Perhaps the introduction of these new yoga styles stems from a desire to make yoga more relatable and relevant in today’s world where yoga is perceived to be only for the flexible and bendy. Or perhaps it’s just to inject a sense of humor into a practice that’s often deemed too serious. Whatever the reason is for including beer yoga into our lives, it is our hope that everyone finds a form of the practice that resonates with them. So if no other form of yoga interests you, these 5 oddly weird and very entertaining ones just might!
My yoga teacher has reminded us, on numerous occasions, that imbibing alcoholic beverages impairs the senses, which is contradictory to what we want to achieve in yoga. Clearly, others don’t share the same sentiment. While the origins of beer yoga is unclear – some say Berlin while others insist on California – the trend has taken off and enjoys immense popularity in places it is introduced.
Balancing a beer bottle on your head while doing a tree pose might not be your thing, but many beer yoga participants find these classes to be comfortable and less intimidating than the usual studio yoga classes. It is also a good opportunity to socialize and attract a crowd that is usually hostile to the idea of yoga – men.
The challenge in beer yoga is, of course, to not get drunk while attempting different yoga poses. Beer yoga emphasizes fun and a whole lot of balancing with a beer bottle!
Ganja, or weed, is illegal in some countries (mine included). But where it’s legal, ganja yoga such as The Netherlands for example, has become the ‘hot’ form of yoga. Marijuana, which is legal for recreational use, is being used as a part of a yoga class in various US cities like San Francisco and California. Ganja, it is claimed, is a great complement to yoga as it helps the practitioner attain mindfulness. These classes begin with students choosing the methods in which they’d like to ingest weed –joints, vape pens or cookies – and then enjoy a little socialization and relaxation before beginning a yoga practice.
The yoga practice itself is not intensive or strenuous. Instead, the instructor takes you through a series of traditional yoga poses slowly, which will allow you to relax and experience this relaxation within yourself as you keep your eyes closed. What you get? An enhanced yoga experience.
Animal (Goat, Cat, Dog or Otherwise) Yoga
As an animal lover with a dog and a cat at home, I do see the attraction in incorporating my pets into my yoga practice. I can sit for hours on end playing and just lying around with the pets and feel calm and content.
Goat yoga, originating in Portland has swept the nation by storm, with many calling goat yoga classes a stress relief. How does it work? Rather simply, goat yoga classes are normal yoga classes taught by a yoga teacher just with additional guests in the form of cute goats.
Other animals have become popular accompaniments to yoga too, namely cats, dogs and horses. The idea behind animal yoga is the need to find a connection, and most people find that with animals. Animal yoga isn’t about correcting alignment or attempting complicated asanas. Rather it is about searching for meaningful experiences and connecting to other beings. So the next time you scratch your head and wonder how to do yoga with your dog, find out about animal yoga classes in your community!
The first thing I thought about when I came across tantrum yoga was my 2-year old son, because he’s an expert at this one. Of all the wacky yoga styles I’ve listed, tantrum yoga was the one that had me most confused. The very essence of yoga is to let things go. Acknowledge our emotions but let them go. Live in the here and the now, not the in the past and all the anger and hurt that comes with it. Surely, throwing a tantrum challenges that very idea?
As it turns out, some believe in the idea of letting it all out, and that adults need to be children once in awhile and address their stress by screaming, shouting and stomping their feet. In a tantrum yoga class, you are encouraged to shout it all out as you strike a pose. Its creator, a teacher from Los Angeles explains that human beings are emotional beings who should be allowed to let go of emotions, rather than having it inhabit the body and turn into stress or disease.
Another way of throwing out the unspoken rule of silence during a yoga practice is karaoke yoga. If you enjoy karaoke and would like to give yoga a try, this might just be the combination for you. Karaoke yoga was first created in Los Angeles and described as joy-based.
Karaoke yoga encourages its participants to let loose, have fun and be a little silly as they plough through yoga poses while belting out their very best rendition of popular tunes with their fellow karaoke yoga buddies. Rather than individual practice, this form of yoga encourages you to participate as a group, in order to create a valuable connection with others. It’s a fun way to let your hair down while opening your body and mind to yoga.
Karaoke yoga is something that I would try out; to the dismay of my neighbors I’m sure.
Intrigued by these alternative forms of yoga? Try one out for yourself at a laughter yoga teacher training course!