Beer & Yoga: Bringing the Flavors of Life Together
“The flavors of life.” Four words that, when expressed, leave one feeling a bit more fulfilled. But for most of us, keeping those flavors handy is a daily struggle. There are days when you “got it”, and, well, those other days.
Two of my favorite flavors have been coming together more and more lately — beer & yoga. And it’s awesome. In St. Louis and all across the country, they’re calling it “detox & retox.” Yoga masters of varying disciplines host yoga classes inside breweries, or team up with a brewery to serve their beer after the class. Yogis are finding a whole new audience among beer lovers.
Elle Potter runs Yoga Buzz, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on a mission to make yoga more accessible throughout St. Louis. They host yoga classes and social events at a variety of venues throughout town, including dozens of beer & yoga events.
“The philosophy of yoga that I practice is called Tantra, and the teachings encourage the savoring of the flavors that life has to offer, in a way that is nurturing for the body and heart. So to me, I saw two seemingly separate communities, beer & yoga, and realized there were a lot of parallels there,” said Potter.
This Wednesday, February 24th, Potter will host, along with the St. Louis Brewers Guild, a preview event for the 8th Annual St. Louis Centennial Beer Festival. This special Yoga + Beer event starts at 6:00 PM and will be held at the Moulin Event Space. All-levels are welcome for the hour-long yoga class. Tickets are $20 and include yoga, beer tasting, and a special discount rate for the Friday evening session of the beer festival.
Like beer after a bike ride, beer after yoga just feels right. “People who enjoy both [yoga and beer] are passionate, curious, interested in exploring, and use ‘it’ as a way to connect with others,” said Potter. “But, just to be clear — the Yoga Buzz rule is ‘Yoga before beer, you’re in the clear.’ We encourage folks to save the indulging for after the class.”
So far, the response to beer & yoga events across the country has been great. The brewing industry is always looking for ways to broaden and connect their audiences, of which the current majority is men.
“Yoga attracts more women practitioners, so we’re therefore able to potentially introduce new faces to a beer, and having a VIP experience at a brewery with Yoga Buzz is offering a chance to create brand loyalty,” said Potter. “From a yoga standpoint, it’s an unintimidating environment for newbies who haven’t done a lot of (or any) yoga before. And if they hate the yoga, there’s a beer afterwards. It’s both a reward and a bribe.”
And breweries are actually just really good places for yoga. Most have big, open spaces as well as available event rooms. The second floor at the original Schlafly Tap Room was the space that initially gave Potter and Yoga Buzz the inspiration to launch Yoga + Beer.
“Stunning wood floors, exposed brick walls, big beams – it’s a dream yoga studio. And again, ultimately it’s yoga at a brewery. It’s unintimidating, it’s laid-back and it’s a little harder to take things too seriously when you’re upside down and can see the bar behind you,” said Potter.
As the craft beer community continues to grow in St. Louis, Yoga + Beer, plus other clever mash-ups, will provide plenty of opportunities for anyone looking to find or recapture their own “flavors of life.” Maybe yoga isn’t really your flavor, but giving it a try just might push you one step closer to finding out what is.