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Zen garden was yesterday: Today’s yogi finds enlightenment in the corner pub with barley juice and power asanas, because the trend is towards beer yoga!
Those who thought yoga in the West was only for esoteric freaks and something like a sport for the unathletic have no idea! Yoga is much more strenuous and athletic than it looks at first glance, and you don’t have to practise it in flowing robes with incense sticks and the sound of singing bowls. Rather, yoga is an extremely versatile and effective system for getting body and mind fit and reducing stress at the same time.
In order to adapt it to the needs and tastes of a wide variety of people, Western yogis have developed all kinds of possible and (supposedly) impossible variations over the last 10 or 20 years. From power yoga, hot yoga and laughter yoga to dog yoga, bicycle yoga and guerrilla yoga, all the way to rage yoga, where heavy metal is played instead of meditation music and you scream your head off… 🙂
A funny new idea is beer yoga: the combination of beer drinking and yoga. What sounds completely gaga at first makes sense at second glance, after all, beer drinking and yoga have the same goal in mind, namely to really come down. The idea originally came from the USA. In Germany, the figurehead of the trend is the young Berlin yoga teacher Jhula, who offers classes in pubs and at festivals.
Beer yoga shouldn’t be taken super seriously, Jhula agrees, it’s clearly also about the fun factor. Instead of the sun salutation, there is the beer salutation in her yoga classes, for example, and instead of Oooooommm, Prooooost is intoned. And at the beginning of the yoga class, the smell and taste of beer is incorporated into a mindfulness meditation.
But still, it is also no mere joke for its fans. It is not just about making nonsense. Because it is not a silly parody of yoga, but simply an unusual, fun variation for people who love beer and yoga in equal measure.
The exercises that the beer yogin Jhula does with interested people are real, sometimes demanding yoga exercises that can make you sweat. In combination with the consumption of about 2 bottles of beer, a yoga class becomes a hip event where you can literally get beer-blissed.
Just like other crazy yoga variations, beer yoga primarily offers a literally refreshing alternative to traditional yoga and therefore also attracts people who would otherwise never think of trying yoga. For example, the proportion of men is much higher than in other forms of yoga. I wonder what the reason for that is. 🙂
Crap! That every cliché about men has to be confirmed… It probably won’t be long before someone invents football yoga to get more men interested in the Indian wisdom teachings.
According to Jhula’s website, however, it is aimed at all…
For all those who do not drink alcohol, e.g. pregnant women, there is of course also the possibility of drinking non-alcoholic beer with yoga. Such beer is often given to athletes after marathons because of the electrolytes it contains.
In keeping with the tongue-in-cheek concept, many of the yoga poses (in technical jargon, asanas) in beer yoga are tuned and adapted to the theme of beer. Or at least that is how they are presented by Jhula for general amusement.
The position where you stand with your legs crossed is great for standing in the toilet queue. And if there are not enough chairs in a crowded pub, you can sit on an imaginary chair – another yoga posture. However, only very few can hold it for long, especially as the balance becomes more difficult with every sip of beer. But that is also part of the challenge…
In many of the asanas that trainer Jhula has in her programme, the beer bottle is also integrated into the exercise. This makes the tree asana a little harder than usual, because you have to balance the beer bottle on your head – while standing on one leg! It’s stupid if you’ve already had two bottles, but luckily the drinking speed is up to you… 😉
In this short episode of So tickt Berlin! you can see more impressive beer asanas:
Beer yoga works great as a sporty, active way to get in the mood after work or to go out and party. That’s why Jhula usually offers her classes on Friday evenings. This type of yoga also leads to much more conversation between the participants, many of whom stay for another beer afterwards to chat. So the community experience and the fun are in the foreground.
However, it is definitely not suitable as a regular sport or standard training! That should be obvious, because drinking alcohol while exercising is not conducive to effective fitness training. After all, it limits both endurance and coordination.
Anyone seriously interested in yoga and meditation should consider this yoga as a fun diversion, but otherwise better stick to yoga techniques without alcohol consumption.
Our opinion: as a special event with friends and a fun start to the weekend, it’s definitely worth giving it a try! So get into the lotus position and: Cheers!
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