Dear Homegrown Yogis,

This coming weekend we are leading a Goat Yoga class at Fall Line Brewing Co.   Every single time I have ever mentioned Goat Yoga, the same question is always asked (and there’s a good chance that you’re thinking it in your head right now)… but what about the poop??  So this month’s email is my attempt at answering that question… and not only answering it, but explaining how my answer to that question has helped me reach a greater self-realization and shift in behavior than I have had or made in decades.  

Here we go =)

YES – the goats poop.  They not only poop but they do so more often than I was expecting.  And many times they poop right on our mats. And although it is smaller and more pellet-like than dog poop, it’s still most definitely poop.  

Now – here are two very different ways I have seen people handle the poop situation:

  1. The first way – which I will call the “Rachel-Way” since I take it to the extreme – is to act like it hasn’t even happened.  A goat poops on my mat, and I literally just set up for my next pose as if I’m on a brand-new never-used lululemon mat.  I act like it’s not there- hoping that if I don’t acknowledge it, it somehow fails to exist.  After class, I roll up that poopy mat and don’t deal with it until I’m forced to take it to a place where people may be like – ‘why do you have poop on your mat?’  It’s at that moment that I deal with the mess –  once it’s stuck on and embedded and nearly impossible to get clean.  That’s me:  it’s the ‘ignore the poop’ approach until something forces you to deal with it. 
  2. The other extreme are the people who say, ewww gross.  Why ever put yourself in the situation of having to deal with poop?  They see that Goat Yoga is messy so they opt out –  easy fix.

Now- here is what I think those old wise yogis would say if they saw us doing Goat Yoga… after they said – are y’all really doing yoga with goats right now?! =) They would say notice the poop and clean it up right away.  Do so without drama or excessive energy and thought and then – keep practicing.  Don’t ignore the poop and act like it’s not there, but also don’t let the thought of getting messy keep you from a really amazing experience.

For as long as I can remember I have been ignoring the metaphorical poop on my mat and hoping that if I acted like it wasn’t there, somehow it would really not be there.  I have said, “no problem” or “no worries” more times than I can count, when there were definitely both problems and worries.  I have ignored my gut feelings and closed my eyes to things that I instead should have looked head-on.  I have done these things for a number of reasons:  so that people would like me; so that I wouldn’t come off as mean, demanding or selfish; so I wouldn’t have to make decisions and say things that I knew would lead to hard changes in my relationships and life.  

What I’ve learned, however, is that not saying things and not addressing issues doesn’t make them go away.  It actually does the opposite – like ignored poop, ignored issues simply build up so that once you need to address them it feels like an impossible task.  I would rank the “Rachel-Way” a 0/10 – not recommended at all!  

What I would recommend, though, is bringing a towel and extra mat and doing some yoga while goats may or may not poop on you.  Because like life, Goat Yoga can be messy but not showing up for it is a sure way to miss out on something powerful.  So from here on out, I’m dealing with life’s poop head-on and in-the-moment with equanimity, integrity, and honesty- and then I’m going to keep on showing up, practicing and doing my thing.  I hope you will choose to do the same!    

With love,