Have you ever wondered what it’s like to open your eyes from a zen-filled moment, at the end of a long, deep inhale in a downward facing dog pose, only to discover a tiny goat staring at you? If you said, “Yeah, that sounds like my thing,” then you need to try out goat yoga with Delight Flower Farm. This year they offered four sessions through May and each sold out within days of going on sale (as most of these events do). Having gone last year, I knew it was a popular event so when dates became available this year I snapped up two tickets.
I ended up attending the last session held this past Sunday. The weather early on in the day was pretty humid and overcast and rainy, so I was nervous that we’d end up inside for the lesson. Thankfully the skies parted and humidity dropped and we were able to practice under the pergola out front. They assembled a little fence around it to keep in the goats (and maybe to contain the attendees) and we filled in. With about thirty people in there it was a tight fit but we all made room, and there was plenty of opportunity for goat prancing. Last year the kids were a little older and more docile, but we got April kids this year and they were really excited to show off their moves.
Upon sitting down at the start of class I immediately had a lap full of goat baby. We had six kids playing with us. They ran up and down the aisles, kicked, leapt, baaaaaaahed, and nibbled all throughout the lesson.
The class is taught by the co-owner of Delight Flower Farm, Maggie Taylor, who regularly teaches yoga when she isn’t growing gorgeous flowers. The routine was fun and we made a point of not taking ourselves too seriously. Every time I started a deeper stretch I ended up with a goat trying to eat my shirt or hair or mat. There was a ton of laughter and lots of lost balance, but it was a solid yoga routine. As I recall, the event last year was about 80% yoga and 20% fun with goats and this year was a much more even balance, which I really enjoyed.
It’s also a great reason to have to sit out a pose that seems hard or take a break when you get tired: “Sorry, can’t do it, gotta cuddle this goat baby.”
We did try to end the session in corpse pose (laying flat on your back) but were warned to stay alert for the sound of hooves getting closer. The goats, of course, took our pose as an invitation to either curl up for a nap or leap from person to person using your ribs as launch pads. It’s the cutest way possible to bruise a rib. The babies — my favorite was named Magnolia — were having a great time and I think every attendee did too.
Goat yoga is a trend sweeping the nation for a couple of years now, and it’s a perfect combination for the resources available to Taylor and the whole Delight Flower Farm and Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery teams. A yoga instructor who just happens to work within a goat farm. Taylor said that her favorite part of the goat yoga sessions is “having people come out and see a farm and be in nature. People are in front of screens and in their own sphere of life and this gives them something different to connect with.”
At our session, I was one of just a few people who had been to the farm before. I was pretty surprised considering all the events they do: Babies and Brunch, Dinners on the Farm, etc. Hopefully with this first, fun experience, the attendees are excited to come back out and do more. And though this was the last of this round of Goat Yoga, Delight Flower Farm hosts other events too. They've got a flower arranging workshop happening at Anita Purves Nature Center on July 12th.
Photos by Mary Wakefield