Beer and yoga. Two of our greatest loves. We're even partial to a pint or two after a yoga class. Both have existed for centuries, but more recently, folk have decided to combine the two more intimately than ever before...
By now you've probably read or heard about beer yoga. It originated somewhere in the United States and has now spread to locations across the globe. The media have snapped it up, regurgitating content all over our news networks, publications and radio shows. It's arguably the first time since the epic rise of hot yoga, that yoga has featured so prominently in the mainstream media - riding the wave of eccentric forms of practice that are ceaselessly being concocted.
The underlying principle behind beer yoga is excellent. Yoga can be an intimidating, inaccessible and unexciting prospect for many. What beer yoga (substitute rave, paddleboard, hip-hop, ganja, goat etc.) does is create an alternative, approachable environment that allows those that are hesitant (or otherwise uninterested) to give it a try. In many cases, the idea of having a swifty after class simply makes the entire experience seem less daunting.
Some teachers and/or studios are doing this in an amazing way, giving people the opportunity to take a yoga class followed by a pint in the bar - often included in the price. Cultivating a social environment through some alcohol fuelled lubrication is not exactly unheard of, but nonetheless a beautiful thing. In fact, if we were to open a space down the line, this is exactly how we would be doing things. Whatever your vice - beer, coffee, cake or green juice - for us, the studio should be a place not only to do yoga, but to refuel, relax and socialise.
However, in some instances the beer bottle has literally been brought onto the mat. At risk of being austere, is it excessive to suggest that doing a yoga class with a beer bottle in hand is utterly ridiculous? A good laugh - sure; mildly perilous - most probably; a gigantic middle finger to the integrity of yoga - most certainly.
We want more people to do yoga. But practices like this make a mockery of yoga, and risk it becoming perceived as a gimmick to the general population. It's great that yoga is getting all this attention, but sadly, it's not for the right reasons.
Beer is just one example of a number of commercial slants that have hit the yoga scene in recent years. We ourselves are a slice of that commercialisation, but these endeavours appear to be carelessly taking advantage of the opportunity to profit from yoga without considering the bigger picture.
We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Next week, goat yoga. Only kidding. Fucking idiots.