Yoga & Beer

Lindsay Wech

Nothing goes better with a delicious craft brew than…downward facing dog? Yoga paired with post-practice (and occasionally mid-practice) beer has gained popularity throughout the country over the last several years and can now be found at a number of Rochester-area breweries.

Often credited with starting the trend, in 2008 a yoga studio owned by the wife of a beer critic in Philadelphia began offering yoga classes followed by a beer tasting. Through word of mouth similar classes emerged in Colorado, Delaware and South Carolina. In the past few years offerings have exploded and now cleverly named classes like Bend & Brew, BrewAsanas, Detox Retox, Three Sheets to the Warrior Pose, Om Brew, Pints and Poses, Stretchin’ and Belchin’ and Bendy Brewsky can be found at breweries nationwide.

Locally, Rohrbach Brewing Company offers Brewga many Saturdays at 10:30am and Wednesdays at 6:00pm. Yoga instructor and Ph.D. student Amy Lalonde encountered affordable happy hour yoga classes at breweries while doing a summer internship in Charlotte, NC. She realized that people can sometimes be intimidated by yoga studios, but may be much more comfortable at the bar.

Upon Lalonde’s return to Rochester she reached out to Rohrbach, and Brewga was born. Just $10 buys participants an hourlong yoga class and a beer. Yogis can enjoy their beer as a post-workout “recovery” drink, but on a recent Saturday morning most chose to sip during their practice. Lalonde guided a class that ranged from yoga-newbies to experienced practitioners, and along with calling out the typical yoga poses she pointed out the ones that are great opportunities for a drink. Chair pose, a standing posture and great thigh strengthener, feels far less grueling when accompanied by an IPA.

The prospect of beer attracts a crowd that typically would not be drawn to yoga and adds a social element to the class. When asked what brought Therese Shea and Kim Maimone to their first Brewga class, Shea said “We saw a write up about the class and thought it would be fun! We were brought here by our love of beer, and a little bit [because of the] yoga.”

Other classes in Rochester include Balance & Beers at Lock 32 Brewing Company, Ales and OM at Roc Brewing Co., and for a twist that includes the addition of another trendy workout, barre, Namaste at the Barre at The Lost Borough Brewing Company. So unroll your yoga mat, pour a pint, and say “om”.

For more information on yoga and beer in Rochester:

Rohrbach Beer Hall & Brewery, 97 Railroad Street, Rochester; 585-546-8020, http://www.rohrbachs.com

The Lost Borough Brewing Co, 543 Atlantic Ave, Rochester; 585-471-8122, http:// www.lostboroughbrewing.com

Lock 32 Brewing Company, 10 Schoen Place, Pittsford; 585-506-7738, http://lock32brew.com