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The City Journals

A new twist on an ancient practice: Yoga and Beer encourages new yogis to try

Feb 25, 2019 02:46PM ● By Justin Adams

Jenny Willden stretches in tree pose while drinking beer during the Yoga and Beer event at The Gateway. Yoga and Beer is an inclusive event incorporating optional beer drinking to make yoga less intimidating for beginning yogis. (Photo courtesy The Gateway Instagram page, @shopthegateway)

By Cami Mondeaux | [email protected]

A collaboration between The Gateway, Salt Lake Power Yoga and Wasatch Brewery brings a unique yoga experience to Salt Lake—practicing yoga poses while incorporating (optional) beer holding and drinking. 

The event, Yoga and Beer, happens every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at The Gateway at 12 S. 400 West in Salt Lake, next to the Grand Hall. 

In early 2018, Wasatch Brewery was approached by The Gateway with the opportunity for an event combining beer with yoga. The popularity has grown from initially 70 people per class to larger classes nearing 200. 

“We knew that we wanted to add a little fun twist to our free yoga class...so we added beer!” wrote Jackie Briggs, marketing director for The Gateway, in an email. “It was a hit and we're now going on our second season.”

Yoga and Beer is open to yogis of all levels and leaves the beer drinking optional. The yoga is free with the beers costing $5 and mat rentals available for $2, according to The Gateway’s website.

“It's a fun event that gets people who normally might be intimidated to try yoga to give it a shot in a fun and non-judgmental way,” wrote Greg Galloway, co-owner of Salt Lake Power Yoga, in an email. “It draws more men out then we typically see at most yoga classes or events.”

Instructors lead power flow yoga, encouraging attendees to come out of their comfort zones and realize yoga isn’t as daunting as they thought. 

“This event is meant to bring people together while having fun,” Galloway wrote. “From these events we have had people come and give our studio a try and realize yoga in a studio is not as intimidating as they thought and [encourage] them to continue their yoga practice.”

While attendees can consume beer, The Gateway encourages safety and responsible consumption and transportation. 

On Dec. 30, 2018 Utah enacted the strictest DUI law in the country, limiting the blood alcohol content to .05 percent, according to an article by CNN. While some may be concerned that this would affect the turnout of Yoga and Beer, The Gateway said it hasn’t decreased attendance. 

“The class is about an hour long and many who take the class live around the area and walk or take another form of public transit,” Briggs wrote. “We want to make sure everyone is always enjoying themselves responsibly and, as a fitness class, we encourage people to walk, bike or scoot to the class.”

Overall, the purpose of Yoga and Beer is to provide a safe space where yoga experts and yoga beginners alike can come together for a good time without intimidation or fear of being judged. 

“The Salt Lake Power Yoga instructors do a fantastic job making sure all are welcome and the space at The Gateway has a fun pop of color,” Briggs wrote. “All mixed together, it makes for a really unique and special time.”