Playing with cute and fluffy animals can perk up your day and one yoga teacher found out that it can heal as well.
Rachel Lightbird, 52, from Ulverston, Cumbria, claims that by exercising with alpacas, she came to realize that ‘life is good’ and this helped cure her of anxiety.
Rachel has been a full-time yoga instructor for 20 years but was looking for another way to relax. So she teamed up with farmer Sarah Saunders, 53, who grows alpacas.
Watch the video to see this for yourself!
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Video credit: Rumble
After her success with the cute and adorable animals, the whole town has bought into Rachel’s new routine and now conduct workouts with the animals. Best of all, the animals love it, too.
Rachel said: “There’s been a craze of people doing yoga with animals, it’s something novel and its really good for stress because it calms your nervous system down.
“People were spending time with the alpacas and saying it was the best thing they’ve ever done in their entire life.
“Physically and emotionally it’s more calming and opens the heart.
“It’s a different experience and it’s different doing it outside as well.
“It makes your body relax, it’s definitely anxiety relieving.
“At that moment it really works and brings goodness and makes people think life can be good.
“I have anxiety myself and I think it’s lovely, you’re out in nature and they are very cute animals.
“Alpacas are really special because they are so intelligent and inquisitive.
“They actually calm the nervous system and re-balances the hormones out of anxiety and into calmness. I find it takes me out of myself.”
According to one student, 33-year-old Nicky Bragg, a postwoman from Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, she constantly feels ‘chained up’ because of her anxiety disorder. However, alpaca yoga has helped her overcome those negative feelings.
Nicky said: “I’m anxious all the time and exercising with animals really helps long term because if you’re feeling better from an experience, it makes you want to do it again.
“There’s scientific evidence that the alpacas release endorphins and relieve anxiety.
“I love all animals, particularly alpacas. The effects of the alpaca yoga last throughout the day and I felt a lot calmer, so did many of my students.
“They are gorgeous, such funny creatures, I love being around them.
“They are so comical and relaxing, they make you feel at ease because they are quite timid themselves. They make me laugh.”
Thanks to farmer Sarah, Rachel now has a herd of alpacas she can call on for every class. Of course, there’s the occasional downside as the animals sometimes spit when stressed. But overall, it’s a very positive experience.
She said: “People relate to alpacas, they make them feel good. They are just so sweet and cute with their fluffy faces.
“They are very friendly and intelligent and their hearts are open.”
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