Move over goat yoga, there’s a new sheriff in town: and he enjoys a pale ale.
It seems that the new trend in meditation is combining things that make us happy with yoga. Now beer yoga is the perfect illustration of this: who doesn’t love a nice cold pint?
That was the inspiration behind the aptly named BierYoga based in Berlin Germany. Founded in 2015 by yoga instructors Emily and Jhula, the classes integrate beer bottles into normal yoga poses in order to create an even more enjoyable experience.
“BeerYoga is fun but it’s no joke” states the BierYoga website. “We take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer-drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness.”
While it might seem to be a bit of a stretch, the idea of combining beer and yoga does make sense from a psychological view point. Yoga is meant to be a relaxing process, to help one disassociate from the anxieties of daily life. Beer, as a form of alcohol, is a depressant for the brain. Depressants inhibit the GABA neurotransmitter creating a calming effect, thus promoting relaxation. How many times have you hit the bar for happy hour after work and felt de-stressed after your third or fourth or tenth (no judgement here) beer?
The owners of BierYoga also note the similarities between drinking beer and taking yoga classes: “Both are centuries-old therapies for body, mind and soul. The joy of drinking beer and the mindfulness of yoga compliment each other, and make for an energizing experience.”
While some yoga classes in the United States have been performed in breweries (sadly only allowing students to imbibe after the class), none have actually integrated bottles of beer into the yoga poses. Photos on the BierYoga website depict yogis balancing beer on their heads, taking a sip while doing a downward dog, and most importantly laughing and having a good time. The bottle aren’t just for show or used as weights either: one participant noted drinking three bottles during the two hour class. The instructor even commands the posers to take swigs. “Has anyone not finished their first bottle? If not, bottoms up!” she says about half an hour into the class according to one satisfied reviewer.
Jhula and Emily have begun to expand their business, most recently sponsoring events in Sydney and Melbourne, and hoping to eventually break into the festival market. Owner Jhula even conceived the idea for BierYoga after witnessing similar yoga being performed at California’s Burning Man festival. She is hoping to return to the legendary desert ritual, beer in tow.
Beer yoga coming to the United States? We can all cheers to that.