Bring Your Own Mat

Dear Reader,

Beer and yoga is a surprisingly common pairing. I learned this when I decided to dive into one of my 2020 New Year’s resolutions and ‘do more yoga.’ Around Boston, yoga studio membership costs about $150 a month; this is excluding new member/ student specials. If I aimed to make trips to the studio part of my routine, that would bring the yearly total to about $1,800—yikes! Because I am no serious yogi, I decided that membership would not be the most cost-effective course of action for me on my yoga journey. Luckily, Boston is a yoga-friendly city and hosts plenty of yoga pop-up events for those who just want to try it out.

Remnant Brewery, Somerville, MA, winter 2020

This past weekend, I attended two yoga pop-up events and both involved beer. The Saturday event took place at Remnant Brewery in Somerville. Tickets were $10, which included an hour-long guided session (beer cost extra but was available on tap). The room was filled with 20-something year old women, with a few older individuals, and a small constituency of men. During our session, Andrea, the instructor, led us through a series meant to target the leg muscles involved in running. With the Boston marathon coming up next month, Andrea received a flurry of requests for IT band and glute stretches. As a newcomer, it was easy to follow the sequences and poses, yet some of the moves were a physical challenge. The stretches and stances pushed me to stand on my hands and feet until my triceps burned and pulse my leg up in the air until my muscles felt weak. It was a good experience overall and I would certainly consider going back!

Roslindale Substation, Boston, MA, winter 2020

On Sunday, I headed south for part two of my foray into yoga. This pop-up event cost $25. This is more than I would have liked to pay, but the ticket included beer and a bagel, and the proceeds went to charity, which provided me with enough justification to pay the expense. The space at the Roslindale Substation was expansive, however, the room was partitioned to allow a beer garden and bagel stand to accept customers in the back. The space for yoga was tight and our mats were arranged in rows and columns like a troop of soldiers. The yoga session began similarly to the one on Saturday but included more lunges and squats. Our instructor, Meg, was enthusiastic and friendly. She travelled around the room giving us personal feedback, adjusted limp limbs, and maneuvered crooked feet into place. Even with the noise of the makeshift bagel and beer stands and trickle of customers scurrying past our mats, the yoga session felt intimate.

At the end of the session we learned that the selected charity would be awarded $650 and we received our tickets for beer and bagels. The bagels were from Exodus Bagels. Although I was planning to skip the bagel and eat breakfast at a cafe, the smell of warm fresh bread was too good to pass up. Also, I was not planning on getting a beer—after all it was only 11am—but as I was leaving, I learned that mimosas were also on the menu and I handed over my ticket without hesitation.

Two days of yoga have left me feeling sore in all the right ways. With a consistent work routine five days a week, I am disinclined to add such rigidity, by way of routine yoga sessions, into my weekends. Although I quite enjoyed my yoga-ful weekend, I won’t be seeking out a studio membership at this time. However, I will continue to find events around the Boston area, which will allow me to visit new parts of town and participate in a variety of yoga routines.

Whether yoga, jogging, or board games, if you are looking to engage in something new, find a community for it. I have tried and failed to do yoga time and time again on my own at home, however, I had two good experiences this weekend with a group. Let the company of others be your encouragement. If you’re interested in trying something new—just go for it!

Love,

Raven

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