I was asked at the start of my office yoga class today “What yoga studios do you teach in?” The answer is…I don’t.
99% of the time I teach yoga in non-studio settings – offices, museums, a bike store, schools, parks, hotels, conference centers and most recently a brewery (more on that below) – all around the Washington DC / Arlington VA / Alexandria VA area. Basically anywhere there is open (and free!) space I am up for teaching yoga. I may have the oddest yoga props and blackest feet when I’m done teaching sometimes but I am more than comfortable making any space work for a yoga class.
I thrive on teaching yoga in non-studio environments for several reasons. First, I believe that yoga needs to be convenient. The truth is yoga studios are not always convenient. Beyond having to travel to a studio location and make it on time to a scheduled class (that may not necessarily suit your schedule), there are parking searches and parking fees that one also needs to work through before ever walking into a studio door. Second, yoga should be accessible for ALL.
Just the sound of the phrase “yoga studio” feels intimidating to some…especially a beginner yoga student. On top of the studio environment, when one goes to a studio’s website there is language around the various styles of yoga listed that often makes zero sense to a newbie. In addition to the space being overwhelming and yoga terminology to sift through online, $18 – $20 for a yoga class can also be a big barrier for some. Oh and let’s not forget if you’re walking into a Washington, DC yoga studio you now have to shell out “yoga tax” on top of the class fee. Ugh!
So when Port City Brewing asked me if I would consider teaching a 45-minute yoga class in the middle of their brewery, I was more than excited. This is what I love to do – introduce yoga to people who have never done it while making it convenient, comfortable and accessible. Of course, I also love to teach those who have only practiced yoga in a studio – it can be an eye-opening experience for those who think a serene studio setting is a requirement to do yoga.
As of Monday night I added “brewery” to the laundry list of places I’ve taught yoga 🙂 Known as #BeerYoga (Pints & Poses is what we called it) who can pass up paying just $10 for a yoga class and a post-class pint of local brew?!?!? What I really loved about teaching in the brewery is there were definitely some attendees “lured” into the yoga due to the concept of getting a beer after class. I always say to students who are late to an office yoga class “some yoga is better than no yoga”. With that said I’m also okay with “whatever it takes to get you on the mat”. So if you need a beer as your reward at the end of yoga to get you there, then by all means be my guest. Though at this rate, you’ll have to wait til 2015. The December #BeerYoga event is already sold out!
Melody of abellaYoga has been gratefully teaching yoga full-time in Washington, DC, Alexandria and Arlington, VA since 2006. Thankful for experiences gained in the telecom/tech corporate world, this ex-marketing, yoga-chick is happy to share all she knows about yoga with all. To stay in touch about “non-studio” classes open to the public such as #BeerYoga, “like” abellaYoga on Facebook.