So what’s a nice guy like me doing in a barn like this with a baby goat on his back?
Seriously. I was doing—or, rather, trying to do—a yoga position. I am 53 years old and laughably out of shape, so my Downward Dog looked more the Tipsy Geezer Who is Considering Vomiting After a Fall That May or May Not Have Broken a Hip.
Then there’s the baby goat, whose name was Sparkles. Or Boots. Or Abbot. Or maybe it was Cowboy.
No matter. There was a baby goat on my back, as I teetered on my fingers and toes on a mat, under a barn in a field near misbehaving baby pigs.
Needless to say, it was FREAKIN’ AWESOME. And I do not use all caps lightly.
Here’s the thing: Goat yoga is a thing.
Before our recent spring break, I had my doubts. I heard chatter about goat yoga on social media, but I dismissed it as more quarantine crazy talk, just like “wine yoga,” “manscaping” and “people who like Phil Collins.”
But then our 17-year-old daughter, Caroline, suggested we partake in goat yoga. Surely, I thought, she’s messing with her dim father. Next, she’ll tell me “TikTok” is an actual thing. Puh-leeeze.
Soon enough, we were on the road to Wildflower Farm in Orlando.
Here’s how it works: There is a yoga class with a yoga instructor who says real yoga things like “Namaste” and “Breathe” and “It’s OK to fall over.”
But just before the session starts, they release a farmload of baby goats, who come rushing toward the yoga students and infiltrate like a spastic sea of cuteness.
My friends, nothing smothers your brain with endorphins quite like sitting eye to eye with baby goat socialites. I kid you not (sorry, baaaaaad joke).
They jump and mingle as the actual yoga class starts. The farm owners coax them into laps and onto backs during strategic yoga poses.
To be sure, there was more goat watching than yoga at times, especially for me and my wife. I only did yoga poses when I thought it would attract the goats. And the few times I did try the yoga stuff, I was rewarded with encouragement from Caroline, “Dad, wrong leg. No, tuck your right leg! Ugh.”
Even so, it felt like a refreshing workout after the baby goats were gone (or what people tell me is a refreshing workout, if I worked out). I was a little sore, though I did not know if I was feeling a healthy muscle ache or a phantom twinge from goat feet.
In short, I recommend goat yoga. It’s weird, it makes no sense, it’s an odd activity with livestock, but, man oh man, it delivers some joy.
That is a good thing these days.
And for the record, wine yoga also is a real thing. Not sure it is a good mix with goat yoga, but I am willing to take one for the team.