Today is the one year anniversary of the first ever yoga session at Harrison Farm, and I am incredibly grateful for the support which our community has offered to our yoga classes. When Dana & I began planning the 2017 yoga season at Harrison Farm, we initially envisioned five classes -- which then became ten -- which jumped to seventeen -- and we now look to finish the season at more than forty classes. It is humbling to realize how this endeavor has allowed both Dana & I to move forward in our businesses, and we are both full of gratitude for the goats & the yogis.
A year ago when Dana & I decided to give on-farm yoga a try, we had no idea how the goats would behave or how the classes would be received. Our sessions in 2016 were lighthearted events with small groups of fantastic yogis. We were truly in the right place at the right time when "goat yoga" appeared in social media clips over the winter & spring: we already had a business model, we had great pictures from our 2016 classes, and we had dates for 2017 ready to go. Neither one of us could have imagined how our lives would change thanks to these yoga classes!
I have met so many wonderful people who have supported the farm by participating in yoga. Essentially, it is just a fun yoga experience on a goat farm -- but it is so much more for me. The yogis are participating in our mission of connecting people with animals & farming, they are supporting keeping local farms in our metropolitan area, and they are directly making it possible for me to pay the feed bill, cover the expenses of the farm, and pay the taxes. The yoga classes literally happened at the right time for me as a new landowner, and I am profoundly grateful.
Last year, I did the first yoga class as a goat wrangler without any assistance. Now that we are fortunate enough to be doing four yoga classes in a weekend, I realize how blessed I am to have such a great team. My OSU team has been outstanding: Marissa, Julia, Jaclyn, Serina, Kaylyn, Lori, Michaela, and Elizabeth have all assisted with yoga. My amazing friends Kathryn & Amanda have helped at so many yoga classes with registration. Kellie, Amy, Libby, and Will have all jumped in to help with goat wrangling when I needed assistance. My talented friend Heidi has repeatedly taken pictures for us to use in publicity. Stephanie and Aubry and Brenda have not only attended our yoga sessions, but also set up private parties to celebrate birthdays with us. My amazing friends turned out in full force for our practice session in April (when I knew the goats needed to get acclimated), and they have continued their support by attending classes throughout the season. With the current busy nature of our yoga schedule, it could never have happened without all the wonderful people who support me.
The best part of the yoga experience has been my growing friendship with Dana & her dashing husband Jon. They are two sincere, creative people of great integrity. It fills me with so much joy to reflect on how our friendship has evolved from our professional relationship (when I coordinated their wedding), to our current heartfelt friendship & partnership. I literally cannot say enough good things about Dana. I never cease to be impressed by her talents, and I cannot believe someone as cool as Dana is friends with me. Jon has been abundantly generous with his time by helping us at yoga, and he is one of the most intelligent & charismatic gentlemen whom I know.
As I reflect on the last year in my life, I know how blessed I am. The farm is growing in ways I never could have imagined. So many fantastic people have come into my world thanks to the yoga classes. I have an awesome team around me on the farm, and I could not do this without them. The animals are thriving, and my health is blissfully good. Even more amazing: we are actually paying our bills. A year ago today, I was running around trying to do all the setup myself to make our first-ever yoga class possible. Today, I signed the contract to renovate my grandfather's airplane hangar into our event space, and I have a fabulous team in place to support our future endeavors. I am extraordinarily grateful for all the phenomenal things that have happened in my world in the last year.
Last week at yoga, there was a beautiful moment toward the end of one of the yoga classes. During savasana, when the yogis were stretched out on their mats, Tree the Goat laid down next to one of the yogis. She stretched out with her body against the yogi, and laid her head on their thigh. As I stood by watching this moment, my heart was so full. It felt like we were really doing something amazing on the farm. We were truly achieving the mission I had designed for the farm of connecting people with animals. I spent so many years believing in this farm & these animals when the future was not so bright, and thus it is the most remarkable experience to see the farm steadily growing into what my heart always dreamed it could be. I am truly blessed.