Lancashire Farm Dairies hosted a yoga class in a field with cows. The idea was that participants should enjoy the surroundings of nature and share their class with cows. The cow is a sacred animal to Hindus.
The president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed, led a protest against the yoga class. He said that cows should not be used “as a prop for human entertainment”. The cows will be disturbed and stressed.
He said that the yoga session was frivolous and that it diluted the “profound, sacred and ancient discipline of yoga”. This sort of class is a fad, he said.
He also said that cows are a distraction to the participants of a yoga session. The participants should be on a path of self-discovery. They should be thinking inwards and not be distracted by outside interference.
He is concerned that people will go to dairy farms to do yoga and then post photographs of the session on Instagram.
The dairy business apologised for causing offence. It was not their intention. They have their headquarters in Rochdale. They wanted the participants to experience the tranquillity of a large 500 acre farm.
The cows on the farm are free to roam for 150 days of the year. The milk is used in the manufacture of Greek-style yoghurt and yoghurt which is fat-free and natural bio. They said that happy cows produce the best milk. They have no further plans to hold more yoga sessions with cows!
Comment: I agree with the assessment that there would be pictures on Instagram. I wonder if the dairy was motivated to do this because it is safer to do yoga and Pilates outside during the coronavirus pandemic. Mother cows can be extremely dangerous when protecting their calves. There have been fatalities. I expect the dairy business was careful to select the right cows to participate.