Drink beer, do yoga, save the Earth

‘Brewga’ promotes consuming alcohol, exercise for easy adoption of healthy lifestyle with focus on environment



Yoga Instructor Tiffany Alvarez guides her students to channel their energy and become more aware of their bodies’ reactions to each pose at the Beer + Yoga = Brewga event Sunday afternoon at the Paradise Creek Trailside Taproom.

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER , Evergreen reporter

The combination of beer and yoga is used all over the country to add a social level of interaction and a deeper level of relaxation to exercise. Combining beer and yoga with the discussion of conservation, however, is less widely known.

The Phoenix Conservancy worked with Sanctuary Yoga and the Paradise Creek Brewery Trailside Taproom to provide a relaxed environment to discuss conservation efforts on the Palouse with the Beer + Yoga = Brewga event Sunday.

“Globally, environmental discussion and conservancy is discussed in a very stressful way,” said Ben Stone, Phoenix Conservancy executive director. “We want to bring down that stress and provide a more casual place for people to talk about conservation. Nothing is more stress-free and casual than yoga and beer.”

The Phoenix Conservancy works regularly with students on the Palouse, Stone said. He said it’s incredibly important to the organization that the students are involved in the conversation.

“The main audience for this kind of work is usually older generations of people with more money, who are still incredibly important,” Stone said. “However, the college students will have an effect on conservation efforts for a lot longer, so we want to get them involved now.”

Anne Cox, kinesiology professor with a research focus in motivation, said she advocates for combining a social aspect with exercise to get more people moving.

She’s not necessarily an advocate for drinking alcohol while exercising, as in her experience it isn’t the most comfortable, she said. However, she said adding that level of socialization afterward, like Brewga hoped to do, can encourage more people to exercise.

“Any kind of motivation to get people to exercise is great,” Cox said. “You’re drawing people in with the fun, social aspect and then they’re getting active.”

The Phoenix Conservancy hosts fairly regular events similar to Brewga that are generally more relaxed and casual than a seminar or lecture on conservation would be, Stone said.

“In a structured environment, you almost have a set conversation — everyone knows what you’re going to be talking about,” Stone said. “In a more relaxed setting, you have the opportunity to form a more personal connection.”

As an avid promoter of exercise, Cox believes in doing something good for yourself both physically and mentally, like how Brewga combines yoga and drinking, she said. Cox is a fan of doing yoga with friends and getting drinks after rather than just going to a bar.

“Any time you’re making movement and activity a part of what you’re doing is great,” Cox said. “Whether that be socializing with friends or learning about conservation or both.”

The Phoenix Conservancy works regularly with local businesses like Sanctuary Yoga and the Trailside Taproom since they consider the community an important aspect to their decisions, Stone said.

“We want to know what is important to the Palouse,” Stone said. “Our goal was never to pick a specific species or ecosystem to help improve regardless of the community’s opinions.”

The Phoenix Conservancy is a nonprofit organization located in Pullman and works toward conservation efforts all across the Palouse. They have more information on their website for those interested.

“We really try to learn what the Palouse cares about and we go from there,” Stone said. “If we’re not making your lives better in some way, we’re not doing our jobs.”