My chaturanga needs a lot of work, but I have enjoyed yoga in its various forms over the years. It keeps my muscles and joints moving and enables me to focus for an hour or so on nothing but watching the instructor and trying not falling over.
Thanks to a collaboration between OC Mom Collective and Moms Day Off, I had the opportunity to do a goat yoga class. It was an adorable and hilarious opportunity that came after months of quarantining, lockdowns, and masks. I couldn’t wait to try it.
Believe it or not, the experience of doing goat yoga also reminded me of six life lessons:
We rarely get a chance to do this under normal circumstances, and the pandemic surely turbo-charged our parenting, work responsibilities, caregiving, and mental health challenges. Having to focus on our breath helped me stay present and not worry about the dirty dishes and work deadlines. (And the dusting and laundry and the gift for the upcoming kid birthday party, and and and….)
I’ve been lucky to work through the entirety of the pandemic. Many days that meant hours stuck in my chair, in front of my computer, and on video meetings, leading to shoulder pain and tight hips. Take at least a 60 second break every hour to round your shoulders back and stretch your legs. A little sun salutation can give you a chance to reset.
The most anticipated part of goat yoga is when they stand on top of you while you’re trying to hold a pose. It was a fantastic photo opp! It reminds me of the all the times extra weight jumps on us – the weight of responsibilities, the worry, the laundry, the meals. Life can pile on. And just like we did during goat yoga, we figured out how to stay balanced – whether for the moment or longer. Strike that dancer pose! No goat is going to get us into a tizzy.
Brush it off
The goats meandered through all of us going through the session, sometimes stepping on our fingers and toes. Those little hooves can hurt! But like the little things that can sting or knock us back temporarily, we brush it off and keep moving to the next task, the next item to tackle, the next crescent pose, the next win.
Stand your ground
If your pose had your body closer to the ground, the goats sometimes took that as an invitation to butt heads. They tried to move us. And like my seven-year-old, the goats could be stubborn. But, as I do with my kid (his cuteness factor rivals our fuzzy goat yoga buddies), I stood my ground. I did my tree. And eventually the goat moved on. And later came back for more hugs.
Don’t let the poop deter you
The handlers called them “blessings” when the goats decided to use yoga mats as their personal bathrooms. Sometimes, “blessings” happen. It’s messy and annoying and unfair. And like those dumped by the goats, you can clean it up, and move past it to get to that sweet, sweet savasana. Fortunately, the goat clean-up was easy, quick and odorless. Not baaaaaaaaaad at all.