July 25, 2017

Yoga with Baby Goats? Yes, Please! {Video}


A post shared by Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl) on

My shoulders droop.

I have deeper wrinkles in my forehead from making the “WTF” face all day long.

I’m often seen shaking my head in disbelief and disdain at the latest news I’m reading on my computer or phone.

I yell expletives at my TV.

I sigh and I snort—and let me tell you, folks, sighing and snorting are not attractive noises.

I brawl on Facebook with people I don’t know, people who troll my page just to oppose my point of view.

Yes, the Donald Trump presidency—along with soul-sapping politics in general and all the hammering, relentless media coverage that goes with it—has knocked the wind right out of my sails.

But, a few weeks ago, I managed to find a remedy for my woes that was far better than iced coffee, avocados, long cat naps on the beach, or even the instant drug-like rush of retail therapy.

Yoga with baby goats!

Hear me out. Even if you don’t love yoga, you will love this—I promise.

Yoga with baby goats offers a complete mind reset. Oh, and good old-fashioned, unadulterated joy.

I drove 65 miles to Aussakita Acres Farm in eastern Connecticut for an hour-long, mixed-level yoga class—held in a pen, outside, with tiny baby goats.

There were a few mommies and some medium-sized ones (teenagers, I presume?) in the fray, but mostly there were just lots and lots of little, adorable, jumping-bean babies. (Side note: if they had had little pajamas on, I would have lost my sh*t. But they didn’t, so I held it together.)

These goats almost immediately melted my jaded, cynical heart.

About 50 of us showed up for the class. We entered through a gate with just our mats. Shoes, keys, hats, and water bottles were strongly discouraged, since goats tend to eat everything in sight.

Super silly? Check. Funny? Check. Those tiny creatures were so ridiculously cute that they lifted my spirits and made me laugh out loud while trying to hold my already-shaky plank.

Simply put, those babies brought me back to life.

The goats and their babies poked around, touched, and leaned on me. They climbed all over me. They randomly bleated and screeched. They were curious one second, and sleepy the next. They wanted to be held. They tried to eat everything.

One stuck its nose right into my ear and sniffed, freaking me the f*ck out! They licked my toes. They gnawed on my shirt and nibbled my earlobes. I squealed and giggled in merriment, while desperately trying to fend off the onslaught of sheer cuteness.

They didn’t care about where they plopped themselves down, or about being all up in my business. One unexpectedly jumped into my lap. They tracked dirt and grass across my clean yoga mat. They pooped and peed nearby.

They were completely inappropriate and unpredictable.

They certainly didn’t let me relax. In much the same way that I don’t get a wink of sleep at home, there is no “final resting pose” in baby goat yoga. Those who attempted Savasana at the end of class were casually and un-apologetically stepped on.

I’ve been trying to put my finger on exactly why it was so special, and what I came up with is actually quite simple: it was good, clean, unorganized, completely innocent fun.

And that’s it.

It made me laugh, which is always the best, most wonderful medicine to beat any kind of blues. Being caught up in our kids, our homes, our careers, and our politics leaves little room for anything whimsical, for the sole purpose of uncomplicated delight, to be done.

When we are busy cooking and cleaning and driving and yelling, we don’t take time for all the happy, untroubled, stress-expelling breaths we truly and deeply need.

Those little guys helped me slow down. They forced me to let go and feel some “no strings attached” happiness for a whole hour without thinking about anything or anyone else. I didn’t make to do lists in my head, or process any stinging, political rebukes.

The name “Trump” didn’t even cross my mind once, which was a blessing worth its weight in one of those gold window treatments hanging in the oval office.

Just being with them, twisting and turning around inside their world for a bit, helped me exhale some of my pent up discord and worry.

It was an experience that sparked new fire within my bedraggled soul. It brought me back to the surface. Those creatures, those little living beings running around on a farm, were happy and carefree—a state I strive to achieve.

We only live once, and baby goat yoga made a small difference in the way I look at things.

They are filled to the brim with love and cuddles. They only crave attention and connection, and they brought me some inner peace along with a bit of wonder—feelings I hadn’t had in a while.

All babies captivate. They help us remember how to be grateful, no? They help us feel “balanced” by showing us the difference between what is really important, and all the destructive stuff we must consciously allow to fall away.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sip a cooling Pimm’s cup out of a mason jar and put my freshly-picked daisy bouquet into a vintage milk glass vase that I’ll place in the center of my grandmother’s farm table with the chipping green paint.



I’d like to give credit for this awesome experience to Aussakita Acres Farm in Manchester, Connecticut and Danuta Wolk-Laniewski, Yoga Instructor and owner of YogaPerk, a yoga studio in Manchester, Connecticut.


In Defense of Yoga Girl & Penny the Goat.

Girls & Goats.


Author: Kimberly Valzania
Image: @yoga_girl/Instagram
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Social Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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