Beer yoga is offered at Cushwa Brewing Co. in Williamsport
WILLIAMSPORT — Yoga is meant to relax oneself. And some would argue, so is a good beer.
That’s why Tricia Hawkins, owner of Double Iris Yoga and Massage in Shepherdstown, W.Va., has partnered with Cushwa Brewing Co. in Williamsport to bring both together for a relaxing experience.
Pairing beer and yoga has been a popular trend in breweries in Oregon and Washington state for about five years, and now it’s finally hit the East Coast
On the first Saturday of every month, Hawkins offers beer yoga at Cushwa Brewing Co., off Governor Lane Boulevard in Williamsport, before it opens to customers. The class is open to all levels of yoga experience. The only requirement is that those participating must be 21 years or older. The next beer yoga is from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at Cushwa Brewing Co.
“Beer yoga with Double Iris and Cushwa Brewing is about collaborations between local small businesses. It’s about creating larger supportive networks. It’s about building our community. It’s about helping each other to manifest our creative visions,” Hawkins said. “But most importantly, it’s about the timelessness of feeling good and drinking awesome beer.”
Hawkins said she leads participants through an hourlong mediative flow class at the brewery.
“We move through poses in a flow-like sequence, and then we have savasana, which is the final resting pose at the end, and that’s right before they get their beer, which is included in the ticket price,” she said.
The cost for beer yoga is $14, which Hawkins said is a deal because an average yoga class costs between $16 and $19, and then to get a beer after costs on average $6, which means combining both would usually be around $25.
A Shepherd University graduate, Hawkins has been teaching yoga since 2016, and is a certified yoga instructor. She received her certification from the Asheville (N.C.) Yoga Center. Even though her mother has been practicing yoga for about 20 years, Hawkins said it was a class called “Zen of Writing” that she took for her journalism minor that inspired her to get into yoga. Gena Rockwell, who became Hawkins’ mentor and from whom Hawkins would take over her studio, came to the “Zen of Writing” class to teach yoga classes.
“And I just fell in love with it,” she said, crediting Rockwell as her yoga guru.
She also knows a few things about swinging some brews as she has also worked at Dan’s Taphouse in Boonsboro for about six years. Two years ago, Dan’s started selling Cushwa’s beer, and it’s through working there that Hawkins was introduced to Cushwa’s owners.
“They would come into Dan’s and I would tell them I taught yoga, and they would be, ‘hmm, maybe we could collaborate,’” she said.
The first class started in June and offered 25 slots and sold out. Hawkins said they realized that 25 was too tight so all classes are available for 20 people. At the August event, there were 12.
“The turnout’s been great, whether it’s one student or 100 students, I’ll still be there,” she said.
Many of those who attended, Hawkins said, were Cushwa regulars and wanted to come just to support the brewery. And pairing the two is a relaxing experience.
“I think pairing the two together, you’re getting your blood flowing and getting in a really good head space, you enjoy that beer so much more because you’re in a state of mindfulness,” she said.
She admits that beer yoga might be a “weird combination” to some people, but she encourages anyone who loves good beer and wanting to relax to come take the class.
And, she said, drinking a beer after yoga “helps you get your calories back that you burned.”
As for anyone who comes and takes beer yoga class, Hawkins said she wants them to not only have fun, but also “the mindfulness of taking care of yourself, promoting self-healing and having that reward of the beer, and being able to drink that with mindfulness as well. You kind of heighten your experience that way.”
Top photo: Tricia Hawkins, owner of Double Iris Yoga & Massage in Shepherdstown, W.Va., is teaching a beer yoga class at Cushwa Brewing Co. in Williamsport. (Photo by Crystal Schelle)