Goat Yoga and Other Happy Occasions

September, 2018 – Springfield, MO We spent the four weeks following our Round Spring trip in Springfield. We had committed part of our summer to helping our oldest daughter finalize her wedding plans. She had made all the important decisions and planned an amazing event. We were just there to help her any way we could.

There wasn’t really all that much work to do but we wanted to stay in town so we could handle anything that came up. Our days were not terribly exciting. I concentrated on getting 3+ miles of walking/running in every morning. I seem to be fighting a losing battle with the scale lately but I was determined to look my best for the special occasion. We also got our bikes on Springfield’s trails as often as possible.

Most afternoons were spent doing a little shopping or running errands as we made and then crossed off list after list of wedding details that needed attended to. The bride worked weekdays so we kept our weekends free to collaborate with her. We also tried to squeeze in as much quality time with our friends and family as possible. We were lucky to not have any vacancies or major projects necessary on our rentals this summer but we checked on each of them and took care of minor maintenance projects.

Last spring I had read about a small farm offering goat yoga just outside of Springfield. I though it sounded like fun and suggested organizing a girls’ night kicked off by goat yoga for those involved in the wedding and for the groom’s family. It would give us all a chance to get to know each other better. Everyone seemed amenable so we set the date for the Saturday after Labor Day.

That particular weekend turned out to be a very rainy one in Missouri as a result of Hurricane Gordon hitting the Gulf Coast earlier in the week. The effect on our date with the goats was uncertain until we finally got a message that goat yoga would take place in the barn where a fresh layer of hay had just been added. Everyone seemed excited that it was a go and we showed up with a total group of 9 ladies ranging in age from 8 to a little older than me.

I would guess there were 30 or so participants all together in the barn. There was ample enough space although it was a little darker than it might have been if we had assembled outside in the yard. Most of the participants were women but there were a few guys in attendance.

The yoga instructor came in and told us what to expect and what we could and shouldn’t do. She then introduced us to her husband who was to act as goat wrangler. Then they went out to fetch the goats.

They brought in around a dozen goats. The goats had been holed up in other barns all day because of the rain so they were a little frisky. They roamed around checking out the big barn but not really showing too much interest in their visitors.

After telling us about the individual goats we got down to yoga, sorta. The yoga was really just an excuse to be on the ground and interact with the goats. We got down on all fours (not sure what yoga pose that even is) and, with a little nutritional encouragement from the goat wrangler, the goats would walk across our backs. By the way, rather than sharing pics of our group in awkward positions, the ones in this post are of various other participants in the barn.

The goats were not miniature goats. Most were pretty large. It’s hard to explain what them walking across my back felt like. Funny is the first description to come to mind. It didn’t hurt (usually) but it wasn’t especially pleasurable either. It was just a unique, odd sensation that made it impossible not to laugh.

Next we did downward facing dog.

You actually waited for a goat to climb on your back while you were on all fours and then raised your rump to the correct position. Here I am in all my glory.

Most of the poses were more photo opp than yoga but it was all good fun and everyone had a great time. The goats were running around, often head butting each other as goats will do. Here are two about to do just that.

You did have to watch out as they could get a little wild. And these animals were not potty trained so they would occasionally go on somebody’s mat. Here is our goat wrangler with one of the crew on his shoulders.

The couple who run the farm are incredibly nice and you could tell they really loved their animals. I felt the $20 per person fee was very reasonable. The experience was a hit with all involved and it had its intended results, we all got to know each other.

That was very important as we would see a lot of each other in the coming weeks. We had a bridal shower, a rehearsal dinner, and the actual wedding to come. We are very lucky that the family she married in to is a large, warm group of people and it was such a pleasure to become friends with them.

The week of the wedding I came down with a severe cold. We were far enough ahead in our preparations that I was able to take a couple days off to rest. I was then able to rally and hold it together for the important events with a pocketful of cough drops and a tube of hand sanitizer ever present.

We did so much visiting during the rehearsal dinner that the day of the wedding I sounded like Kermit the Frog. The wedding went off without a hitch though. The weather was perfect for the entirely outdoor event. The ceremony was touching. And the reception was a blast.

The next day I woke up with absolutely no voice. I could barely get out a whisper. We ran the necessary post event errands and then we zoned out the rest of the day. Our plans were to leave town the following day.

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