Happy almost-Fourth of July! My manager suggested I take a long weekend, so I’m doing some blog and Instagram work and general life catch-up in my four days off. It’s awesome and I didn’t realize just how much I missed it all. Anyway, this post is long overdue, but better late than never, right? Let’s talk goat yoga!
The first time I heard of goat yoga, it was via a video on Facebook where little goats climbed all over students taking a yoga class. It was adorable and I was intrigued, but I wasn’t about to travel to Oregon to be one of those students.
Months later, Facebook suggested Goat Yoga at Harrison Farm as an event I might be interested in. Let’s not think about how much Facebook knows about me. Well, of course I was interested. Conveniently, it was only about a half an hour away from my house and there was going to be a class the week after I came home for the summer, so I emailed the organizer, Katherine Harrison, and snagged a spot.
The morning of the class, I will admit that I was not that excited. It was a ridiculously hot day and did I really want to go do yoga outside? No, but I decided to suck it up and go. My mom kindly tagged along to take pictures. All the pictures you see in this post are hers! I was yoga-ing.
It was 100% not what I expected, but it was a great class and still a lot of fun.
First, Katherine introduced herself and told us about the farm, how it’s been in her family for a long time, and how much she adores the animals. She can give you a full history of any animal you ask about.
The little guy in the picture above lost his mom, so Katherine has taken on that role herself. Hence, the bottle feeding.
She also explained that the goats who are allowed to take part in goat yoga are very friendly, and there are some goats they keep out of the classes because they’re… not so friendly. Nobody wants to get rammed with a goat’s horns, no matter how cute and small the goat is.
Dana (the teacher) and Katherine really do a good job keeping as much of class in the shade as possible, since it’s held right under a couple big trees. On a 90°F day, that helps a lot. I ended up in the sun a bit, but at noon, it’s pretty hard to find a fully shaded area.
The yoga class itself was, I think accurately, described by Dana as “beginner friendly but challenging”.
It was not too fast, not too slow, and full of lunges and twists. Dana is an excellent teacher; she cues super clearly and adapts easily to the unpredictability of hosting a yoga class with goats running around.
But what you’re wondering about is the goat factor. This is what surprised me most, I think, based on the videos I’ve seen floating around. They didn’t really care about the people. They weren’t climbing all over us. Sure, they’d eat out of our hands if we scooped up some food and they’d walk around between the mats, but they were mostly looking for food.
Friendly, they were. Interested, not so much.
Still, they were adorable and funny and their calls made the yoga feel less serious than a silent class in an orderly studio might. In yoga, we talk about remembering to laugh at ourselves, but it can still be easy to take a quiet, meditative practice more seriously than you need to. The goats don’t take it seriously, and the smiles remind you not to, either.
If you’re in the area and want to give goat yoga a try, there are classes on July 16 and September 17! If you’re not in the are or don’t want to give goat yoga a try, well, okay.
But then I challenge you to find a way to make something you take seriously a little more lighthearted, whether it’s in your work life, your exercise routine, your yoga practice, or somewhere else entirely.
I wasn’t paid to promote goat yoga or Harrison Farms anything. I paid for the class (a $20 fee), but I wanted to share my experience with you because that’s what I do.
How do you lighten up when you’re taking things too seriously?
Any fun Fourth of July plans?