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What to expect: Beer yoga

Beer yoga is the new buzz for fitness enthusiasts

Believe it or not, beer yoga is a real thing, with classes becoming increasingly popular across Europe, the US, Australia and Southeast Asia. If you’re still not convinced, go experience it for yourself at The Beer Factory, which plans to host its first-ever beer yoga session on July 2 at Sunway Giza. We dug around to find out about its history and got the help of Lee Zhi Lin from The Beer Factory to tell us more.

What is beer yoga and when did it start?
The concept couldn’t be simpler: You move through a series of yoga poses while having a beer. According to an interview with VICE, beer yoga started after yoga instructor Jhula was struck by the idea at a Burning Man festival within a camp called HomeBrau Haus, which was offering chilled-out flow classes. Back at Berlin, Jhula and friend Emily decided to start BierYoga in 2015, and since then their unique form of yoga has spread across the globe. ‘Basically, I played around with it in my room with a Radler… I took standard vinyasa sequences, which most people have done a bunch of times, and tried to figure out everywhere I could work beer in there,’ Jhula said in the interview.

Despite its gimmicky appearance, its founders insist that beer yoga isn’t something to be scoffed at. ‘BeerYoga is fun but it's no joke,’ Jhula writes on their site. ‘We take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer-drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness.’

Won’t getting drunk affect my downward dog poses?
The whole point of beer yoga isn’t to get wasted – you can do that on any other night, or after the class. Usually, you only have one beer bottle to work with, and the bottle also doubles up as an extra weight to help you strengthen your poses. ‘There wouldn’t be heavy consumption during the session, just a few sips,’ said Lee from The Beer Factory. ‘This isn’t a regular yoga practice endorsed by Winnie [the instructor who will be teaching the class], but rather an event designed to give people a fun and new experience,’ he said.

Can drinking beer help people become healthier or better at yoga?
Aside from the already-known health benefits of drinking a moderate amount of beer, there’s no evidence that beer helps you become better at yoga (maybe it helps you think that you do), but generally it’s a way to make yoga less intimidating and more fun.

Who’s conducting the class on Sunday, and are there other beer yoga classes in KL?
The person heading the class on Sunday is licensed practitioner Winnie Khor, who will be conducting the 45-minute vinyasa-based yoga class. A similar class was conducted on June 3 at the Black and White Fitness Studio by AcroYoga instructors Michael Ken and Canny Low, but there’s no indication of whether beer yoga will be a regular occurrence in the coming months. ‘It’s not confirmed that it’ll become a regular event yet, we’ll see how it goes this Sunday,’ said Lee.

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