Life is all about moderation and balance. We sit down with Yoga teacher Kate Houlahan to discuss the notion behind Yoga in a brewery.
The large and imposing vats hum and gurgle in the background, yeast bubbles and the smell of good food floats from the kitchens to the brewery floor. It certainly isn’t your traditional yoga studio – and that’s exactly why Kate is here.
With a two-hundred-hour teaching license under her belt and qualifications that include Yin Yoga and Power Vinyasa, the passionate Camperdown yogi is setting out to change the way people view yoga – one schooner at a time.
It’s an unlikely pairing. Yoga and beer together aren’t something we’re accustomed to – but the movement is gaining momentum rapidly in Australia, and Kate is at the helm of the beer and yoga revolution.
“Studios can sometimes be intimidating for people – you might feel like you have to wear patterned tights – there’s a stereotype that sometimes puts people off.”
Like yoga, drinking beer is also about balance. It’s a concept that Kate keeps close while teaching in breweries. The message she’s encouraging is that Yoga is approachable and social. Beer, it turns out, is an excellent way to bridge that gap for people who find yoga to be a tad scary. “Studios can sometimes be intimidating for people – you might feel like you have to wear patterned tights – there’s a stereotype that sometimes puts people off,” says Kate.
Bending in a brewery encourages participation from people that may otherwise feel that Yoga is not for them. Kate admits that the brewery hosted classes have a higher number of males in attendance than a studio class – some of them rocking up in groups, and others accompanying wives and girlfriends. “We did have a lot of guys, and a lot of couples – it was usually that the female practiced yoga anyway and the man didn’t – but it was like, hey, it’s in a brewery so come along,” she explains.
Kate estimates about 75% of attendees stick around for a beer after class. “We have a bit of a laugh, and the whole idea is to stick around afterwards – to be social and have a beer – and having a beer in a private brewery means you’re learning a little bit about the different styles of beer,” she says. Kate agrees that people are generally very surprised when you tell them most beers are on average 99.9% sugar free and completely preservative free – like Hahn Super Dry or James Boags Premium. And they won’t be ruining their workout with a drink- a bottle of refreshing Summer Bright Lager is just 94 calories while a Hahn SuperDry 3.5 rings in at only 78 calories.
It’s a bit of an outbound notion for a community that’s long-since been absent from the after-practice celebratory beer. It seems the traditionalist attitudes around Yoga are shifting – and people are embracing the change.
“A big part of yoga is we look after our bodies,” explains Kate “There’s nothing wrong with having a couple of beers – it’s consuming it in the right way.” Everything in moderation, we say!
Let’s raise a glass to Beer and Yoga! Nama-stein, folks.