Feature Life

Fredericton Beer and Yoga Series Mixes Flights and Flexibility

The first Hopped Yoga series event at Graystone (Image: Jennifer Johnson)

Some might find following up a workout with something as deliciously carb-y as beer to be counterproductive. But for Hopped Yoga co-founder Barbara Timmins, the combination of yoga and beer helps people find a happy medium between ‘good vibing’ and imbibing.

Along with her business partner Katie Farrar, Timmins has created a summer series of events based around beer and yoga that will take place at microbreweries across Fredericton.

The first Hopped Yoga event went down at Graystone Brewing June 3. We chatted with Timmins to find out how it went and how exactly she makes these two very different activities mesh.

Can you tell me a bit about the series?

We’re running a summer series where we do 45 minutes of yoga and a mindful beer tasting after. Our intention is to promote balance and healthy lifestyle so you know that you can do something physically active that is good for you. We focus on breathing techniques to relax from all the ‘busyness’ of life and make sure people can enjoy indulgence without overdoing it. It’s everything in moderation.

Our events are at five of the microbreweries here in town… We’ve got a lot of interest and my intention for it is to build more of a yoga community here. There’s a lot of segregation and some hesitations with yoga that I’ve noticed.

I’m just coming back to New Brunswick from being in Ontario in Ottawa for about four years. I taught full-time there. The yoga community is super supportive. Naturally, there’s some business competition. I’m trying to get the community of yoga a little more active in promoting yoga in general instead of promoting individual studios.

We have lots of yoga sponsors. We have about five different studios that have been donating passes and encouraging a sense of community…

What’s included in the price?

It’s $25 plus a couple service fees. It includes a 45-minute yoga session and a four flight of beer. We offer a beer tasting after. That takes about half an hour or so. At the last event, we had some people lingering around and having more beer after so that’s encouraging. There’s lots of chatting and the class is really fun and accessible for all levels, very lighthearted.

Where did the idea come from?

A girlfriend of mine in Ottawa was running similar events and I took a job here in New Brunswick and I was like,”Hey, would you mind if I did this?” And she was like, “For sure. Go for it.” I just rebranded it a bit…

How have you found the response has been to the classes so far?

We’ve had rave reviews. We had a little guest book running around at the events and everybody was smiling and laughing… We have people saying they’re going to come to all the events now so that’s awesome. They’re really excited about having something different to do in the city on an afternoon on the weekend… This is a nice way to be active and enjoy the sunshine.

How are the breweries to deal with?

The craft brewers are amazing, their sense of community. They’re so supportive of each other and that’s kind of why I tied the two of us together because that’s yoga. Supporting each other and promoting everyone is one of the big purposes of yoga. To have a community that’s already kind of involved like the craft breweries, it’s a really easy transition and it’s a good pair.

Do you have any future plans to do something similar after this series is over?

This is kind of our launch. The summer series is just to see how it does. I’d like to expand into Atlantic Canada more. We have some connections in Moncton and Saint John already and some connections in Halifax as well… I’d be happy to be moving around New Brunswick and Nova Scotia if that comes up in the future. Just kind of spreading the love a little bit.

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This interview has been edited for length and clarity.