So, goat yoga is a thing now.
And while I'm usually one to buck trends instead of following them, I'll admit I was intrigued.
I've never even liked yoga very much when I've done it—and I certainly don't fit into the stereotypical Southern California "yoga lifestyle." I'm far more comfortable with a camera slung around my neck than with a yoga mat slung over my shoulder.
But I decided to go anyway because, you know, baby goats.
It was my first visit to Sunny Cabana Farm in the Inland Empire own of Perris, and the timing was perfect because new kids had just been born a week before.
And signing up for a yoga class was the only way I knew to go visit them.
I'd even planned on doing some of the yoga poses, convinced mostly by photos I'd seen on the internet showing newborn kids perched atop the backs of yogis doing child's pose. For some reason, I desperately wanted a baby goat to stand on my back.
But now that I've done my sun salutations with goats, I've walked away with just one, bubble-bursting impression: It's all a lie.
More accurately, it's a setup. It seems that the only way you can get a goat to stand on your back is to have someone pick it up and put it on there.
And since those little wobbly legs aren't strong enough to keep them there on their own, they're likely to slide off.
All those goat yoga photos that make it seem like the goats are actually doing the yoga with you? They're posed.
And the people who go to goat yoga? All they want is a souvenir photo like that of their own.
And certain people of a certain gender and a certain age are particularly aggressive about getting the perfect shot—not just once, but over and over and over again.
I mean, I get it. I'm an avid photographer as well. But I'm rarely in my own pictorials.
I'd rather focus on the subject matter at hand—which, in this case, was the most adorable herd of sweet, precious, affectionate does and their kids.
So, I waited until everyone else was done passing the babies around the yoga circle, even as they wriggled to get free and bleated for their mamas.
I scooped up a baby goat of my own—but it was one that seemed like it wanted to snuggle and immediately collapsed into my arms and nuzzled my neck, collarbone, jaw, and chin. It sniffed me as I whispered sweet nothings into its floppy little ear.
And I let my camera hang from its strap so I could enjoy the moment, inhale this tiny creature's breath, and feel its hoof digging into my chest.
I don't have any photos of me holding any of those bundles of joy, but that's OK. It's a moment I'll remember because I fully experienced it, and I don't need to prove to the world that it actually happened.
Those goats will never be as young or as cute as they were that Saturday morning. And while I hope that there will be more week-old floofs in my future, I made this visit count.
Photo Essay: A Goat By Any Other Name
Photo Essay: Hiking with Baby Goats
Photo Essay: Making Soaps with Goats