Let us talk, for a moment, about goat yoga.
For me, it’s a big naa-aa-aa-aah.
Weeks ago, my family visited a petting zoo. We walked among the goats as they stared at us with their evil eyes and rammed their bodies into us, forcing our kibble-cupping hands to lower, and we all laughed through gritted teeth, pretending it was fun. A goat kept head-butting my 3-year-old until she fell into a pile of poop pellets. What a great time we are having, we all said as we quickly left the pen, unceremoniously letting the gate slam behind us as we slathered our bodies in hand sanitizer.
Excellent. Let’s never do that again and bluff that we’re sad about it.
A few months ago, rumors spread through my town that we’d be getting a few new businesses: a studio for goat yoga, a cafe with kittens and a bar for ax throwing. A recent YouTube video showed a woman throwing an ax at one of these get-drunk-and-try-not-to-die bars and the ax bouncing off the bull’s-eye and coming spiraling back, narrowly missing her and her friends. Yet the ax bar remains the only new business I am excited about.
How did the idea for goat yoga come about? It’s easy to understand where the idea for a bar with ax throwing came from. Some friends got drunk around a campfire, and one bro sure to live a short life said to his fellow longevity-stunted friend, “Inebriated death-defying antics within the sacred grounds of a pub are the future, man.” Surely, his friend belched in agreement. As someone who has just visited the local bar with ax throwing and thoroughly enjoyed it, I, too, surely belched in agreement.
I cannot for the life of me, however, imagine the origin story for goat yoga. Did one yogi say to her kumbaya bestie after a sweaty hot yoga session that she smelled like a goat, with fireworks and bursting lightbulbs then lighting up the sky? Was one chakra-aligned contortionist rocking a mad Downward Dog, bottom remarkably pointed toward the ceiling, and thinking to herself, “If only there were an evil-eyed horned beast that could head-butt me right in the butt at this very moment, my practice would be complete”? Does it further engage your muscles to step around poop pellets? Does it increase your meditative trance to maintain balance in a pose when one of the Billy Goats Gruff stands on his hind legs and leans into your shoulders with his hoofs, screaming into your face and tickling your chin with his scratchy beard?
I’ve long said that yoga is hell, and now that animals whose imagery is synonymous with the devil are joining the practice, I’m pretty positive I’ve got ground to stand on — gross, defecated-on ground.
Perhaps I’m not an animal person. I’ve loved my dogs, rabbits, hamsters and fish over the years, and I love living in the wild among the woodland creatures, but for as much as I dislike the idea of goat yoga, I hate the kitty cafe premise even more.
At least during yoga you are supposed to get sweaty and gross, so maybe the goat addition isn’t that drastic when you’re already in a room full of filthy animals. Yoga is supposed to be kinda disgusting. Getting coffee and a croissant with a friend is not. When I imagine the kitten cafe, all I see are tumbleweeds of cat fur floating across the tables and leaving behind black hairs on my clotted cream. In the corner lurk the beautiful blue-eyed felines, licking themselves while keeping direct eye contact with you as they plot your demise. Should they poison the soup or merely trip the server, thus causing her to spill the scalding-hot broth on your lap? So many options. Meow. Above your head, cats jump from one climbing tower to another, interrupting any opportunity for a fluid conversation you may have wanted to have with your pal. Occasionally, the cat misses and lands on your table. Of course, the cat is fine, having landed on its feet, but your pastry is smushed, and you die of a heart attack from the sheer surprise of it all.
I have a new business idea. It’s a place called No Frills, where you can have a drink, chat and even do a headstand, with nothing added.
Katiedid Langrock is author of the book “Stop Farting in the Pyramids.”