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Meet the Beer Yogis

"The meditative and focusing qualities of the practice help us to enjoy our beer more."
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Photo credits: The Beer Yogis

Mikki Trowbridge and Melissa Klimo-Major and united by their love of beer and yoga.

The Beer Yogis, as they are known, recently complete a road trip to different breweries to stretch, breath and bend surrounded by kegs, hops and malt.

Mikki and Melissa did an email Q+A to discuss meeting on Instagram, their favorite post-yoga beer, and future plans after their first successful brewery tour.

From your perspective, why do craft beer and yoga go together? 

Mikki Trowbridge: In my opinion, yoga and beer is the combination of things that make us feel good. In moderation, both yoga and beer can be refreshing, relaxing, and releasing—all things that most of us need more of in our lives. Yoga and beer is also about connection. The practice on our mat is an opportunity to connect with ourselves, which you’ll hopefully get out of any yoga class. But equally as important is the opportunity to connect with other—old friends and new friends—and sharing a pint after class provides an opportunity for that connection to happen as well.

Melissa Klimo-Major: There’s craft behind both beer and yoga, and both are often best enjoyed in the company of others. Yogis and brewers are passionate bunches—both sides want to share these things we love with the world. And we’re getting that message out there quickly by working together. Both yoga and beer make us feel good also, so … it’s really a pretty strong pairing!

Do you have a favorite stretch? What’s the best way to get limbered up for drinking beer? 

MT: My favorite pose, kind of like my favorite beer, depends on my mood, the weather, and a variety of other factors. I do really love Down Dog on most days … and if you put a straw in your pint glass, you can even sip on your beer while in the pose. I joke. In seriousness though, I think the best preparation for drinking beer, or socializing with friends, or making the most of your life doesn’t happen through limbering up the body, but through clearing the mind so that you can be more present in each breath, each moment and each sip. I like to think that the meditative and focusing qualities of the practice help us to enjoy our beer more.

MKM: My favorites always shift depending on mood and environment; hip openers are currently extra nice with all this road warrior’ing we’re doing. The best way to limber up for drinking beer would be … whatever you need in that moment to truly be there. Yoga is about presence. Craft beer is about quality. And the more present you are, the more you are going to enjoy every sip of that quality brew. That awareness could come from a few focused breaths, or maybe from some crazy feel good shape you are inspired to make on your barstool.

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How did The Beer Yogis get started? 

MKM: Mikki and I were already hosting yoga and beer events in our own cities. I found Mikki on Instagram and sent her a message suggesting we chat and maybe do something together. A few months later, we met in person in NYC and taught our first classes together, at the Bronx Brewery and LIC Beer Project. That weekend, we learned that we worked really well together, that we were fed by connecting to brand-new beer yogis in brand-new spaces, and that we were inspired by how large this community could really get—and here we are now.

Why are you taking the Beer Yogis on the road? What do you hope to accomplish? 

MT: It’s simple really. ‘United By Yoga & Beer’ is our mission for this road trip. We’ve loved bringing people together for practice and a pint in our own communities and thought it would be powerful to take that across the country to meet people who love yoga and beer as much as we do. Our hope is to create a nationwide community of Beer Yogis who appreciate the practice of yoga, a welcoming community, and a refreshing pint of craft beer. And to connect with, collaborate with and support our fellow yoga and beer teachers across the nation!

What can people expect if they go to one of your events? 

MKM: We combine an inspired, accessible, all-levels yoga flow with post-practice community (and beers!). Yogis can expect expertly instructed yoga followed by a chance to connect over beers after class.
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I’ve noticed and written about other beer and yoga events throughout the country. Who else do you think is doing good work in this area? 

MT: Over the last few years, it has been fun to watch yoga and beer spread across the country to communities large and small. I think any teacher out there who is taking on the challenge of building something refreshing and unique for their community, who is holding space for yogis and non-yogis to gather in a brewery for a fun, approachable, feel-good practice and the building of community, and who is celebrating their brewery partners, should be applauded. I won’t name individuals, because there are simply too many to name, but they all are doing amazing work, and I’m proud to be a part of this nationwide community of teachers who like to do things a bit differently.

What are your plans/goals for the future with The Beer Yogis? 

MKM: We’re just getting started! Future nationwide road trips are definitely on the agenda. Our mission is to unite by yoga and beer, and as that community grows and evolves, we’ll continue to move along with it.

What’s your own favorite beer for after a yoga workout? 

MT: Porters … or IPAs during fresh hop season in Oregon.

MKM: Post-yoga, I tend to lean towards IPAs.
 
Other than yoga, are you involved in any other athletic activities?

MT: Paddleboarding and hiking are my other athletic endeavors.

MKM: I enjoy a good hike.

Anything else to add? 
 
Cheers and Namaste!

 

Author
Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at] draftmag.com.

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