Hey, You! I’m glad you’re here.
I’m Eli Walker. A woman with a mission to challenge social norms and provide you with tools for self-empowerment to cultivate personal joy. Equipped with a BFA in Acting from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, I have a knack for bringing yoga to non-yogis in unconventional settings through performative means. A few of the ways I do that are:
Writing and performing one-woman shows in theatres around New York City.
Teaching Divine Your Story workshops in New York and LA, retreats in Bali, and "yoga through storytelling" classes for elementary students in Harlem public schools, designed to help students (kids and adults alike!) use yoga and narrative storytelling to rewrite trauma and bloom into beautiful self-empowerment.
And yes, creating and teaching Drunk Yoga.
Drunk Yoga may have stemmed from a casual conversation at a bar when a friend joked that he needed yoga because he was entirely inflexible. But when he went to demonstrate this, he bent over and touched his toes! “Oh, I guess I can do it when I’m drunk," he said.
Laughing, I replied, “Let’s do Drunk Yoga!”
It may have felt like a joke in the moment, but the idea simmered. Because my friend, let’s call him “Joe Bro,” would’ve never considered trying yoga before that conversation, as so much of a typical yoga class comes loaded with expectations for a certain kind of body, background, flexibility, socioeconomic status, perfection and spiritual hypocrisy.
I am a 500 RYT certified yoga instructor with additional training from the Himalayan Iyengar Institute in India and Katonah Yoga in New York, and I teach classes and private clients in Manhattan, LA, and around the world. But at the beginning of my career, I had suffered my own disillusionment with many tropes in the yoga community. That journey took me from an abusive relationship with my yoga teacher to solo-backpacking across India, falling through a roof in Thailand and breaking my back! (Oh, just ask me in class, I’ve got stories.)
I wanted to release the baggage that comes with mainstream yoga and bring it all back to the root: joy. It was time to create a space for yogis and non-yogis alike to experience the pure pleasure of yoga with some laughter, freedom from perfectionism and a little wine thrown in for good measure.
When Drunk Yoga went hashtag viral, I was delighted that this crazy little idea blossomed into widespread interest. Sure, it came with some hate mail. But it’s also come with a lot of people trying yoga for the first time, and yogis falling in love with the heart of the practice all over again. Not because of a few glasses of wine, but rather, a new perspective. Though, I’m sure the wine doesn't hurt.
But mostly? I’m grateful that the success of Drunk Yoga shows people what can happen when we follow our craziest, sexiest, most passionate ideas, and never give up.