Beer Yoga was a one-off yoga event (hopefully the first in an occasional series) which took place at the Tap Social Movement brewery in Botley. It was taught by Becky Varey of Yogascope.
The ticket price includes a bottle of beer, which is used as a prop throughout the class, held during poses and drunk from periodically. I chose 29 in a Million, a light ale which I felt was an ideal exercise beverage. Also available were a couple of sour beers, a gluten free option and two stouts. All the beers on offer were brewed on the premises, and the brewery equipment was visible behind the bar, which was pleasing to see.
I do a lot of yoga and found it really fun to add a new element to class! Obviously this wouldn’t replace my regular practice and I’m not sure the class would burn off the calories in the beer - it’s quite gentle as it's aimed at beginners - but it was a really lovely, fun activity to do with friends if you fancy adding a twist to your trip to the pub.
The prop based element of the yoga was really quite effective. Holding the bottle in Warrior gave a nice focus to the pose, and the weight in Goddess was satisfying and grounding. I also liked one pose where we balanced the bottle on our knees - it really did help me align in the pose more precisely. I also very much appreciated Becky’s invitation to have a sip of beer in a particularly challenging pose, to distract from the discomfort.
There was also a light element of mindfulness and alcohol, which was an interesting idea - I enjoyed fully tasting the beer and concentrating on the sensations and emotions around it. With a substance that has the potential to cause a fairly destructive habit, and which we often drink for reasons other than solely its taste, it was very interesting to be challenged to connect to the experience fully.
Obviously the propped poses and mindfulness are not the real point of beer yoga - the point is just, do two fun things (yoga and drinking beer) at the same time. On this level it succeeded brilliantly. There was a real spirit of camaraderie and fun to the session which is absent from a lot of yoga classes. Also - it was just funny. Becky led the session with a real spirit of fun and lightness of touch and all of the 50 attendants had a great time. The bar is open afterwards so you can make a real evening of it.
All in all this was a really fun night out - I hope it happens again so I can bring a couple of friends along.