By Sandi Barrett, Contributing Writer
SOUTH NEW BERLIN, NEW YORK – The stillness of morning and a lulling background of cheerful chirping is disturbed by tires scrabbling over gravel as the golf cart delivering our breakfast-in-bed arrives at our front porch. An enormous wire basket of delectable goodies is placed at our tent flap sending aromas of fresh baked scones, muffins, and bacon and egg sandwiches through the screen. The perfect way to kick off our goat yoga getaway.
Our adventure began when we arrived; our bags swiftly lifted onto a golf cart, then we were whisked away to our accommodations―a very large and luxurious tent. Glamping has never been this good. The platform tents each have a private porch with Adirondack chairs that open up to a room that would rival any four-star hotel. A large bed smothered in cozy pillows rested under a massive chandelier flanked by twin ceiling fans. On either side of the bed were ample bureaus outfitted with lamps and a coffee maker. The seating area, with colorful upholstered chairs, was a welcome addition. Our tent came with a three-piece ensuite. My kind of glam camping!
Meet the baby goats
Have you ever thought about what goat yoga would be like? I spent two days at Gilbertsville Farm as a participant in its Goat Yoga Retreat. Honestly, even though I love yoga, I’m not that great at getting into or holding poses, so I was a little nervous about my participation level. No worries—the yoga was gentle enough for even a non-flexible newbie. There was no competition on who could achieve the most perfect cobra pose―phew!
The baby goats, in addition to being beyond cute, were spectacular at joining you in your pursuit of nirvana. We were introduced to the two- to three-month-old adorable goats as we sat on our mats in a grassy meadow next to a small pond. An alpaca family grazed nearby while guinea fowl pecked at the grass. The enthusiastic goats came running from the barn towards our class like they were greeting lost friends. As we sat on our mats, treats in hand, we became acquainted with the little kids.
As you can imagine, the class became more about interacting with the cute goats than finding our inner ohm. Happily, we moved into cat and cow pose (on knees and hands) to entice our cavorting, four-legged friends to hop on our backs. With gentle encouragement from the goat wranglers and a handful of treats, the goats were hopping from back-to-back with the agility of young mountain climbers.
Our yoga instructor, Vanessa, was well versed in goat/student interaction. She kept the class in on-the-mat poses ensuring the class was a hilarious yoga goatcation. The instructor basically recommends poses, but if you are interacting with one of these little cuties, it’s a raucous, goat enhanced free-for-all. At the end of the hour-long session, we happily assisted the goat handlers in wrangling the little kids back to the barn.
Pro tip: Baby goats eat everything, including hair. Keep your hair under a hood or ball cap and the treats handy.
Our all-inclusive goat yoga retreat included three sessions of yoga―two with the baby goats, beautifully crafted group dinners, hand-delivered breakfast and lunches, and lots of free time to roam the farm or nap in a hammock.
The Gilbertsville Farmhouse in South New Berlin, New York, is a picturesque four-hour drive from Central Massachusetts. They offer an assortment of seasonal retreats including a Baby Goat & Me Retreat each spring where you “adopt” a baby―bottle feeding and lots of cuddles. Other getaways include a Summer Food & Wine Retreat; Beercation Retreat; Adult Summer Camp Retreat; Foliage, Food & Wine Retreat; and a Couples-Only Retreat. Relaxing into the beautiful scenery, crisp fresh air, and kickback attitude, you will love visiting Gilbertsville Farmhouse.
Autumn is the perfect time to visit the hills of upstate New York. The foliage is breathtakingly beautiful. Enjoying a road trip destination at this country farm setting is a memorable getaway.