Why Wine & Yoga?

A letter from the Founder:

First, let me say that Drunk Yoga® is not about the wine, nor the yoga. It’s about community, and using the combination of a happy hour in collaboration with uplifting, interactive physical activity to teach the art of cultivating personal joy.

So…what’s “drunk” about Drunk Yoga?

…Only our intoxication with joy, community, and life! We use the word “drunk” suggestively and provocatively—not descriptively. To us, “drunk” means “an altered state of being,” and our mission is to turn yoga into a party so that you feel empowered to lift your spirit(s), and to help uplift those around you. We “alter” traditional yoga by making the experience interactive and social through “yoga drinking games” and partner exercises (great for team-building!), as well as by hosting our classes outside of traditional yoga studios to make the practice accessible to newbies otherwise too intimidated to try.

Of course, we get a lot of raised eyebrows at the words “drunk” and “yoga” used together to title our public yoga classes and private events in New York City and beyond. And listen, I get it. It’s provocative. It’s edgy. And you know what else? It’s fun.

Regardless of whether you’re a wine-lover, I’ll assume we can all agree that wine acts as “the great equalizer,” and as such, brings us together in a safe and social space to enjoy each other’s company. Traditional yoga…doesn’t.

And that’s fine! To be clear: I LOVE “sober” yoga. I do it daily. I don’t attend public classes often anymore, but my ritualistic morning practice is the best part of my day. I love moving my body in conjunction with my breath, cutting through space in postures with presence, and using my imagination to illuminate my body, soul, and subtle inner-workings with intentional gratitude and optimism. Whether I practice for 10 minutes or 2 hours, to me, yoga is a bodily prayer that connects me to the universe at large. It’s a humbling practice that reminds me not to take myself too seriously.

Second, let me also say: I don’t often attend yoga classes anymore because they usually don’t make me feel great. I find them increasingly militaristic…patriarchal, even.

And listen, no judgment there. It’s all good. Truly. Traditional yoga offers great techniques to help you calm your mind and develop a relationship to the one who’s doing all the thinking. However, I do understand why yoga classes make newbies feel nervous. Yoga is hard, it’s weird, it’s vulnerable, and let’s be honest, a little pretentious. (There. I said it.)

Because of this, I wanted to start a business, or a movement, rather, that makes yoga fun. I wanted to figure out a way to create an experience that enhances everything I already love about yoga by making it communal. Where everyone inherently has permission to be themselves, talk to each other, offer ideas, laugh, dance, and engage with the present in real time. No yoga soldiers. Just yoga friends. 

I figured, what better way to make people feel comfortable enough to really participate in a yoga class than by creating the container for it to feel fun? Like, oh, I don’t know…a party in a bar with a glass of wine in your hand? 

The combination of wine and yoga in Drunk Yoga® classes is for the sole purpose of lifting spirit(s) (…pun absolutely intended), and to turn yoga into an opportunity to socialize—and not for the sake of “doing yoga drunkenly.” Not at all! The only experience we want you to feel intoxicated with is joy.

So, my mission? To offer Drunk Yoga® as an entertainment experience led through the vehicle of a yoga class to lift the spirits of my students, so that they may feel empowered to uplift others. Because no matter the method, we’re #bettertogether.

Cheers!

xo,

Eli