Being a gymnast my entire life, I thought I would hate an activity where I had to slowly push myself into poses – holding the pose for what felt like 5 hours. It was certainly a challenge to not distract myself as I watched sweat drip off of the person in front of me into a little pools on the mat. In the end, the one thing that motivated me to get through a class was the happy hour that would follow. And what’s more convenient than being able to wrap up your mat and walk right over to the bar for a craft beer?
Today, for good reasons, yoga classes are flocking to craft breweries across the country. Let’s be honest, you might be more motivated to push up into downward dog after kicking back a beer or two, am I right? This trend has yogis flowing smoothly through their practices – right inside of breweries.
Brittny Machel Lowe, creator of Twin Flame Apparel has taught a yoga class at Ormond Brewing Company (click here if you’re interested in teaching yoga). She says, “I love yoga, and I love beer! Teaching at a brewery is pretty much the yin to my yang! A lot of people drink beer but not all of them practice yoga. Yoga at breweries is an opportunity to unite two different passions into one. Yoga pushes you to your edge and beer takes the edge off! Ha!” And ladies, what better way to get your boyfriend to show up to a yoga class than to entice him with a delicious cold beer after class? I certainly see that as a win-win.
My love for craft beer and breweries comes from brewing my own beer with my first Craft a Brew Hefeweizen kit. While waiting for my water to heat up, I flow into as many asanas as I can before adding my grains. Brewing beer takes focus and patience, which pairs well with the patience and focus you gain from your practice. The best part is, once my beer is ready to drink, I can practice yoga while drinking my very own craft beer!
Having a beer after your practice gives you and your fellow classmates something to chat about over a newly tapped Pumpkin Ale or Hefeweizen. And surely after a slight buzz, you’ll joke about how sore you’re going to feel after the buzz wears off.
There are many ways to deal with stress. Let me tell you, after an hour of twists, bends and too many Chaturangas, waking the body up from your Savasana pairs pretty well with a cold, refreshing IPA.
Although the calories in a good beer might not seem like a good idea after a good workout – beer and yoga may actually benefit your body. New research shows that drinking beer might have more health benefits than we thought. Hops, the ingredient that gives beer its bitterness, has actually been used to treat ailments like digestion issues and even was used to treat leprosy in the 9th century. According to a study published in the Journal of Cereal Science, a Finnish research team analyzed barley grains and beer samples, and discovered that they may have some antioxidant power. And of course, Yoga itself will help sculpt your muscles and make you more flexible.
I’m a firm believer in trying something new. Push your body to its limit with a yoga flow and reward your taste buds with a delicious craft beer you’ve never tried before or after class. Trying something new keeps your mind active and can actually increase your mood.
By focusing on your breathing and focusing your intention you can improve the quality of your life. Yoga itself can help you develop physical and mental strength while improving your posture and sleep habits. And of course, a good craft beer can really broaden your pallet to better enjoy many great craft beers down the road.
Namaste and Cheers!