I was lucky enough to enjoy two experiences in Indiana that are hard to find anywhere else – goat yoga and a sushi making class taught by a sushi expert. Both are available each weekend in the communities of Festival Country Indiana, located just south of Indianapolis.
First, I went to Tagalong Farms Boutique and Gifts in Franklin, a store that sells goat milk beauty products made from goat milk that comes from their farm. The store also offers goat yoga, with playful baby goats joining the group as they do yoga poses, at 10 a.m. Saturdays from April to October under the outdoor pagoda.
And, one Saturday a month, they amp up their offering with farm animal yoga, featuring baby goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, cats and a potbelly pig. I took the first ever farm animal yoga class and found that the cute creatures took my mind off the fact that I was exercising – and benefitting from the strength building and flexibility enhancing that yoga provides.
Yoga instructor Chia Bush, of Studio You in Greenwood, comes to Tagalong Farms Boutique to teach among the people and animals. Bush said yoga is therapeutic, and adding animals makes it even more so.
Tagalong Farms Boutique and Gifts owner Jone Koch agreed it’s good therapy being around all the animal babies. She said goats are natural “clowns,” jumping on top of people and doing other antics that make people laugh. Koch has a young neighbor boy help during yoga by picking up the goats or other animals and evenly placing them around.
Koch said there’s probably only a handful of farm animal yoga classes in existence. She’s had people come from as far away as Cincinnati to do goat yoga. With so many people living in a city or town, it may be the only chance some get to cuddle with goats and other farm animals.
I know I enjoyed the chance to do something that’s good for my body and that’s a new experience. And I also appreciated that I could pick up some natural, locally-made goat milk soaps and lotions.
The cost is $20 for goat yoga and $35 for farm animal yoga. Discounts are available for kids. Be sure to go online and reserve a spot in advance.
The other great adventure I took was a sushi making class at Yokohama Japanese Cuisine and Sushi in Greenwood. The classes, which are at noon on Sundays and which must be reserved in advance by calling Call 317-859-1888, cost $40. I not only learned a skill, I got to eat the three sushi rolls I made.
Chef Debbie, a Master Sushi Chef, helped me and another student learn the little secrets of successful sushi making, like spreading the rice to all four corners of the nori and wetting the knife when cutting the rolls (you’ll have to take the class to learn the other tricks of the trade).
Chef Debbie helped us step by step as we made a California roll, then watched to see if we retained our knowledge as we made a Philadelphia roll. Then we were on our own to make the third roll, a shrimp tempura roll.
The rolls were delicious, which Chef Debbie says is because she uses the freshest fish, obtained from Chicago and transported to Greenwood, and because she makes her sauces herself.
She also made us a special treat which she dreamed up one day: the sushi sundae. It looks like an ice cream sundae, but is a fish-filled mound of tastiness with three sauces atop it. Although it’s not on the menu, she’ll make it for those who have heard about it.
Our time at Yokohama was capped by receiving a certificate of achievement for becoming a beginner sushi chef. While most people just take the class for fun, Chef Debbie does offer more advanced classes for those who are interested.
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