It’s all about balance.
When I first found Ashley Kokelj’s Yoga On Tap sessions online, I was uneasy with the thought of combining draught beer with deep lunges. But after talking to “The Happy Yogi”, I see that the combination of craft beer and yoga works. It’s more holistic than I initially realized and is less about balanced flavour profiles or balanced positions: It’s about a balanced lifestyle.
Ashley explains that making the link between the two was easy. She was already accustomed to attending yoga classes with friends and grabbing a well-deserved local brew afterwards. Both yoga and drinking are social activities that are community-focused, with that in mind, Ashley designed her program of yoga classes in breweries through Yoga on Tap.
Participants attending a session can expect an hour-long yoga class plus a beer tasting and a brewery tour (in that order). Individual sessions cost $25 with group and series-pass options available. The classes are designed to be accessible for all fitness levels & ages. Even those like myself, whose only previous yoga-beer experience involved a failed kegstand, are able to keep up and enjoy. The yoga class will help participants experience the sensations of the moment and to be in the present: skills that will also be useful in the beer drinking portion of the class.
The Yoga on Tap program is still in its infancy after its Summer and Fall schedules but is quickly gaining popularity. The Winter schedule is hot off the presses:
Saturday, February 6 @ Brasseur Du Temp (Gatineau) 3:00-5:00PM
Sunday, February 21 @ Bicycle Craft (Trainyards) 11:00-1:00PM
Sunday, February 28 @ Whiprsnapr (Nepean) 11:00-1:00PM
Sunday, March 6 @ Tooth and Nail (Hintonburg) 12:00-2:00PM
Due to the strong reception of these classes, Ashley has expanded her offerings to include a new program: “Mindful Meditations”. Participants are given a 30-minute tutorial on the terms and sensory tools while sampling different styles of beer. Once they have the basics, and a proper pint of their favourite sample in hand, participants are guided through another 30 minutes engaging their beer with all their senses before giving gratitude for its craftmanship and ingredients. These sessions will be offered with more regularity going forward with the first session happening December 13th at Brasseurs Du Temps. And (spoiler) look for a special session at Winterlude.
Looking forward, the Happy Yogi will be taking Yoga on Tap even further. Future yoga, beer and food pairings with Craft Beer Market are on the horizon as are VIP classes with Winter Brewfest. Responding to requests to run sessions in other communities, the show is hitting the road! Yoga on Tap will be hosting events across Ontario next Spring. Following this, will be a BC tour in the Summer. So take advantage of having the Happy Yogi here in Ottawa!
I think Ashley sums it up best: “It’s all about balancing the priorities in your life, which should include wellness, community, and some damn good craft beer!”