Beer? Yes, Please! Yoga? Not so much. Yoga with beer?? Now we're talking! Beer yoga is a real thing.
Like like many great inventions, no one is exactly sure where beer yoga began. Most people think it started in 2013 in the Nevada desert at that great American freakshow...er, I mean festival...known as Burning Man.
In July 2015, a yoga instructor named Brooke Larson founded a company called Beer Yoga in Oklahoma City. She got the idea when her friends and students freaked out (in a good way) after she posted some pics of herself on Instagram doing yoga poses and sipping on a beer. By 2017, she was traveling and teaching beer yoga classes in eight states.
The beer yoga craze flowed throughout breweries and taprooms as a low-key social activity for all levels of yoga practice. Combining two of America's favorite things: wellness and delicious beer seemed like a win:win.
How Does Yoga With Beer Work?
So participants practice asana poses in a relaxed yoga class. Then after the bend 'n stretch yoga session is over, everyone sits together in their sweaty glow and enjoys a pint or two of cold beer and sometimes brunch.
Meanwhile, over the pond, a man with just one name, Jhula, caught that namaste feeling and started BierYoga in Berlin Germany. And now this refreshing wellness trend has spread to Australia, Thailand, and England and beyond.
According to Jhula,
"Beer yoga is the marriage of two great loves, beer and yoga, centuries-old therapies for mind, body and soul...BierYoga is fun but it's no joke. We take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness. The joy of drinking beer and the mindfulness of yoga compliment each other and make for an energizing experience."
While some (party pooper) fitness professionals consider brewery yoga as gimmicky, enthusiasts point out that in the 6th century ritual use of alcohol helped advance yogis to be "possessed" by the goddess. Who can argue with that? Not me.
In Australia, there are classes where students can learn yoga poses involving beer and how to balance a bottle on their head. It seems most of the wilder classes where drinking beer is done during the class is happening outside the US. But I can't guarantee there aren't some American yogis out there posing while balancing craft beer and IPAs on their vinyasas.