Sarah Sommer

Beer-Yoga: When sun salutations turn into beer salutations

Hot Yoga, Dog Yoga and SUP-Yoga aren’t the craze anymore. The new trend is called Beer-Yoga. Why beer and yoga go together? Because relaxation is guaranteed with both. Jhula, Germany’s first and so far only Beer-Yoga teacher, explains in an interview with, what it’s all about.

Jhula, at the front, showing how the "Beer-Tree" is done.
Jhula, at the front, showing how the "Beer-Tree" is done.

Yoga is a fitness trend by now - for the reason alone that it connects physical exercise with relaxation. Jhula offers Beer-Yoga in bars, pubs and festivals in Berlin. She combines an old Indian tradition with beer. What exactly can we imagine under the title Beer-Yoga and how did the idea arise?

Jhula: It is exactly what it sounds like: yoga with beer. We incorporate a beer bottle into traditional yoga exercises. I got the idea from the Burning Man festival in America, I wasn't attending it, so brought Beer-Yoga to Berlin. I like beer and I like yoga - the fact that so many people like it surprised me as well.

"Sun salutations turn into beer salutations"

Can you explain in more detail how the exercises work?
Actually just like normal yoga exercises. It is a little modified, so that we are able to incorporate the beer bottle. During balance exercises for example we try to balance the bottle on the head. Sun salutations turn into “beer salutations” and the push up position turns into the “ale-bench”. As soon as I announce the exercises that way the first people start laughing.

Does om turn into "Prost"?
Of course. At the end of every lesson we sing "Prost" (cheers) three times together. If they haven't before, people start laughing then and not because of the alcohol.

What exercises are most enjoyable?
Personally I like the balance exercises the most. You can feel the alcohol at the end of the lesson - one or two lose their balance sometimes.

What beer do you drink and when?
Sometimes I announce when to drink, but they can take a sip whenever they want. I don't really care what type of beer they drink, as long as they enjoy it. Some drink nonalcoholic beer or water as well.

Balancing act of a different kind: The tree position with a beer bottle on the head.
Balancing act of a different kind: The tree position with a beer bottle on the head.

Is Beer-Yoga something for yoga novices or is it too difficult?
The lesson is for beginners. Every single time there are people that never tried yoga before and maybe never would have without Beer-Yoga. To be honest I think it is more difficult if you've never drunk beer before - but that barely ever happens.

"Beer-Yoga brings people to yoga"

What do you focus on: yoga or beer?
I think it is pretty balanced. Sometimes you don't want to decide whether you want to go to the gym or drink beer with friends. Beer-Yoga is the perfect combination for that situation: enjoying one or two beer while scrambling around with friends in a playful way.

What reaction do you get for Beer-Yoga?
Everyone, who comes to a Beer-Yoga lesson, gives positive feedback. The majority thinks it’s funny and obviously has never tried something like this. There are also people within the yoga community, who don't like it that I combine yoga with alcohol. The other way round, no beer drinker has ever complained that we bring the bottle to the yoga mat.

What is Beer-Yoga really about?
It’s all about the fun and to try out new things. Beer-Yoga brings people to yoga that would have probably never tried it any other way. Of course it is not about a highly competitive sport, but thats not what yoga is about in general. You shouldn't take everything, just like Beer-Yoga, so deadly serious.

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Sarah Sommer
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Sarah Sommer