A couple of weeks ago I had a friend send me a link to a pop-up yoga event in the city wanting to know if I would be interested in checking it out with her. Upon looking at the title I saw pop-up vinyasa yoga followed by sake tasting and in less then a minutes I had already RSVP yes! My two favorite things in life, sweating and drinking together, well how could I resist.
The event was run by a VinyaSF, a group who hosts pop-up yoga events at various bars around the Bay Area. As their website states they are “An underground pop-up power yoga movement in San Francisco. Our goal is to create balance, fun, and community through awesome power yoga classes that change locations throughout the city a couple of times a month.” Personally I love this concept. There is something very liberating about bringing fitness to an unexpected place you would usually not associate with health, aka a dance club or bar. It reminds me of events my girlfriend back home used to do where she would teach yoga classes in Breweries. Which we named”Bend and Brew” after a night of brainstorming on good micro-beers.
The event was on Wednesday night, which was perfect for a mid-week pick me up. Usually by Wednesday I am itching to do something with friends, but don’t always want to go out to dinner or drinks. Doing a yoga event with a friend was that perfect balance of still being healthy, but also getting some social time in. The class started at 6:30 at a bar in the SOMA district called Audio Night Club. I made sure to arrive a little early to get a spot and have time to catch up with my friend. Upon arriving I was greeted by a few very friendly ladies who signed me in along with giving me some free swag from Luna (chapstick and granola bars.) I am a sucker for free stuff and took this as an omen the event was going to be good. I headed up the stairs to the night club section with my girlfriend as we picked out a cozy spot on the dance floor to setup our mats.
The yoga class was 1 hour and 15 minutes, which I was nervous might feel like an eternity. We started off in typical fashion on our mats as the DJ started to get the music going. I have to say I ended up loving the music in this class. It was not the typical yoga mellow music where the goal is to make you relax and focus on being stress free. Instead it had an upbeat to it, which made you feel more suited to be in a dance club. The lighting was also a big selling point as they kept the red flashing lights going, so not the full on party mode of the club, but a nice change of pace.
The class itself ended up being a pretty good yoga class with a perfect mix of strenuous moves balanced out with stretching. After having already worked out on the morning, I was not looking for a workout to completely kick my butt so this ended up being exactly what I had wanted. Our instructors were a couple of different girls who alternated giving us instructions throughout the class. Every now and again they would throw in a joke or something light hearted to make sure everyone was having fun and not taking themselves to seriously. As they said “In a few hours someone will be drunk right where you are doing your downward dog.”
I also really enjoyed the sense of community which was built throughout the class. The teachers did this by having us at one point reach out to one another and put our hands on each others shoulders as we lifted one of our legs behind us while trying to stay balanced. Something not typical, but it did make you feel connected to everyone around you.
As we wrapped up I felt relaxed and at ease, however also ready for a drink! We made our way downstairs to the bar and proceeded to get our sake tasting on. Of course with everyone coming down all at once it ended up taking a while for us to get our drink. So by the time we were done with our first round of sake we were ready to call it a night and go home to eat dinner. I was starving and had started to fantasize about food during our last bit of stretching.
All in all I loved the experience! There is another event in May, which I might have to attend. One of my favorite things about living in San Francisco is exploring the new. Hopefully this is just one of the many new fitness experiences to come.