What a Serene and wonderful way to celebrate International Day of Yoga at the Goshala. Energy, vibrations and views all come together at the 80 plus acres land on the hills. Children felt comfortable, safe and were definitely curious to learn and know more. This is the first Official field trip to Goshala and yes we were the Pioneers of this activity. Goshala co ordinators were very happy about this new initiative taken by Yoga Bharati. Our camp parents and camp volunteers made it possible by driving to the facility as chaperones. A big thanks to them. Our youth teachers supported the field trip activities by actively participating and motivating camp attendees.
Goshala is a shelter for protecting and taking care of cows. A bit about Cows.
“ Cattle combat global warming by restoring carbon to the soil. ... When cattle eat grass they stimulate new growth and while they walk and fertilize on the ground it promotes seed germination. This prevents the overpopulation of woody shrubs and keeps our grassland ecosystems healthy and stable”
We started around 9 am from the camp location to the Goshala in Milpitas and reached by 10 am. Our first activity was Yoga in the open area under the sun and of course heat. We performed suryanamaskars, Paschimottanasana, Ushtrasana, Shashankasana, GOMUKHASANA, to feel the oneness with the cows. Finally 9 rounds of Bhramari followed by Silence and experienced the profound energy and vibrations around.
Cows at Goshala are given several names of Krishna and the birth significance, such as Nandini, Gopala, Ekadashi, Manasi, Brahma and more. Kids learnt about cow being Gomata, like our mother who is so important to our ecosystem. Field trip co ordinator explained the benefits of cows, uses of the products that cow gives. Milk and milk products are staple for many of us, cows urine is researched quite a bit and used as a medicine, cow dung is used as manure and fertilizer. Co ordinator mentioned a very important fact, “if you have a cow and a piece of land you can live happily as that is all you need!” Cow gives milk and fertilizer for the land to grow grains, vegetables and fruits and eats grass.
First Activity - petting - Children and adults had a chance to pet the cows and calf. Youngest member of the cow family is 2 months old naughty Manasi! She likes to jump around and play.. Her mom goes to graze while she waits at the shed area. There are totally 11 cows. In 2016 they started with 5 and now they are 11 ! Names have been chosen from Krishna’s life stories, like Nandini, Gopala, Ekadashi, Manasi and more. We were able to feed the cows bananas, cut watermelons. Cows happily accepted our feed. Our youngest child of 2 years also was able to and get close enough and pet the cows and calf without fear.
Next activity Cow Shed Cleaning: Older children and few small children were given the opportunity to clean the sheds. They did not hesitate a bit to get dirty and started taking turns in cleaning the sheds with brooms, brushes, water, shovel. We started with sweeping the cow sheds, then they moved to brushing and cleaning with water. Adults helped them to complete the task. They even held the fresh cow dung with their shovels and cleared it away!
Lunch and Disperse: All the children and adults gathered at the shed and sat on the chairs with our food on the tables. This shed is specifically built as a lunch area. While we were having food, Goshala co ordinators passed the info flyers and also mentioned about the importance of donating. Single day of feeding the cows costs $151. Many of us decided to donate a bit and do our part. Co ordinators made the kids to take quiz and give away few gifts to the ones who answered right.
Drive up the Mountain - Last activity: Goshala care taker guided us to the mountain off road drive which is pretty smooth and paved to watch the other cows grazing and the beautiful mountain views and the city views. We then started around 12.45 pm to reach the south bay center by 1.30 pm. Parents picked up the kids. Kids could not stop talking about their experiences at the field trip and the camp as a whole.
Anyone planning to visit Goshala, please visit their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kbgosala/
We sincerely thank the Goshala volunteers, who co ordinated the trip completely which was planned at least 2-3 months ago. Many other volunteers and their children were present at the trip from Goshala whose expert guidance and support made it very informative and enjoyable.
Lastly we would like to say please visit this place again, adopt a cow, volunteer at this facility, as they need all kinds of help from the community to build such a safe environment for the cows to graze and live happily.