Drunk Yoga
Who would have thought that mixing alcohol and spirituality would be so genius? (Illustration by Jonathan Christian, Our Lady of the Lake University)

Call me crazy, but I think that it’s safe to say that everyone has heard of yoga even if you’ve never ventured into a yoga studio or practiced yoga within the safety of your own home. But, have you ever heard of drunk yoga? Now, I’m no yoga expert — in fact, I’ve actually never even attempted to do yoga before — but is this really a thing? To answer my own question, yes, drunk yoga is very much real.

Okay, yoga. You now have my attention. Admittedly, I’ve never done any yoga for myself, but I know some friends that seem to love doing it, and I’m always in the mood for relaxation. So as I cradle a bottle of Pink Moscato in one hand and tuck my mat beneath my arm, I must admit — I’m ready to yoga it up all day long.

But, the real question should be what mastermind is responsible for this innovative, intoxicated form of this age-old tradition? Where are sessions for these extraordinary events taking place? And please, for the love of God, where can I sign up?

In case you were curious, the name of the drunk yoga creator is Eli Walker, and I personally think she deserves an award, a medal or at least a glass of wine. Walker grew up in Wisconsin before she took off to Manhattan with a scholarship to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

After Walker graduated with a BFA in acting, she soon turned her sights to the art of yoga. Admirably, Walker put in the work, traveled all over the globe, perfected her craft and became a 500 RYT certified instructor — meaning that Walker completed a 500-hour yoga trainer training — who has been teaching sober yoga to people since 2014. However, the sober part was only temporary.

To me, the story of how drunk yoga came to fruition is fantastic, because like all great stories, the origin of drunk yoga takes place in a bar during a conversation between friends enjoying some drinks. Walker and friend were out at a bar, relaxing, drinking and enjoying standard conversations. Soon, Walker’s friend joked that he needed yoga due to his lack of flexibility.

To further prove his point, the friend stood up, attempted to touch his toes and, miraculously, he touched them. Completely shocked, he said, “Oh, I guess I can do it when I’m drunk.” Finding this statement quite humorous, Walker replied, “Let’s do drunk yoga!”

Voila. And with that statement, drunk yoga was born.

At first, the notion of drunk yoga seemed like a joke created in the middle of, well, a drunken night out; a comedic idea shared between two friends at a bar. But, similar to how some wines grow better with age, so did the idea of drunk yoga. After some time passed, Walker thought to herself that her friend would have never tried regular yoga. But yoga while drunk? How could anyone, sober or otherwise, turn down an offer like that?

Granted, I do not know Walker personally, which means that I was not there the night that drunk yoga was born, but I can say that I have never had the desire to try yoga before Walker’s renovated version appeared on my radar, which proves that the yoga instructor has a genius idea on her hands.

When refining the idea of drunk yoga, Walker wanted to dispose with the baggage associated with traditional yoga in order to bring it back to its joyful, spiritual roots. Walker’s goal was to bring beginners and veterans together, so that they could enjoy all of the wonderful benefits that yoga encompasses, both physically and mentally, with an added dose of fun, laughter and wine.

Walker’s ultimate goal is for people to sign up and get drunk. Conversely, the instructor’s goal is to get the people signed up metaphorically drunk on the freeing sensation that comes along with experiencing yoga. By subverting tradition and turning it into a party among friends, it makes the entire yoga experience vastly more accessible.

If you’re not aware by now, I think that drunk yoga sounds absolutely amazing. If you are interested in learning more about it, head over to dodrunkyoga.com where you can find out everything else you need to know about Walker’s yoga revival. Find a class near you, book a corporate event or even plan a one-of-a-kind bachelorette party.

Furthermore, besides inventing and teaching the classes, Walker is also the author of the official drunk yoga book titled “Drunk Yoga: 50 Wine and Yoga Poses to Lift Your Spirit(s).” If you are interested in picking up a copy for yourself, you can do so here.

Whether you’re a yoga fanatic or a wine devotee, drunk yoga might be what you’ve been looking for your whole life. Eli Walker, we tip our glasses to you, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before drunk yoga spreads like wildfire. In the meantime, please excuse me while I head over to Amazon to buy myself a yoga mat.

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