The kids were ready to play at Esham Family Farm. When owner Tina Esham opened the gate, they bounded into the yard, tumbling into each other and tugging on yoga mats.
“They are called kids for a reason,” Tina said about the herd of young goats.
Every yoga class is unique at Esham Farm (166 N. Concord Road, Albion).
“The goats totally respond to the people differently,” Tina said. “They respond to the energy and the environment. And they are also dependent on the weather, how they feel.”
While the humans stretch with simple yoga moves to relax muscles, the baby goats are allowed to wander and play. The young goats gravitate to anyone projecting calm, even the shyest allowing a snuggle.
Classes are offered all year round. There are goats born twice a year, so none of the kids are older than six months. That’s when they’re especially impressionable and learning about humans, Tina said.
Plus, who doesn’t find baby animals adorable?
If all you want to do is hold goats, Esham recommends checking Facebook in November and March. She will announce newborn classes and ask for help naming the babies.
“Our goats are brought out at two and three days old to our clients,” Tina said. “And of course those classes are a lot of cuddling and oohhing over them.
“We're not offended if you do zero yoga. If you're here for the goats, we totally understand that.”
When Esham tells people her business is baby goat yoga, some wonder why she’s making goats do yoga poses – the concept of playing with goats while doing yoga isn’t quite mainstream yet.
Tina’s husband grew up on a sheep and goat farm, and her kids raised goats for 4-H. So the goat part was a no-brainer. But yoga has been a good fit for the farm.
“I've done my own personal spiritual journey and found that yoga is really a piece that connects as a farmer, I'm connected to the ground and nature,” Esham said.
The class isn’t rigorous, with instruction helping participants get in touch with their surroundings. The goats add an element of joy.
Baby goat yoga brings people together for a good experience.
“We created this moment of positivity, and you can come back to it just by taking a few deep breaths and walking back to the smiles, laughter, the positive energy that we've created in the class.”
There are open classes, if you check the calendar.
Private classes can also be reserved for groups of five or more. The goats have been part of everything from bachelorette parties to work retreats.
“Most people come for the goats, but they understand – by the end – the connection with yoga, and how yoga works well with the goats.”