Zen: feeling relaxed and peaceful.
A couple of weeks ago, I had such a fun experience with my two daughters, who are in their mid-20s. We went to a yoga class — a goat yoga class.
For Christmas I bought three passes and put them in Mackenzie and Talees’ stockings. We laughed about it, and couldn’t imagine what role the goats played. We watched videos, where goats climbed on people’s backs when they were in different positions, like Downward-Facing Dog or Child’s Pose.
I wasn’t too sure I’d like goats nudging and climbing on me, but thought it’d be a memorable time with my girls. I hadn’t taken a yoga class in several years. I figured that wouldn’t matter, as we’d be so distracted by the goats, laughing the whole time.
We got to the farm and parked in a dirt lot. There was a huge pen, for both us and the goats. Straw covered the ground and everyone brought their own yoga mat or beach towel.
There were about ten goats, seven of them were babies. SO cute! If you can believe it, they were actually supposed to wear pajamas (yes, the goats… not the people). But it was too warm that day for pj’s.
It was quiet, with a soft breeze blowing the eucalyptus trees surrounding us. The goats seemed super calm, just walking around or lying down. Their little sounds — a-a-a-a-a-ah — were adorable.
The instructor (I’ll call her Julie) set her mat at the front of the pen. I happened to be right next to her, and hoped people wouldn’t look to me for direction. I knew my yoga would be pretty rusty.
Julie warned us that the goats may sniff, chew, or take items that were on the ground. She said the goats could care less if a bag is from Target (she pronounced it Tar-jay) or Cartier, both would taste the same.
She said to go at our own pace, no one will judge, just like the goats don’t judge. They’re simply glad we’re there.
And if a goat poops on your mat, oh well… just brush it off and move on. No big deal.
Class started. At first I was leery, wondering if the goats would chew my mat or grab my shoes or cell phone. But they were kind and gentle. I guess I expected them to be more, well, annoying (in a cute, playful way).
I settled in while taking some deep breaths. My eyes were closed and I relaxed, appreciating the warmth of the sun and the warm breeze. It had been a really cold and rainy winter for Southern CA.
I couldn’t remember the last time I was that still. I concentrated on my breathing and reveled in the fact that I was at a farm, out in nature, with sweet animals walking around.
It was so peaceful, so Zen.
It reminded me how important it is to do nothing and just be. The fresh air felt amazing, rejuvenating. It’s funny how goats helped me realize that.
And the workout? It wasn’t too strenuous, but we definitely did more yoga than I thought we would. It felt great to breathe, stretch, and balance.
The goats weren’t a distraction. They enhanced the experience. I guess that’s why goat yoga is a thing.
At the end, while we laid down in the Shavasana pose, Julie said to breathe and let our worries go. She told us to remember the gentle goats that don’t judge. And when we’re back out in the real world and our busy lives, if someone “gets our goat,” just brush it off, let it go, and move on.
After class, we were able to hold the baby goats and take pictures. Mackenzie, Talee, and I loved petting their soft fur and laughed trying to hold the wiggly ones. The babies seemed tired, maybe from the warm sun and all the attention. Talee held one of them, while Mackenzie and I stroked it’s sweet head. He (or she) fell asleep in Talee’s arms.
So peaceful, happy, and relaxed. Both the goats and me.
First image courtesy of here