anxiety through singing and dancing, and of course, the movements. Just please don’t ask for Freebird again, it throws off my chakras.
Metal Yoga, Origins: New York
I guess you could say it’s similar to karaoke yoga, or you could say it’s the exact opposite. There’s music and you can sing along, but rather than your favorite pop hits, it’s heavy metal. Saskia Thode, the creator, explains how she was sick and tired of the competitiveness in classes. She was done with all of the typical enlightenment talks, so, she created metal yoga. Saskia says that the class started out calmer, but as they rose in popularity, she began to strategically plan her playlists in an order that would fit her class. You can actually check out her playlists here!
Boxing Yoga, Origins: UK
While still resembling traditional yoga, boxing yoga incorporates as many positions as possible to integrate some of your favorite boxing moves. The hybrid class offers a full-body workout to tone muscles and improve sporting performance. People taking the classes say that it makes them feel powerful, but also relaxing. These empowering classes bring a lot more to the table than just a normal yoga class, both physically, and mentally.
Dog Yoga, Origins: New York
We saved the best for last. And no, we aren’t just talking about downward dog. Dog yoga (or, doga) is essentially just yoga with your dog. Its intention is to strengthen the bond between you and your pup while getting in your regular dose of aum. Your dog can stick by you the whole class, or roam the room to make new friends. Either way, doga might be just what you need to motivate yourself and not feel guilty for leaving the pupperino behind.
Whether it’s finding a class locally, or taking a beer yoga class on your upcoming trip to Berlin, if you want to try something new, a weird yoga class is a great choice! Who knows, it might be just the thing to get you motivated!