Yoga + Beer is where namaste and nitro stouts come together. It’s a place where downward facing dog gets down with doppelbocks, and inversions pair with IPAs.
A Yoga + Beer practice includes a 75-minute yoga session, in a brewery, with a pint of beer before or after. Yogis of all ages and abilities are welcome, but beer is only available to those 21 and over. Yoga + Beer is a no pressure, no stress alternative to a traditional yoga class. The type of yoga differs by instructor, but is typically a flow-style class such as vinyasa.
Local yoga instructor Michelle Dickey leads Vancouver’s Yoga + Beer events at Ben’s Bottle Shop and Victor 23. “My teaching motto is always ‘Do what you can, leave what you can’t,’” Michelle said. “I offer challenges for those wanting a bit more push in their practice and I also have modifications for those that may not want/need to go as far.”
Michelle began practicing yoga while working in South Korea, and later completed yoga instructor training in Bali, Indonesia. “Yoga helped me lose some weight I’d put on from eating all the amazing Korean food. Because of that, I’ve always felt connected with the anatomical side of yoga, and my classes are a reflection of that experience.”
Michelle is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance and places a special focus on helping students find the right pose alignment for their bodies. Michelle’s stellar sense of humor, pop culture references and clever cues have won her many devoted followers. Some of the things Michelle loves about being a yoga teacher include:
Challenging herself and students with creative flows
- Helping students reduce pain or stiffness through mobility work
- Making her own schedule and being her own boss
- Creating “a kick-butt playlist”
As for her favorite beers, Michelle said, “I’ll probably get my Portland Beer Club Card revoked (if there was such a thing) for saying this, but I can’t stand IPA’s. I’m a big fan of keeping it dark and strong, like my coffee. Anything Stout or Porter makes my heart sing. If espresso is in the mix, even better!”
Yoga + Beer: Creating the Perfect Blend
Yoga + Beer was founded in 2013 by Mikki Trowbridge, an experienced yoga teacher, MBA and self-described craft beer admirer. What began at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon turned into a thriving community of yogis and craft beer aficionados across Oregon and Washington. “We have students who started their yoga journeys with Yoga + Beer and have been to hundreds of classes with us. A few are now yoga instructors,” Mikki said.
Yoga + Beer classes tend to have a more balanced ratio of men and women compared to the average yoga studio, and include a mix of newbies and regulars. “We see a lot of people at Yoga + Beer events who haven’t felt welcome in a yoga studio, or feel intimidated to go to a studio,” Mikki explained.
“We have enough places in our life that are full of stress and expectations – yoga shouldn’t be one of those,” Mikki said. “In our opinion, a brewery floor is the perfect place to try yoga for the first time.
Yoga and Beer: What to Expect
After registering online, students gather at the brewery. During check in, each participant receives a Yoga + Beer bottle cap that can be redeemed for a beer before or after class. Most students choose to have beer with other students after the yoga flow. But some opt to imbibe beforehand.
Students can use their own mat, or borrow a mat from the instructor. After a 75-minute yoga flow, students mingle, enjoy a beer or two and talk with new and old friends.
Clark County Yoga + Beer events are currently scheduled at:
What’s on Tap for Michelle and Yoga + Beer
View a list of upcoming Yoga + Beer events in Vancouver, or visit Yoga + Beer’s website to learn about their upcoming retreats in Astoria and Bend. Follow Yoga + Beer on Facebook and Instagram, or subscribe to their newsletter to be the first to know about their upcoming Service + Beer nights – where community members complete a service project then enjoy a beer afterward.