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Are breweries the new yoga studios?


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beer yoga 1When Mikki Trowbridge decided to teach a yoga class at Rogue Brewery’s farm overlooking the Willamette River just outside Salem, Oregon, she thought it would be little more than a fun way to hang out with friends and enjoy a pint of beer afterwards. But in an area where most yoga classes draw about 15 people, 100 showed up.

Yes, beer yoga is now a thing. Classes are surfacing across the country, in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Portland, and Charleston. (Lululemon even launched a craft beer this summer.)

There’s no sipping hefeweizens while balancing in half-moon. You practice yoga among a brewery’s barrels with the scent of hops wafting through the air, and stay for a post-savasana stout with your fellow classmates. Here are some of the breweries where people are crafting their yoga practice…

 

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beer yoga classesEnthusiasts say that while beer and yoga seem like an odd couple, both come from time-honored traditions that focus on creating community. “We see that yoga and beer really compliment each other quite nicely in terms of bringing people together,” says Trowbridge. “People are naturally drawn to the friendly, laid back atmosphere of breweries and feel welcomed in a way they might not at a yoga studio,” she says of the intimidation factor.

Plus, for teachers like Charleston, South Carolina-based instructor Beth Cosi, who started teaching her Bendy Brewski Yoga class at Holy City Brewing in 2011, the events break down stereotypes associated with yoga and attract a new demographic (hello husbands and boyfriends!). “Generally, it’s people who have no interest in going to a studio. Or they want to try yoga but are too shy to go to a studio,” says Cosi.

 

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beer yoga classes

While this all might sound like another passing yoga fad, Cosi and Trowbridge say the beer-yoga pairing is just picking up steam. In addition to teaching classes in Charleston, Cosi mentors other teachers interested in bringing Bendy Brewski Yoga to new locations.

Classes have started in Memphis and soon will be offered in Tampa. And Trowbridge has teamed up with fellow teacher Melissa Klimo-Major of Balance and Brews to take their beer yoga classes on the road across the country.

There’s even a hashtag, #BeerYogi. Welcome to the age of the sipping-an-IPA-in-tree-pose selfie. —Christine Yu

Beer isn’t the only thing trending in yoga according to this yoga trends expert on the past, present, and future of the ancient practice.