Beer and yoga? They’ll drink to that

Published 6:45 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

After an hour of exercise, featuring common poses such as downward dog, participants in Meagen Clavey’s yoga classes look forward to some refreshments. But it’s not water they are craving.

The key perk of taking part in her weekly “Class and a Glass” yoga classes, held at Uwharrie Brewing every Sunday at noon, is that people get to enjoy a glass of beer afterwards.

While it may seem like an unlikely match, yoga classes followed by beer have become increasingly popular at breweries throughout the country in recent years.

Having previously hosted similar classes at Tiffany’s at the Boardroom, Clavey was excited when she heard Albemarle’s first brewery was opening earlier this year.

“It’s something that I see a lot in other cities — Charlotte and Salisbury, places like that — and when I saw Uwharrie Brewery was opening up, I was like, ‘Oh, this could be fun,’ ” Clavey said.

Clavey, who works as a massage therapist with Massage 101 in Albemarle, has been practicing yoga for the past six years.

The classes, which began in mid-March, are open to anyone, regardless of their prior yoga experience. All people need to bring is a yoga mat (though Clavey keeps a few extras) and $15, which covers both the class and the beer.

“It has been so much fun,” she said, noting she enjoys seeing all kinds of people coming together. “It has become my favorite time of the week. As soon as Monday starts, it’s like, ‘Man, when is it going to be Sunday again?’ ”

The group has the space to themselves, as the brewery does not open to patrons until 1 p.m.

Understanding participants have varying wells of yoga experience, Clavey customizes each class to make it “as simple or as challenging for anybody to come and take.”

She likes to switch up the exercises each week to keep things fresh.

To recruit more people, Clavey has recently been posting photos on her Facebook page of participants holding a blue sign with the words: “You Should Be Here!”

From left: Felicia Julien, Lou Shaver, Ashley Kayler and Joy Almond take part in yoga at Uwharrie Brewing. Photo courtesy of Meagen Clavey.

Though attendance fluctuates from week to week, as many as a dozen people have taken part in the exercises — including Uwharrie Brewery owner Colton Baker and Joy Almond, director of Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation.

“It’s been a nice thing to clear out the tables and get a little yoga done on the mornings on Sunday,” said Baker, adding as someone with little prior experience, he appreciates the classes are for “all skill levels.”

Having worked at breweries in the Asheville area before coming to Albemarle, Baker was familiar with the concept of marrying yoga with beer and was excited when Clavey first brought the idea to him.

“We kind of hashed it out together,” Baker said. “I definitely wanted to do yoga.”

Clavey has taught at other places over the years, but “this one is probably by far my favorite class to teach.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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