What do beer and yoga have in common? Well, both can you make you calm down and relax. Both have century old roots. And, in Berlin, you can take a BierYoga class.
What the heck is “BierYoga”?
Essentially, BierYoga (Beer Yoga) is simply a yoga class taught by Berliner Jhula, incorporating the spiritual and philosophical teachings of yoga with the fun and friendliness of drinking beers. Sounds pretty strange right?
Well it seems Jhula may be on to something. Firstly, Germans’ affinity for beer is absolutely no surprise. With the “Beer purity law” celebrating its 500th anniversary just last month, one can really appreciate how long the Deutschers have loved their brews.
Secondly, mindfulness practices like yoga are becoming a huge trend all over the world, and Berlin is no exception. Hot yoga, yoga on bikes, yoga with puppies and kittens, laughing yoga, yoga with techno—you name it—have been popping up throughout the German capital.
And believe it or not, the combination of beer and yoga is not entirely innovative either. Several craft breweries in the U.S. encourage visitors to participate in yoga classes finishing with a few beers among new friends. Few take it as far as Jhula, who integrates drinking beer right into the poses themselves.
Mountain pose with a little twist
Anyone who has done yoga may take a second to imagine how one could incorporate a bottle of beer into the already challenging twisting-turning-balance poses of yoga.
Not to fear, raising your bottle to the heavens in mountain pose, extending bottles forward while in dancer pose and even trying to pick up your bottle and drink it with your teeth in a modified version of pigeon are all on the class agenda. And just think about the amount of mindfulness it requires to keep your beer from spilling while trying to maintain these poses?
Who is BierYoga for?
The classes naturally attract 20-somethings looking to test out new trends, but according to their website BierYoga is perfectly suited for a beer drinker who enjoys yoga or a yoga enthusiast who likes beer and really anyone else in between (over age 16 of course). Jhula says, “I’ve had all kinds of people—students, but also Tinder dates, policemen. Some people bring their parents. It’s a very mixed crowd.”
Located in the back corner of Loftus Hall, a club in Berlin’s Neukölln neighborhood, classes start at €5 for one hour, and another €6 for two beers.
“I think I found a zeitgeist. People in this city just like beer and like yoga,” says Juhla. She is definitely on to something! Classes are full weeks in advance.