By: Lauren Klansek
Well hey there! I’m back with more words!
I wrote last time about how I love the craft beer community. I’m learning I don’t just love the craft beer; I love the mindset of progression and collaboration, and I keep finding evidence of it all over the city!
So let’s talk about Beer Yoga. I first encountered beer yoga working at Sun King Brewery in Indiana. I thought it was a fun, weird idea and nothing more; now I am convinced this kind of collaboration can influence the quality and direction of our community. “Golly Lauren how is that going to happen?” Well, hitch a ride on the information train where you’ll learn about a vision straight from the mind of someone helping form the backbone of Oklahoma City’s unique community.
Hialee Howard and Lisa Laughlin Taylor are Co-owners of the Yoga Box in Oklahoma City and visionaries not only for their studio, but for the city’s community. Now, I am not flexible, nor does my upper body strength allow me to execute the pose pictured above. I, however, felt I should have the full yoga experience before trying to convince you to put on your stretchy pants and go get yourself a beer. The puddle of sweat on my mat was full of conviction to do cardio more often, and the conversation after class was full of insight and dreams for the future. First, some background on Hialee.
Hialee moved to Edmond from Ada to attend college when she was 18. Her love for learning about the body and its biochemistry led her to study dietetics and to foster a passion for prepping and cooking meals. At the Yoga Box, Hialee utilizes a full kitchen to make balanced meals using only fresh and unprocessed ingredients. Having minimal knowledge and infinite curiosity about food, I am stoked that Hialee found a way to combine her love for body mechanics, health, and now beer. Friends, this woman is the real deal, she peels and roasts her own red peppers, which may qualify her for sainthood.
SO what does the Yoga Box and Hialee and a roasted red pepper have to do with craft beer?
Well, when Hialee and her business partner Lisa opened Yoga Box, Lisa had this wild idea to do a class series called “Basics and Beer.” I’m crazy about this idea because anyone can learn in a judgment-free zone, and their reward for trying something new? Quality beer.
Initially, they partnered with Belle Isle Brewery and eventually expanded their partnership to several Oklahoma breweries such as Black Mesa Brewing Company, COOP Ale Works, Anthem Brewing Company, and Prairie Artisan Ales. The Yoga Box has teamed up with almost every local brewery that has donated beer and promoted the event. Then, they take it a step further, bringing Vinyasa and brews together through monthly classes at COOP Ale Works!
And there it is, the reason I’m crazy about craft breweries, and why I think you should be too. It’s not just willingness to support something new, but something completely outside their scope. In New Zealand, Founders Brewery supports events like family fun days and the food truck community. I see breweries fearlessly supporting corners of their community they would never be expected to support, they’re just that cool.
Hialee and I also talked about the future of the Craft Beer-Yoga relationship, “I really like where we’re going… having a community of fellowship where we can hang out, have a beer, talk, I hope the craft beer community continues to support that and participate in it.” This is exactly what happens at beer yoga on Saturdays. People come together, practice their bending, breathing, and then their beering. The crowd hangs out after the class just to chat and drink quality brews. As the person serving the beer, I have the privilege of observing the interactions, “We’re all about community here, we like to build a strong community, everybody knows each other here, everybody talks to each other, it’s not like you just come to yoga and then leave, you have friends beside you and it’s amazing.” Hialee’s own words describe the scene best. People interact as friends rather than strangers, and I watch the building blocks of a strong community stack up, one yogi at a time.
You don’t have to love yoga to love the bonds being formed all over Oklahoma City.
You don’t have to love craft beer to love what craft beer is bringing to Oklahoma City.
You just have to be willing to step out of your habits and let yourself be surprised.
Whether you go for the beer or the stretch, you’ll be happy you went.
More Fun Info:
Hialee paid high compliments to the local food scene, and the strides taken to bring quality food to several parts of town! Specifically Empire Slice House, Hialee names pizza as her favorite food, which I think we can all relate with on some level.
When I asked about her favorite beer: “My favorite beer since I can remember drinking craft beer is F5.”
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And Blogger: Lcmklansek.blogspot.com