Bend and Brew Series Brings Yoga to Beer Lovers

By Whitney Cooper

Asheville is a mecca for outdoor adventurers, beer enthusiasts, foodies, art aficionados, musicians, and health and wellness advocates. It is a thriving hub for arts and entertainment, which often lends itself to creative interpretations of the traditional.

Which is why the Bend and Brew yoga series is catching on throughout Asheville. The series evolved out of the idea of combining two of the most essential elements of Asheville’s local business culture — authentic yoga practice and great craft beer. This is the third year of operation; Amah Mitchell and Michael St Cole took over this season.

“The brewery environment makes yoga practice a real world experience,” said St. Cole. “You are moving through your practice while at the same time, maintaining a certain level of awareness of what’s going on around you. People often comment that they like the experience of staying focused amidst what could be distracting-it gives them a greater sense of accomplishment. And of course, knowing that you are going to be rewarded with a delicious craft beer after class is a lovely incentive.”

The series promotes both the go local philosophy and bringing yoga to beer lovers, hosts weekly 45 to 60 minute beginner-level yoga at local breweries followed by a beer tasting of 4 oz. tasters. The idea is to move, balance, and stretch in a way that is safe, fun, and creates a sense of camaraderie.

“This is the perfect fusion class — what’s more quintessentially Asheville?” said Tanya Rodriguez, a yoga instructor who leads classes at Bhramari Brewhouse. “You have a blend of the healing arts in yoga and beer which in this area creates community — and when you marry the two it’s beautiful.”

The classes are all 45 minutes to an hour long and are suitable for all yoga levels. Generally, the classes have about 10 participants.

Participants can choose to practice their asanas to the hum of brewing equipment at several of Asheville’s local watering holes and brewery hot spots including The Bywater, Catawba Brewing Company (Thursday), Hi-Wire Brewing (Sunday), Highland Brewing Company (Tuesday), Wicked Weed (Saturday), Bhramari Brewhouse (Saturday), Urban Orchard Cider Co, and Pour Taproom in West Asheville.

“Yoga is an excellent way to create a connection to yourself and thus feel more aware of your connection to the world around you,” said St. Cole. “Moving your body and stretching your muscles helps create a sense of spaciousness and self awareness that just makes you feel awesome. You will feel so relaxed and at ease afterwards. Your body will thank you for coming to yoga class, as will your friends.”

No reservations are necessary, but tickets can be purchased for $15 to $18 online, or day of at the brewery and participants are asked to bring their own mats.

Bend and Brew isn’t the only beer and yoga pairing in town – Twin Leaf offers monthly beer/yoga sessions, and Sanctuary Brewing in Hendersonville offers yoga with cats in the brewery.

The Bend and Brew series has hosted everything from bridal parties to family reunions and birthday parties and is perfect for experienced yogis and first time practioners.

Bend and Brew events are offered on Saturday mornings at 11a.m. at Bhramari Brewhouse, 101 S. Lexington Ave downtown. Visit www.bendandbrew.yoga for more information.

For more information about Bend and Brews, to purchase tickets, or see more Bend and Brew events, visit https://bendandbrew.wordpress.com/ or email bendandbrew@gmail.com.

About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the news editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment tab and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for more almost six years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.