Just a thought... Where there are no sheep, they call the goat 'princess.' [Turkish quote]
Imagine a lavender farm on a mild Vancouver Island Saturday - skies dotted with clouds but a comfortable 20C. Now picture goats - little ones, bigger ones - running freely. And now, add yoga. That's exactly what my pal Nancy did last weekend. I wish I'd gone, but since I didn't, I asked her a whole bunch of questions about "goat yoga" so we could share the experience together. Here we go!
Some 20 yoga enthusiasts (most of whom were probably just there for the goats, if they were honest) gathered, as many do every Saturday from May to September at a lavender farm up island a bit. Seems to me that "Going to yoga at the lavender farm" sounds like a euphemism for being put out to pasture...or worse! But oh, no, it's not (although it would seem to be like heaven).
The women, one teen and one man, laid their mats down ever so carefully amid the little Cocoa Puffs that the goats had left behind. (Our family raised a pair of goats that we named Starsky and Hutch. Yes, it was the 70s. But we also knew what goat droppings looked like: that chocolatey cereal.)
The price, $25, is a little steep for yoga, but the reward is the time with goats, big and small - as tiny as this fella, who was one of four siblings and won everyone's hearts! He was one third of a kilogram when he was born. Imagine!
How did Nancy and her pal feel about the whole experience? Johanna says, "There's something very relaxing and soothing about being in the country fresh air with your yoga mat, surrounded by adorable goats and getting your Zen on, while feeling like the chosen one and throwing your 'downward goat' position out the window if a goat or two should wander your way looking for a scratch and cuddle."
How wonderful is that? Now I know there are some reading this who'd rather do anything than get "up close" with a farm animal. One woman responded to my picture on the weekend with "I just don't get the goat thing!" and, you know, I understand that. Hey, as someone wise once said, if everyone liked the same things, there'd be long lineups for everything, right?
These little goats are very sociable, super curious and love to be cuddled. Nancy tells me that one woman had two plunk down on her mat for the whole yoga session! There's also the added wrinkle that goats, as you know, love to nibble: hats, laces, pant legs. I'm sure it was hard to hold a pose while giggling over the goats' antics. One poor fellow in shorts had three goats all trying to get into any opening they could find! Yikes! But despite that, the whole thing (not the hole thing) sounds wonderful. Here's their FB page if you want to learn more.
If I have time after my upcoming retreat, I'll be sure to try to fit it in on a Saturday morning. What retreat, you ask? I'll fill you in tomorrow. And thank you for being here.
(@erindavis on Twitter)