Beer Yoga

“Beer yoga?”

my father echoed back over the phone.

“Yes, you heard right. Beer yoga!” I replied.

Social media had made me aware of this phenomenon which I though was just a gimmick. How can you follow the precepts of non-intoxication, and at the very least, a health regime if it includes consuming an alcoholic drink?

But I was curious, so off I went the Jeju Beer Company Brewery in Hallim, Jeju Island, to see what it was all about. If yoga really is all about balance, then sometimes you go home and meditate and drink chamomile tea, and sometimes you go home and throw your socks on the floor and open a can of beer. It’s all good.

This was a one-off opportunity, as it was just a special event.

The yoga class took place on the 3rd floor in front of the bar area early in the morning, before the building officially opened for tours and sampling.

It was a standard one hour long Asthanga-inspired class suitable for beginners, but the twist was to keep picking up a full glass of beer and incorporating it into your warrior, tadasana, dancer, and chair poses, arms lifted high and straight, trying not to spill the amber nectar. Some people managed to sneak in a few more sips than others, but the trade-off for having to manage an emptier glass must surely be a wobblier sense of balance.


I really enjoyed the class. Reaching my arms out with the weight of a glass in my hand was a new experience, and using a prop to helped to gain a sharper sense of proprioception. No-one wanted to disturb others by splashing themselves or the mats with beer, and the thought of dropping the glass on the concrete floor was keeping everyone concentrated on lifting and focussing the eyeline. All in all, it was a great idea, although you could equally well try this technique with a glass of water at home.

As we rested in savasana, I felt a profound weekend mode settling into my whole body. The instructor placed a scented eye pillow over my eyes and the combined aroma of lavender and beer, gentle background meditation music, and a feeling of having successfully tried something new, slightly challenging, and fun formed a lovely combination of sensations.

The yoga group were then invited on a tour of the brewery, which usually costs 12,000 won and starts from 1pm. The brewery is extremely new, clean and pristine with custom made displays on white walls explaining the brewing techniques. There is also a kind of apothecary room where you can sample the scents and taste the grains and plants that are added to the beer after fermentation to form the different flavours. You can get insider information on new additives and try to predict the future flavours that will come on to the market soon. I  found all the science very interesting and a nice added bonus to the morning.

In conclusion: Beer Yoga, yes it is a thing, and a thing you might like to try, even if you don’t like beer that much.*

*Hint: you don’t actually have to drink the beer, or you can give it to someone else at the end!

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