Beer, Metal, Yoga

A different kind of serenity

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Yoga can be intimidating, but a couple of venues in downtown Bellingham want to provide an out-of-the-ordinary experience for beginners and seasoned practitioners.

First up: Beer + Yoga at 9am Sat., Oct 7 at Aslan Brewing (1330 N. Forest St). Jess Fleming and Dawn Hood started Just Add Yoga in Seattle nearly two years ago, and have since been to Bellingham a handful of times. Their classes are about bringing yoga to community spaces and providing a different atmosphere. “It’s not about being perfect or achieving any special yoga pose,” Fleming says.

Aslan’s bright space will be cleared of tables and chairs, leaving the brewery’s wood floors ready for mats. Working in a nontraditional space not only draws in people who may have shied away from the traditional yoga studio, but Fleming says it also reminds students to get out of their comfort zone.

Instructor Megan Percy will lead the hour-long class, open to all experience levels. Fleming says having fun and feeling comfortable in your ability is important to instructors. Laughter and exclamations are allowed.

Beer + Yoga, of course, also features a delicious beverage at the end. The $25 entry fee includes a liquid option, or there is also a yoga-only ticket for those who don’t want to imbibe.

Like Fleming, Hollie Huthman—co-owner of the Shakedown and the Racket on State Street—saw that not everyone was attracted to the traditional yoga studio, and had a little inspiration. A few years ago, the Shakedown offered metal yoga—a yoga class in a rock venue that played metal music. It attracted regulars, but Huthman said the times they could host it were tough to schedule. Now that they have the Racket, space has opened up for metal yoga to return.

“The location makes it really accessible for people who are comfortable in this space, but might feel strange or intimidated by walking into a traditional yoga studio,” Huthman says. The Shakedown’s dark walls and floors will offer a different a kind of serenity.

“There’s such an idea about yoga being soft, and New Age-y, and there’s associations a lot of people have with it that make it not as attractive to a segment of the population,” Huthman says. “I know a whole lot of people who love metal, and are either interested in yoga or would be interested in yoga if there was a different pathway to finding it.”

The $7 class will take place monthly (for now), beginning at 6pm Sun., Oct. 29. The atmosphere is distinctly darker, but instructor Laura Orso says she finds metal music meditative, similar to what you achieve while practicing yoga.

“I’m really excited to bring metal yoga back into the mix,” Orso says. “Whatever people want to get out of yoga, I’d like to help them with that.”

For more info, go to http://www.JustAddYogaEvents.com/schedule or www.facebook.com/ShakedownBellingham

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