SOUTHINGTON – I recently attended a yoga class at Witchdoctor Brewery. The fee included an hour of Vinyasa flow yoga taught by Jessica Chavanick of Winding Lotus, and a pint of beer.
Witchdoctor, located at 168 Center St., has been hosting yoga classes for the past few months with a positive response from the public.1. Benefits of community practice
As it got closer to the start of class, participants situated their colorful mats across the hardwood floors of the brewery and introduced themselves to one another.
Chavanick said that attendees are typically very social even when they first meet. She added, having the guidance of an instructor and the motivation of friends can help to enhance yoga practice.
“In a community setting I’ll work harder and show up more,” Chavanick said of her own yoga practice.
Chavanick made her rounds, greeting the class and helping them get adjusted to the space.2. Instruction
At the beginning of class, Chavanick announced the style of yoga would feel less formal and more relaxed than a traditional studio. She asked us to pay attention to the quality and quantity of our thoughts as we transitioned from one pose to the next.
Chavanick also encouraged us not to force ourselves into poses that our bodies weren’t ready for.
She introduced me to a modification of downward dog called extended puppy. This pose is ideal for those with tight hamstrings.
Extended puppy requires you to get on all fours and gently lengthen the spine while releasing the head and arms down to the mat.3. Atmosphere
Witchdoctor Brewery is located inside of a commercial style brick building with large windows. Our yoga class was naturally lit by the morning sun.
Chavanick set up her mat on a low-standing stage in the corner of the brewery. Participants spread throughout one side of the bar area.
As we breathed through Shavasana on our backs I noticed the exposed metal piping lent itself to the industrial feel of the building.
The quiet drumming music faded into the sound of birds chirping outside. The class was held before the brewery opened at noon so there were minimal background noise.4. Beer
Witchdoctor has plenty of options for beer lovers and novices alike, including their own assortment of ales and IPAs.
Chavanick said the beer portion of the event has attracted yoga newbies.
“Two guys who became my regulars said they never would have tried yoga if it wasn’t for the beer” she said.
With the brewery as a backdrop, yoga is not as intimidating to those who have never tried it before. 5. Future events
Yoga hosted by Winding Lotus takes place at Witchdoctor Brewery on the last Sunday of the month.
For more information about these classes visit: https://www.facebook.com/windinglotus/.
For more information about events at Witchdoctor visit: https://witchdoctorbrewing.com/.