Two stories that are related came to my attention over the weekend. Both were so odd I had to check I hadn’t travelled back in time via a wormhole, and I was reliving All Fools’ Day. Deirdra Barr will like the first one.
I’ve mentioned my liking for the Dutch, and that their reputation for being a bit stolid on occasion can suddenly tumble to the ground in ruins. Hence the tale about goat yoga enthralled me. You can go to the Ridammerhoeve Goat Farm in Amsterdamse Bos, and do yoga with a goat. A kid strictly, but who cares?
Goat yoga became available in Holland in January, but it will surprise nobody it’s an American import. Specifically an Oregon import, and that state has a reputation to rival Oz’s Queensland, where all the inhabitants are barking mad.
You dosh over 25 Euros (this includes a post-goatfest cappuccino and some home made cake) and proceed to select your soulmate from the group* of 20 or so kids that are hot to trot. I imagine the criterion is to make sure you don’t get an ugly one.
Then you go through the motions with baby goats jumping all over your pose of a corpse, knocking you over from your inverted bird, and generally interfering with you realigning your chakras.
Now you may wonder, as I did, what on earth the benefits would be. I’ll tell you, shall I? According to Brenda Bood, the yogi and loonie-in-chief, interacting with goats is a real spirit lifter. ‘They cause your body to produce more oxytocin.’ Aka the love hormone. Which is also released when you do normal yoga, which is why after a normal, non-caprinate hatha session some years ago, I was so laid back I reversed my car into a netball goalpost, and drove off with a shrug.
Also, goats are allegedly spookily empathetic to human emotion. Brenda recently held a class for new mothers, and ‘…all of a sudden the goats were very quiet and protective. It was quite moving.’ Moving in the direction of the bank would be my guess.
We return now to some more US madness, this time from Kansas. The Benedictine College is, as you may know or can at least guess, a Catholic institute. They have banned yoga classes on campus at the behest of Kansas’s Archbishop Naumann. The college replaced it with the hatefully named ‘Lifestyle Fitness.’
Here’s the reason. There were fears of ‘some potential for eastern mysticism.’ The college principal, Stephen Minnis, whose very name suggests he has a rod up his arse, said he was unsure if the ‘spiritual harm’ of yoga would adversely affect the campus, but claimed it was ‘better to be safe than sorry.’
Nobody there seems to have a problem with the Middle Eastern mysticism on which the Catholic religion is founded. That’s baffling, isn’t it?
*Charmingly, the collective noun for kids is a trip