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International Yoga Day 2023: What Is Beer Yoga And Why Is It Drawing Mixed Reactions?

A few weeks ago, a viral clip showcasing a 'Beer Yoga' event in Denmark garnered mixed reactions on social media.

The video posted online by AFP and other news organisations showed a group of people in Denmark performing yoga with beer cans in their hands.

Not just that. The participants were even gulping down the drinks while performing exercises.

Reports said the booze-fuelled class has been open to students for over four years and has gained popularity.

However, desi netizens were not amused by the event as most consider yoga as a spiritual exercise that is connected to the country's rich tradition.

That's precisely why the varied adaptations of yoga in the west does not go down well with everyone.

Beer Yoga is one of those varied adaptations.

Beer yoga has become popular among yoga enthusiasts in many countries as an unconventional way to practice. Belileved to have been created in the US around 2013, it blends traditional yoga with the social aspect of sharing a drink.

In Beer Yoga sessions, participants practice at breweries or taprooms, drinking beer during or after asana practice.

Although beer yoga classes and events have been popping up in major cities in India and other countries, the unconventional style has been criticised as unhealthy and out of keeping with the spirit of classical yoga.

However, many are of the opinion that the combination of booze and exercise brings a playful twist to traditional yoga and also encourages participats to let loose, share a laugh, and revel in a light-hearted session.

Beer Yoga aficionados and promoters say that the activity helps in social bonding as participants perform exercises in a relaxed environment, which eventually fosters camaraderie.

The reception to Beer Yoga has remained mixed ever since it began almost a decade ago. Maby fitness experts have called it an unhealthy marketing gimmick.

Behavioral neuroscientist J. Leigh Leasure stated she Was unsurprised by the trend, noting that people who have one alcoholic drink a day are twice as likely to exercise as non-drinkers; she doubted whether participants who only had one drink would be harming themselves.

The origins of beer yoga are not clear as there is very little research material on the topic. But it is said to have appeared at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert around 2013.

Since then, many Beer Yoga initiatives and activities had started around the world.

For example, Brooke Larson founded the American company Beer Yoga in Oklahoma City in July 2015. The German BierYoga company was started by a man named Jhula in Berlin in 2015. In England, there are pubs that offer yoga classes with beer.