The [Epic] Team
I’m the Operations Manager for Drunk Yoga™ and world traveller extraordinaire. I wasn’t sure what to think about this class when I first heard about it, but when I went, I realized it was the only yoga class I’d taken where I was focused on me, my movement, and my energy/emotions rather than wondering if I looked stupid to everyone else. Though I’m not a yoga teacher myself, I’m really good at the behind-the-scenes-keep-things-going stuff!
Favorite yoga pose: I have two. Warrior II (because it makes me feel strong and powerful), and Reclining Goddess (because I like to imagine people describing me that way).
What brings me joy: Dogs. Cheese. Travelling. If I could pet dogs in a foreign country while eating a cheese plate I think my heart might explode.
What I wish people knew about yoga: The only way to “do it wrong” is to worry about doing it wrong. Yoga is personal, and unique to everyone. Even though some (cough cough never Drunk Yoga) classes can make it feel like a competition, whatever you’re doing in the moment is absolutely perfect—even if it is just laying there taking deep breaths.
Hey there, I'm Madison! Handler of Drunk Yoga social media and wine enthusiast. In my off hours you can find me playing with my cats, experimenting with new recipes in my kitchen and building up my frequent flyer miles visiting my husband in Italy.
Favorite yoga pose: My favorite yoga pose is pigeon pose because it helps you release all of that tension we hold in our hips.
What brings me joy: Acting, cooking for friends and traveling.
What I wish people knew about yoga: I wish people knew that yoga doesn't demand perfection or a certain lifestyle-- it's a tool for every(body) to help us come back to our true selves.
After being forced to take a power vinyasa yoga class, as a friend's final wish before going away for college, I found myself laying in a pool of my own sweat feeling relieved. Of what? I still don't know, but that feeling kept me returning to class several times a week for 5 years before embarking on a 200hr Vinyasa training in the summer of 2016. Since my certification I've found pleasure in dissolving western media's perspective on yoga for friends and strangers so that they can embark on their own yogic journeys.
I am passionate about teaching drunk yoga because adding a glass of wine to a vinyasa practice lifts the burden of trying to conceptualize a focus for the class. Without getting too philosophical I can provide a point of connection for a student to step onto their mat where the only foci are their breath and not spilling the wine. And if they spill their glass, that's okay, too;)
Favorite yoga pose: Chair pose because it feels like my whole body is full of energy and my legs are the strongest part of my body so I can sit for a while
What brings me joy: K-pop (bringing joy into my life for nearly a decade)
What I wish people knew about yoga: That you don’t have to be a size 0, raw vegan, pretzel person to do it and if you are a size zero, raw vegan, pretzel person, you’re welcome, too.
While I am now a self-proclaimed yoga addict, I wasn't always that way—in fact, I took my first few classes sporadically, and under protest. Maybe if there was wine involved, I would have been more inclined to understand what the "flow" this was all about. After letting my relationship with the practice age, I signed up for my 200 hour certification. A dancer my whole life, I love how yoga has preserved my body, strengthened my joints, and kept me chill in audition holding rooms, or before showtime.
If you find yourself in my class, you'll be high-fived, hugged, wined, and maybe even a little worked out. Be prepared to sing along with my playlist—I have an uncanny knack for memorizing obscure song lyrics and movie quotes.
Favorite yoga pose: Seated Chair Twist, and Happy Lover
What brings me joy: My nephew. Finding money that I forgot was in my pockets. Getting a man-spreader on the subway to un-spread, so I, or someone else, can sit. Snow White is my FAVORITE Disney princess. She’s the OG!
What I wish people knew about yoga: You don’t need to show up in Lululemon with your makeup done or carry an obnoxiously heavy insulated water bottle to do yoga right. If that’s your jam, cool! I sometimes like to do that. But it starts with being you. Put on those soft yoga pants that may or may not actually be pj bottoms. Wrap yourself up in your old college T-shirt. Roll up with dirty hair, roll out your mat, take a seat, and give yourself a best friend hug, because you SHOWED UP.
Cassie Ray BArbay
I spent most of my early life in the dance studio and on stage. In front of people and mirrors; moving, learning, adapting to a culture of dance that often puts the performance above the well-being of the individual self. I love performing, of course, and the dance studio is a sacred space for me, but at 17 I found myself with a torn groin and a 90 minute Power Yoga VHS (yes, VHS) in my hand. That’s where my love affair with yoga began! Yoga spoke to me and I truly connected to and began healing my body in a new way through movement and breath.
I've been in NYC now for 9 years, taking many performance gigs, random jobs and bartending to pay my way. I eventually took the leap and got my yoga certification, but never really felt like I fit anywhere as a traditional teacher. I found myself teaching people reverse namaste in bars in Brooklyn until all of us were laughing and trying tipsy down dog! My friends have dubbed me their yoga lady and I'm always working with people at social gatherings. I've made a lot of friends this way, so when my beloved teacher Nevine told me to contact Eli over at Drunk Yoga, saying she thought it would be a perfect fit, I knew she was right!
