Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Would you personally drink or incorporate alcohol into your place of work? Unless you work in a bar, I highly doubt it. You might have afterwork drinks with colleagues or at a work function, but it’s unlikely that your boss is cool with you drinking on the job. Here’s another couple of questions for you; Would you suggest to a Personal Trainer “You should do ‘Beer Training’!“? Would you suggest to your Physiotherapist “How about next time I come in, I drink a schooner while I do my prescribed exercises?!”? NO! Because that’s fuckin’ stupid and unnecessary.
I’ve been a Yoga Instructor now for just over two years and I view it as an absolute privilege. I never thought I’d enjoy a gig this much and I take what I do really seriously. I honor and respect that it is an ancient Indian practice that has evolved and developed into what we know and have in a western culture today. It is not my culture to take as my own but rather for me to appreciate. I also acknowledge that I am indeed a very white girl teaching Yoga (so refrain from slapping the “Cultural Appropriation” label on me, Keyboard Warriors)
I am inherently aware of the risk of things slipping into “cultural appropriation” particularly in the western world of the Yoga industry, so I try my hardest not to be a total, ignorant asshole in that regard. This is also why I’m so very against bullshit fads like gin/wine/beer/any-kind-of-alcohol/ Yoga. It might be that one step too far. I also acknowledge that Yoga isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and that’s cool as well! I don’t expect you to love it or understand it, but I do expect you to respect what I do as a job. A job that I have done, am doing and will continue to do training for. That I run a business through!
So when you suggest to me “How about you teach ‘Beer Yoga’?”– it pisses me off. I try not to take it too personally but it often leads me to feel that you don’t take what I do as a job seriously. That you don’t understand it but haven’t really tried to either.
I’m Australian and a huge part of our culture is drinking and I’ll wholeheartedly admit I am sick and tired of booze being tied into everything. If you have to incorporate alcohol into every inch of life, especially into something like a yoga practice, you might be working with some larger issues, my friend. I’m not opposed to drinking! I still have a drink every now and again. If you want to treat yourself to a glass or few of wine go for it. A Gin & Tonic of a Friday afternoon in patio season with a group of friends for sunset on a beach in Bali? Be my guest (also that sounds really lovely…can I come?) Hell, if you wanna get white-girl wasted on a Tuesday, you go for it! You’ll hear no pushback or lecture from me.
But I will NEVER bring alcohol on to the mat. I will never sell my soul and teach something as ridiculous as “Beer Yoga” because it might get one or two more men to my class under absolutely false premise of what Yoga actually is. It shits all over my credibility as a teacher, it’s irresponsible,and it totally undermines this amazing, ancient practice that dates back over 5,000 years. Beer/Wine/Gin/Goat Yoga? THAT’S the real cultural appropriation culprit. Don’t hit me with the “it’s just a joke M8!” I understand most of the time when I’m tagged in the same wine yoga post on facebook for the 19th time, that it’s not meant with malice. That it’s not meant to offend. But It is a little bit ignorant as to what I actually do and teach. And what OTHERS do and teach. If you ever want to come and practice with me and think that there’ll be grog involved you’re barking up the wrong Vrksasana! (Pun is and always will be intended). Love & Light, Claire. “Yoga is a way of getting totally intoxicated- not on alcohol but on life”– Sadhguru.