"Drunk yoga." Sounds awesome. Wine and yoga combined is basically the perfect duo. Yet, is it effective or safe? Before heading into camel pose with a wine glass in hand, get the details on this latest trend.
Luckily, we chatted with Eli Walker, yoga instructor and founder of Drunk Yoga, in New York City, to discuss how her class concept works.
"Drunk Yoga is a new yoga class I created to make yoga more accessible to more people. I bring yoga to bars and add wine into the sequence. I believe people go to bars to be uplifted by community, so the wine in my class is designed to bring people together," she says. And, as you're only getting a light buzz, it's safe. In fact, you can't refill your glass during the yoga portion, which is about 30-45 minutes, unless you spill (which can happen).
It usually lasts about 90 minutes total, as you begin with some wine and mingling beforehand at the bar to relax and get comfortable with the crowd. Plus, there's even research that yoga positions can boost sex drive, so add some wine to the mix, and you never know how it'll affect your mood afterwards.
The Story and Benefits
"I came up with the idea for Drunk Yoga just a few months ago. I'd been hearing a lot of friends tell me they were too afraid to try yoga because they aren't flexible, and that they didn't want to make a fool of themselves in a yoga studio," she says.
"One night in September, I was out with some friends at Grey Lady, a bar I used to bartend at just after graduating NYU, and I was catching up with one of the owners. I told him 'I'm a yoga teacher now,' and he said, 'I need to do yoga. I can't touch my toes.' Then he proceeded to touch his toes—to which he commented, 'Oh, I guess I can touch my toes when I'm drunk.' Then, almost in jest, I said, 'Well, then let's do Drunk Yoga!' But I quickly realized that it was actually a brilliant idea," she says.
As you can tell from the origin, Drunk Yoga is great for newbies who might be scared attempting downward facing dog or warrior II pose in a room filled with experienced yogis.
"The yoga then brings you to yourself, allowing beginners a safe space to have fun learning to move their bodies in a mindful way. It's an unconventional experience meant to help people 'lighten up.' The experience is laughter-filled and uplifting, meant to bring together community in a judgment-free, compassion-filled atmosphere, with the understanding the happiness is health," she says.
It's also just an easy and enjoyable way to meet people or host a girls' activities, where you all can hit the bar and workout in one. "It's fun and trendy because it's a unique spin on popular vinyasa classes, but with less pressure to be perfect. It's fun because it's specifically designed to bring friends, partners, and colleagues together. It's a great date or group activity. (There's even partner exercises taught with wine in-hand during class!)," she says.
And, it's still a challenge. You are tested on pouring wine or taking sips while performing different yoga positions, such as tree pose. Integrating wine drinking into exercises makes the atmosphere light and playful, while still toning that core. So, gather a group or go solo for wine and a workout.