So I did, and I tried Drunk Yoga for the first time. I quickly became a fan of this brilliant, responsible practice that brings people together, releases the need to take things too seriously, and introduces yoga to people who might otherwise never walk into the studio. It just seemed like there perfect avenue for a bartender, yogi, and performer like myself :)
Favorite yoga pose: Halasana - Plow, for end of day restorative work
What brings me joy: people I love and creating beautiful space
What I wish people knew about yoga: It’s just play! Children are the most profound yogi’s, watching them gives us wonderful insight on the playfulness of our own body, but as an adult we get to refine our practice so it serves us in a well informed and technical way (just don’t forget the fun) ;)
Being born and raised in New York, it may come as no surprise to you that for most of my life, the concept of "me time" was entirely foreign. I was always on to the next thing, next place, next goal. If you asked me about stillness, I would have told you I don't speak the language. In the city that never sleeps, our minds don't either.
*In entered yoga*
I won't tell you I suddenly developed a deep affection for sitting in one place for hours on end. I'd be lying if I told you my list of goals died out. But what did happen? I found that in an hour of breathing and dynamic movement I could become a million times closer to all those things I was so desperately (but somewhat subconsciously) chasing after. I gained an hour of "this is who I am." Even more than that, I learned to embrace it.
From this spark, I went for the fire. I got certified to teach yoga in August 2016 at Yoga to the People. After a year of teaching, I went on to teach Beer Yoga. Not long after, I made my way to my first Drunk Yoga class. It was love at first sip. Now, here we are :)
Drunk Yoga is an opportunity for people who might never have considered taking a yoga class to look past all the stereotypes and misconceptions of what yoga "should" be. If you enjoy happiness, this is the class for you! (And I'm thrilled to share that with others.)
Favorite yoga pose: It's so hard for me to commit to one favorite yoga pose but I do enjoy crow! I love that it's both challenging and thrilling. (Who doesn't want to fly in yoga?)
What brings me joy: I love making others smile. (And puppies...all puppies)
What I wish people knew about yoga: I wish more people realized yoga isn't about being flexible or getting into a crazy headstand. Yoga is getting to know who you are and how you respond to new challenges/situations.
I came to yoga as a way to cross train for running and quickly realized that while running gave me clarity of thought and a euphoric sense of calm, most of those great feelings were in the hours after my long runs were completed. With yoga, I felt alive, energetic, and connected to my body during, after and way after each session of practice. Soon the days of yoga practice started to greatly outnumber the days of running. After over a decade of practice, I was so happy to finally become a registered yoga teacher in March of 2018 to share the joy I experience when practicing. While I will still keep running as long as my joints will allow, I plan to continue to practice and teach yoga benefiting from the mental and physical benefits long after my running legs give out.
Favorite yoga pose: Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon). I love the openness across my entire body and how strong and capable I feel while in the pose and also transitioning in and out of it.
What brings me joy: My family, my husband, my two children. Summertime, ripe fresh summer fruits and veggies (yummmmmmmmmmmm). Long runs and lazy mornings. And yoga of course.
What I wish people knew about yoga: Anyone can do it. Anyone. Any expression of a pose is still a pose. Moving one inch in the direction of a yoga pose, is still that yoga pose. You can do yoga in a chair or lying down or on a mountaintop.
I was born in India and have lived in Singapore, Minnesota and Philadelphia before settling into NYC. While I started yoga first at a toddler age, I put it aside for many years until my stressful job in private equity. I found that yoga calmed me mentally and challenged me physically, and was hooked. I did my teacher training in Mexico and have taught for ClassPass as well as dozens of private classes.
Favorite yoga pose: camel pose (backbends literally open your heart!)
What brings me joy: seeing someone smile the first time they do something they thought was impossible, good coffee, bad puns, and my family!
What I wish people knew about yoga: it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel.
I fully embrace the saying “living the dream”. Native New Yorker, rock n roll rebel child, tequila specialist by day and Drunk Yoga teacher by happy hour. What could be better? After extensive training in dance, I did the most un-New York thing and, quite literally, tripped into yoga. After a life altering injury, yoga reminded me what it meant to communicate with my body. You can often find me leading the rebellion, practicing yoga or drinking Chardonnay. This certified yoga instructor brings positive vibes and a vast knowledge of spirits to create the most fun you will ever have while exercising.
Favorite yoga pose: Half pigeon because it reminds me that I am only human and to humble myself
What brings me joy: A cup of tea before bedtime, live underground rock concerts and the New Orleans Saints.
What I wish people knew about yoga: Yoga isn’t poses you see on Instagram, those are posed and often fake life. What you feel while in class is real life. Breathing is yoga. Being flexible is yoga. Not being flexible is yoga. You don’t have to touch your toes to do yoga.