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Yoga collides with breweries

MKE+Yoga+Events+has+yoga+sessions+in+non-traditional+settings+such+as+breweries%2C+distilleries+and+even+the+Historic+Miller+Caves.+%0APhoto+courtesy+of+MKE+Yoga+Events
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Yoga collides with breweries

MKE Yoga Events has yoga sessions in non-traditional settings such as breweries, distilleries and even the Historic Miller Caves. 
Photo courtesy of MKE Yoga Events

MKE Yoga Events has yoga sessions in non-traditional settings such as breweries, distilleries and even the Historic Miller Caves. Photo courtesy of MKE Yoga Events

MKE Yoga Events has yoga sessions in non-traditional settings such as breweries, distilleries and even the Historic Miller Caves. Photo courtesy of MKE Yoga Events

MKE Yoga Events has yoga sessions in non-traditional settings such as breweries, distilleries and even the Historic Miller Caves. Photo courtesy of MKE Yoga Events

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Milwaukee is known for many things: beer, cheese, Summerfest and more. But yoga? That likely is not on the list — yet.

Yoga has become a regular occurrence for many breweries in the Milwaukee area, including Third Space Brewing, Sugar Maple, City Lights Brewing Co. and Company Brewing.

MKE Yoga Events is an organization that works with local breweries to create a comfortable space for yogis of all levels to attend classes and enjoy beverages.

For MKE Yoga Events, tickets range from $15 to $20 and cover the cost of the yoga session and a drink. Additionally, 25 percent of the proceeds are donated to a local nonprofit of the hosting business’ choice.

“Our mission is to take yoga out of the studio and bring it into places that are more accessible,” Jessica Hope, co-owner of MKE Yoga Events, said. “So we take it to places in the community, places that make Milwaukee unique.”

Sarah Fuhrmann, the other co-owner of MKE Yoga Events, described MKE Yoga Event’s vision as creating comfortable, low-pressure environments for yoga.

“Grabbing pizza doesn’t have a place for intimidation, getting a drink after work doesn’t cause intimidation, so we thought that why not take yoga where everyone’s a little more embraced and accepted for who we are,” Fuhrmann said.

Fuhrmann said MKE Yoga Events works to partner with businesses that might not be as well-known in the community as others, but still offer quality products. She said the events have drawn people from “all walks of life.”

Hope said some businesses that have partnered with MKE Yoga Events include breweries and places like Historic Miller Caves, as well as distilleries like Great Lakes Distillery and Central Standard Craft Distillery. Other places, like Classic Slice pizzeria and Sugar Maple craft beer bar, have also partnered.

MKE Yoga Events is hosting yoga at City Lights Brewing Co. Saturday and Company Brewing March 23.

MKE Yoga Events is not the only Milwaukee group to create yoga events in public spaces. According their website, the Milwaukee Art Museum hosts yoga about once a month.

Samantha Mitchell, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she has interest in attending MKE Yoga events.

“I’ve done (yoga) at the art museum, and I agree it’s a safe space and more people are willing to venture into it,” Mitchell said. “People don’t like going to classes because they feel like everyone there is very judgmental. … I think that’s such a great idea to bring it into other spaces and get people who normally wouldn’t go to go.”

Mitchell’s love for yoga was introduced to her by her sister, a yoga instructor. She said she finds yoga to be a form of meditation and mental practice.

Mitchell said she participates in yoga at Pink House Studio in Riverwest. On Marquette’s campus, students can take part in yoga classes at the 707 building. The classes are free and are offered Monday through Thursday.

Matt Reynell, an instructor at Urban Om yoga studio and the Wisconsin Athletic Club – Downtown, works with Third Space Brewing for its event “Yoga In Your Third Space,” which occurred Sunday and will take place again March 31. Reynell said the event happens about once every month.

“The general idea to start was kind of to combine things we love: yoga with our friends followed by delicious beer,” Reynell said. “I can’t think of a better way to start a Sunday.”

Reynell and his teaching partner Stacy Johnson, an instructor at Hot Yoga Milwaukee in Brookfield, have been doing this event for a couple years now.

Reynell said the duo started out being passionate about yoga with hopes to share their practice.

“I think the combination of that, and that Third Space (Brewing) makes amazing beer and shares our positive vibes (made it) a pretty logical match for us,” Reynell said.

Tickets for “Yoga in Your Third Space” are $15, which includes a 60-minute class inclusive of all skill levels and a beer after the event.

“It’s a good time with good people,” Reynell said. He added that the event is “certainly for everybody.”

Yoga can be intimidating, especially for those new to the practice. However, some instructors at these events offer ways for people to feel even more comfortable.

Fuhrmann said she recommends bringing a friend to yoga events.

“This is a perfect type of yoga class, where it’s calm, fun and it is more of a community style … so coming with your friends and knowing you’re going to drink and hang out afterwards (can help you not) worry about it. Our classes are inclusive and accessible,” Fuhrmann said. “Everything we offer in the class is achievable, no matter what your level of participation in yoga is.”

Even the most experienced yogis had a first yoga class at some point, Hope said.

“Trust the process and have fun with it and not be so serious. A lot of times I think we don’t allow ourselves to have fun and we tend to take things super seriously,” Hope said. “I think when you change that light on it and turn it into something fun, it’s a little more approachable.”

Reynell emphasized the importance of focusing on oneself in yoga.

“Don’t be (nervous). We offer options for everybody. Nobody’s watching you. Nobody’s judging you,” Reynell said. “In my opinion, this is a much lower-pressure way to try (yoga) if you never have because you might have just hung out at the brewery the day before.”

Registration for these events is available online through Eventbrite.

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