When you think of activities that are quintessentially “Ashevillian,” what sort of things come to mind?
Something outdoors or open to the fresh mountain air. Something centered around the city’s world-class food and beverage scene. Something promoting health and wellness, perhaps. Definitely something quirky, with a unique spin on a traditional idea.
Thanks to the Travelling Yogini Yoga Tours, you can mix all these elements together for what may be the most delightfully “Ashevillian” thing this writer has done all season: Bend and Brew Yoga. It’s a yoga series that offers weekly beginner-level classes at some of the city’s best breweries.
How Does Yoga Work in a Brewery?
As an Asheville resident of ten years this fall, when I saw the opportunity to practice yoga at a brewery, I could not pass up the opportunity to attend. I was especially excited about the idea of lying on the floor at a brewery in shavasana without the bartender responding by cutting me off.
Last Sunday, I decided to try my first session of Bend and Brew Yoga at Hi-Wire Brewing.
The Travelling Yogini herself, Cameron Gunter, greeted the participants with a friendly smile and a level of energy that I found perfect for an early Sunday afternoon. This class’s five participants, including myself, set up our mats facing the large open garage doorway of Hi-Wire facing Hilliard Avenue. Brewing equipment hummed behind us and we heard the distinctive clinks of glassware while the bartender prepared the bar, adding a level of natural white noise and activity below the music that is not normally present in a closed, indoor class.
Cameron is an active instructor, keeping an eye on participants to gauge our skill level and encourage us in our poses. I’ve only been taking yoga since the beginning of the year, so I am by no means an expert in flexibility and strength. The yoga moves were indeed suitable for beginners like me, but challenging enough in pace and scope that all participants were able to work up a good sweat. As we became more confident in the session, Cameron also moved around us, helping to shift a shoulder here or a adjust a strap there so that we could each reach our maximum potential for the session.
Overall, the yoga session was rewarding in that way unique to the yoga experience - physically demanding at moments, but relaxing and invigorating, as well. Cameron is a friendly instructor, and stayed after class for the beer tasting and to talk personally with each participant. Holding the class in an industrial space even added another element to the experience, making me feel somewhat more grounded and present in an unfamiliar space.
Best of all, I knew going into the class that even if I embarrassed myself (which, fortunately didn’t happen this time), I would excel at the beer tasting afterward.
About Bend and Brew
Bend and Brew Yoga is currently held Tuesday at Highland Brewing, Saturdays at Wicked Weed Brewing, and Sundays at Hi-Wire Brewing. To kick off a fourth location at Catawba Brewing, the Travelling Yogini is partnering with lululemon in Biltmore Village to offer a complementary class in the Catawba tasting room on Thursday, July 24 from 5:30-6:30 pm. Only a few spots remain for this free event, so visit their Facebook event page for more info on how to sign up.
Bend and Brew classes are generally $15/participant and include a 4 oz. beer tasting after the session. Participants must bring their own yoga mat. No reservations are necessary for regular classes.
Other Fun Things from the Travelling Yogini
The Travelling Yogini also offers several other yoga opportunities. The Asheville Yoga Tour is a historical walking and yoga tour of downtown set against the backdrops of the city’s best architecture. Reservations are required for this and can be made here.
Group Wellness Tours are offered in conjunction with Asheville’s Therapeutic Salt Cave and Salt Spa. These tours begin with a lesson in the benefits of salt therapy, proceed as a yoga tour through the city, and end at Wake: The Foot Sanctuary & Shop in the Grove Arcade.
Looking for an office stress release in the middle of the week? The Travelling Yogini also offers an 8-class Corporate Yoga program for small businesses and departments around the area. You provide the space and the Yogini will provide the rest.
The Travelling Yogini can be found online at yogatours.net or on Facebook here.
Images courtesy of the Travelling Yogini.