I’ve always said no to goat yoga to the point that my friends can quote my standard reasons back to me. I grew up with goats. They are adorable. I love squishing floppy ears and running a hand over the textures of curved horns.
However goats all come with hard pointy hooves, a love of jumping on things including people in downward dog, and a propensity for mosh pit style head butting. Additionally, the world is a goat’s bathroom. There’s no early warning system. That goaty butt hole just flowers open and you can get anything from bunny turds to diarrhea.
So I took no small amount of grief when I signed up for a session at Harrison Farms. My excuse is that it was an un-medicated decision. I’d just come from hot yoga, I didn’t feel great, and signed up for not only goat yoga but also cave yoga- more on that later. I realized later in the day that I forgot to take my pills the night before. Oops. Goat yoga.
Harrison Farm is a working farm with a spreading front yard for yogis to set up mats in the grass. We had a picturesque fall morning for our session. Bright blue skies, and cool air heading towards a warmer afternoon. When I signed in there were already more chickens circulating than I have ever seen in one place. They were wandering under the trees with a handful of ducks, and there was a pile up two chickens or so deep under a row of bushes. Toonces the International Cat was also working the sign in table and made himself available for scritches.
The chickens strolled around the yoga mats as people set up. We got to witness an epic game of keep away when a fat caterpillar dropped from a tree into the midst of the flock.
The caterpillar was just an extra treat. The chickens knew the drill. Workers set up three shallow food bins which immediately filled with cackling chickens.
Then came the parade of goats. Ears flopping, a line of gamboling goats followed another worker out into the barnyard, heading for snacks.
But nothing was as precious as the two bottle babies who came out next.
The farm uses wine bottles with a nipple to bottle feed the babies. My teetotaler grandparents stuck with the old glass Pepsi bottles.
With goats among us, Dana the yoga instructor walked us through some basic goat yoga know-how as well as introducing the goats by name. Workers were observing and available if we needed help, or a “body spill” clean up. I’m using that euphemism the next time I pee my pants while sneezing. Goats or chickens might choose to curl up on your mat. Goats dig behind the horn head scritches.
Dana correctly suggested that part of the goat yoga challenge was trying to remain in the moment, sinking into a pose and observing your breath while wandering WHAT ARE THE GOATS DOING?! With this in mind, she occasionally directed us to “goat observing pose” which meant sitting back on our heels to look around. “Dolphin pose” was also amended to “Goat pose” because goats do a bent front leg bow to nurse, and sometimes still to eat from the ground as adults. Nobody has ever seen a dolphin do that.
At the end of the session, everyone was encouraged to hang out as long as they wanted and interact with the animals. Different workers would be giving small tours at different points at the farm.
This is the best sequence ever of someone wallering a baby goat. Go, Adventure Buddy!
In addition to the goats, there were alpacas who are used to produce yarn at the farm. The two in the foreground were pregnant and were available to nibble fig newtons from visitors’ hands.
There were also 10-day old lambs who needed hugging. My lamb still had its umbilical cord. It also may have gotten a slight “body spill” on me, but I clean up okay.
Every photos looks like I want to put its head in my mouth, or am trying to whisper it into joining my cult. It was sooooooo soft.
I ended my visit by purchasing fresh eggs. I was amazed by the variations in shapes and colors. It would be pretty cool if grocery store eggs were like that.
Overall, I was extremely happy with my morning. I got to hang out with a friend, got a decent workout, and I got to interact with animals outside the feline persuasion. I’d absolutely do it again.
FYI: Goats also make good reindeer for Christmas cards.