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Holding yoga poses and cocktails sounds a bit like an oxymoron or at least a good way to pull a groin muscle, but that hasn’t stopped yoga studios across the country from hosting happy hours. Lots of studios are finding that students much prefer staying and socializing after class to running off with their yoga mats. While the trend isn’t exactly sweeping the nation, you can host your own Yogatini Hour with some friends and try it out yourself.
Choose a Yoga Type
Don’t sweat it if you’re not an experienced yogi. There are many different types of yoga –whether you want to tone muscles, gain flexibility or find some peace of mind.
Hatha- Hatha is a gentle type of yoga that is ideal for beginners. It means “forceful” in Sanskrit, but most of its poses slowly develop breathing and stretching techniques. Students find themselves feeling rested and energized after a class.
Iyengar- Iyengar yoga is a form of Hatha yoga that was developed in the 1930s for those with neck or back problems. This yoga type emphasizes muscle and joint strength poses. Ask your guests to bring props such as straps and blocks if you choose this yoga style.
Vinyasa- Vinyasa yoga is great for weight loss. This fast-paced type requires non-stop movement from participants. Expect a lot of bending, lunging and balancing poses.
Kundalini- Kundalini focuses on creating a spiritual experience through movement and mantras. Participants try to calm their mind rather than burn calories or build core strength.
There are many other yoga types out there, but make sure you have the right space for them before hosting your party. Hot Yoga is a very popular, but it requires an environment around 100 degrees F. Once you’ve picked a style, set up the space. If you are planning on watching an instructional DVD, set aside some time to move all of your furniture out of the way. Remove anything that can obstruct someone’s view. Consider hiring a yoga instructor. A yoga instructor may not be as expensive as you think, especially if you make a plan with your guests a head of time to contribute to their fee.
Pick a Cocktail
Yoga addresses the mind, body and soul, so make a cocktail that targets taste buds. Cool off with a light-tasting fruit juice mixer. Help spread peace to all of your guests by making both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version. Select a Stirrings mixer such as the Simple Pomegranate Martini Cocktail Mixer. Give your yogatini a festive name like Downward Dogatini, Omh-tini, the Prana Cocktail, etc. No Yogatini Happy Hour is complete without appetizers. Use your cocktail pick as a guide for creating a delicious menu.
Who wants to gorge on greasy food after yoga? Well… a lot of people do. In fact, your menu doesn’t have to cater to granola fans, but it’s a nice touch to create small bite sized appetizers for those who don’t like to eat a big meal after a workout. Traditionally, yogis stick to a strictly vegetarian diet. You can cook up some vegetarian dishes and add meat to satisfy the carnivore crowd.
Here are some menu ideas:
Contribute to the atmosphere by using a paper tablecloth with hand written blessings, favorite yogi quotes or just warm thoughts. You can also provide markers and ask your guests to add their own inspiring words. Yogatini Happy Hours may take a while to reach yoga studios across the country. But you can get a jumpstart on this new trend and prove that you are quite the hip yogi at heart. Namaste.