Beer yoga, goat yoga, hip-hop yoga: Is novelty yoga real yoga or incompatible with yoga’s true aims?

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July 18, 2018 06:27:22

Goat yoga, dog yoga, BroGa, SnowGa: it seems barely a week goes by without a new form of novelty yoga appearing on our Instagram feeds.

Usually it has involved an excitable herd of furry animals or a rhyme-based pun and was a one-off class rather than a structured fitness regime.

But can novelty forms of yoga truly call themselves yoga — or is it difficult to achieve the true aims of yoga while shivering in the snow, or with a goat trampling on your chest?

Beer yoga more relaxed

Mackay yoga studio owner Liz Eales teaches one beer yoga class per week among her schedule of more traditional yoga classes.

She said the atmosphere in a beer yoga class was more relaxed and informal than a regular class.

“Yoga can be quite daunting coming into a studio setting, so … having a beer, wine or cider, whatever you want … it’s been really successful,” she said.

“There’s a lot more laughs, it’s a less serious vibe — so when people come in, it’s just nice and relaxed, and they can just be themselves.”

The classes supply one or two beers per person and participants incorporate the beer bottle into yoga poses.

“It can be quite physically challenging when you’re holding a beverage in your hand that you don’t want to spill. Your balance increases, your core increases,” Ms Eales said.

“People can actually get a really good workout in the class, as well as find some muscles they didn’t know about.”

No true form of yoga

Jessica White from the University of Queensland tutors in Hinduism and Hindu texts, including the Yoga Sutra, and wrote her honours thesis on modern yoga.

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