If you’re anything like me, the Donald Trump presidency (along with soul sapping politics in general and all the hammering, relentless media coverage that goes with it) has indeed knocked the wind right out of my sails. 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 at what I’m reading on my computer or my phone. I yell expletives at my TV. I sigh and I snort. And let me tell you folks, sighing and snorting are not happy, attractive noises. I brawl on Facebook with people I don’t know, people who troll my page just to oppose my point of view.
Argh, whatever, bro-ski’s!
But last week, I managed to find a remedy for my woes that is far better than iced coffee, avocado’s, long cat naps on the beach, or even the instant drug- like rush of retail therapy.
Yoga with Baby Goats!
Seriously, wrap your head around this one, and hear me out. Even if you don’t love yoga, you will LOVE this, I promise. What it offers is a complete mind reset. Oh, and good old-fashioned inner delight. Remember that?
I drove 65 miles Aussakita Acres Farm in Eastern Connecticut for a single 1 hour yoga class. It was mixed-level, and held in a pen, outside, with tiny baby goats. There were a few mommy’s, and some medium-sized ones (teenagers, I presume?) sprinkled into the fray, but mostly, there were lots and lots of little, adorable, jumping-bean babies! And if they had little PJ’s on, I would have lost my shit, but they didn’t, so I held it together.
They 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.
Was it super silly? Yup. Was it funny? Yup. Were those tiny creatures ridiculously cute and did they lift my spirits and make me laugh out loud while trying to hold my down dog? Yup, yup, and yup!
Simply put, those babies brought me back to life.
Let me be clear: Among the rampant toe-rings, wisdom tatts, and man-buns, I did not for one second feel my focus grow soft or zen-like, nor did I experience any sort of higher awareness. I had to keep my guard up!
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 rapidly which freaked me the f*ck out! They licked my toes. They gnawed on my shirt, and nibbled my earlobes. I squealed and giggled with merriment, while desperately trying to defend myself against the onslaught of sheer cuteness.
They didn’t care about where they plopped themselves down, or 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, and they were completely inappropriate and unpredictable.
They certainly didn’t let me relax. In much the same way I don’t get a wink of sleep at home, there is no “final resting pose” in baby goat yoga. Those who attempted Shavasana at the end of class were casually and un-apologetically stepped on.
But, it was actually a pretty strenuous class, for the most part. We still practiced our series of sun salutations, our planks and our cobras, in addition to our warrior poses and pigeons. I had a surprisingly decent work out – with a bunch of baby goats!
I’ve been trying to put my finger on exactly why it was so special and what I came up with is 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 very little room for anything whimsical done for the sole purpose of uncomplicated joy. 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 grocery 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. And at the end of class, those little scrappers, (along with their magic fairy dust), were herded directly back into a separate corral.
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, which is how I must always strive to be. 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 crave attention and connection only, and they brought me some inner peace and delight, which are feelings I haven’t had in a while.
All babies are captivating, and they help us remember how to be happy, and grateful, no? They help us feel “balanced” by showing us the difference between what is really important, and all that destructive stuff we must consciously allow to fall away.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sip a cooling Pimm’s cocktail 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 green chipped-paint farm table.
I’d like to give credit for this awesome experience to Aussakita Acres Farm, Manchester, CT and Danuta Wolk-Laniewski, Yoga Instructor and owner of YogaPerk, a yoga studio in Manchester, CT.