The morning air was chilled for an October day and the parking lot of the Fort Collins Brewery was empty at 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning, save for just a few cars who were waiting for their yoga and beer.
The doors opened at 9:45 a.m. at 1020 E. Lincoln Ave., and we were welcomed into a small room that had large windows opening up to the brewery’s main tanks for brewing the beer. There was also beer-inspired photos and paintings hanging on the walls. The room seemed to be one that the brewery could use for meetings, but today, it was set up for a yoga class.
The class is available at 10 a.m. every Sunday, and you have to sign up for the class beforehand on their website. The class is $15 and you can reserve as many spaces as you would like, so feel free to bring your friends along as well. You also have to provide your own mat since they don’t have any there for use. I decided to go by myself this time, after figuring I needed to clear my mind and gain some focus after a long, hectic week.
The yoga instructor was already prepared, handing out waivers to sign at the front of the room for those who had forgotten (like your’s truly). I set my things down on the side of the room and found a spot near the front corner, close to the instructor so I could pay as much attention as possible. As someone who has been to maybe one yoga class in my life, it was a little intimidating. I had no idea what to expect from the class or if I would be the only newbie or not. Would I be able to do this? I questioned this as I nervously unrolled my mat.
But I quickly learned that there were all sorts of different levels of learners. One of the other girls had never been to a yoga class but drove down from Cheyenne, Wyoming, another guy had just moved here from Florida and used to attend a yoga class almost daily while there was a couple who had been to the brewery yoga about five times and had loved each time. The different levels of yoga attendees from beginners to advanced learners made me feel much more comfortable in the class.
The small size of the class was also very welcoming. Though the instructor, named Tessa, had said that the classes were full most of the time, only having five people in the class was a welcome change. She was able to walk around and fix poses that weren’t quite right for the people attending and could help show modifications of different poses for beginners (like me).
The teacher explained this was her first class teaching and that she had gotten her yoga instructor certification from a holistic yoga studio here in Fort Collins, but all the teachers were also employees of the brewery. The brewery had helped pay for her teaching so that she could learn and be certified to be an instructor of a yoga class. She was able to help with meditation during the class, which focused specifically on grounding oneself during stressful times. This was a much-needed meditation focus for me currently, with midterms and papers in almost every class.
The one-hour class felt like it went by too fast. It was de-stressing and something that I would love to attend again, simply for the fact that it was one hour where I could focus on something besides life and school. I could focus on my breathing, the quiet music in the background and the fact that my reward for this was a pint of beer.
Since the instructor also works for the brewery, she was able to answer any and all questions about the different beers that were available. The menu was extensive and, for a new 21-year-old, a little intimidating. But she was able to explain what you would taste with each brew and what would be perfect for a rainy day, such as this one. I opted for their “Palisade Parade,” which was brewed with peaches as well as black and green teas. It was a perfect post-yoga beer.
The class includes one free beer or Bloody Mary after the class in the main room of the Fort Collins Brewery. They also offered a brunch menu that was a welcome reward as well. Any of the beers that were brewed at the brewery were included in the yoga grouping. This was a surprise. I expected it to only be certain beers that were available, part of a fine print that I didn’t read. But it included every beer, any one you wanted. And yes, you can take the class without having a beer afterwards. The beer is just a way to combine the yoga and the calming art of it with an art form of turning water and hops into a drinkable beverage to connect over.
The other people in the class and I all sat at the bar and connected. We ended up staying for about two hours, getting to know the people and why they came. When I asked if they enjoyed it as much as I did, it was a unanimous yes. When figuring out the price of a glass of beer (about $4) and the price of a yoga class without signing up for a membership in Fort Collins (which is usually about $10), it seemed to be a fair price for both to be $15.
The people I met and the time I was able to have for myself was worth it. Would I attend again? Yes. The only thing that would be more of an incentive to go would be if they offered a free class to begin or if they mentioned who the teacher would be for the class, but I plan on getting my roommates and other friends to attend with me in the future.
Collegian Reporter Dallas Head can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @water4rams.