I remember it vividly: wheels of the car furiously whirring around in the mud as they attempted to propel my dad’s trusty banger up a small incline towards a farm in East Suffolk.
Windscreen wipers going like the clappers, my dad’s patience wearing thin, and I, staring bleakly out the window – at the rain and the mud, knowing shortly I’d be lying in it, surrounded by a tribe of goats – and wondering what the hell I was doing.
I was on my way to ‘goat yoga’.
And this, dear reader, is why…
What is goat yoga?
Good question. This time last year, I had no idea. I had just moved to Suffolk to write a book and had seen an advert for it in a local shop window.
My first thought was – rather obviously – YOGA FOR GOATS? WOWIEE!
My second was… err… hang on a minute…
In truth, I didn’t care what it was. I just knew I had to investigate. I was going to be part of ‘goat yoga’. Or take part in it. Or do whatever ‘it’ entailed. I had recently moved out of London and was terrified everyone would forget about me. I may not be memorable, I reasoned, but ‘goat yoga’ – by way of a strategic Instagram post – was surely unforgettable.
So it was that the following weekend, I found myself at Skylark Farm in Bawdsey surrounded by a tribe of kids. No, not human ones, goat ones. And no, they weren’t doing yoga. I was.
Goat yoga was founded in Oregan, USA by Lainey Morse. In 2016, Morse had been diagnosed with autoimmune disease whilst going through a divorce and found one of the only things that never ceased to lift her spirits were her beloved goats.
She invited friends round to visit, one of whom was yoga instructor Heather Ballenger-Davis. Ballenger-Davis suggested teaching a yoga class as the goats freely wandered around, and that was it: goat yoga was born.