Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves for full disclosure. I drink alcohol. I eat meat. I don't wake up at five in the morning, or even six, to pay homage to the rising sun. I juice up my vegetables. I eat cheese. I get angry. Sometimes I swear, but mostly in my head. I don't always meditate, and I don't believe that everybody is nice at heart. I do believe in karma, and cosmic balance that we can't explain. I don't know the Sanskrit names of the yoga asanas I practice, and I don't have a shloka tattooed on my body, even though I have 10 tattoos. I don't do kriya. I like my vinyasa flow, and love going upside down. The longest I can go without my flow on the mat is 5 days, before my body starts revolting, and my mind starts repulsing those around me. I am a "modern" yogini, and proud.
Even so, beer yoga makes me cringe!
I was intrigued when I heard about marijuana yoga. The sadhus of the Himalayas do it. Pet yoga had me yelping “aww!” But, when I heard about beer yoga, it hit me that the ancient practice had, indeed, been appropriated. Proponents of this odd fusion say that alcohol's calming effect helps people slow down mentally, and focus, and that a chilled beer at the end of the practice is good incentive. Okay, but what about developing an internal locus of calm? Isn't that the whole point of stepping on the mat? To learn to switch off from the past and the future, and come into the present? To learn to slow down? And, a chilled beer at the end of the class as an incentive? Surely, you don't need to be intoxicated while you are practicing, to get a drink after? You can set that as a prize for your own self! Own your damn life, and health! A special mention here on learning how to balance, and I mean physically balance. A huge part of yoga is to strengthen your core, work with your gaze and your breath, in order to learn how to control the body. How does that happen when you are sipping beer between poses? We all know that alcohol makes us a little dizzy. Umm.. I am really confused.
I do believe that change is the only constant, and that everything must evolve to suit the need of the hour. This includes yoga, and surely, many aspects of how we practice today are unique to the present time. But, isn't drinking while doing yoga taking it a bit too far?