Beer + Yoga is a weekly event put on by Just Add Yoga. Just Add Yoga was founded by Seattle fitness duos, Jess Fleming and Dawn Hood. They met in a yoga teacher training program led by Silvia Mordini, where they were required to sit back to back with arms interlocked. Albeit an initial moment of intimate awkwardness, it quickly brought the two together to eventually become business partners in the fitness industry.
We were invited to their Beer + Yoga event at Spinnaker Bay Brewing in the Hillman City. Spinnaker Bay Brewing is the only 100% women owned brewery in the Seattle area. The venue was very cozy and welcoming. Over 21 yogis came to the event from all different backgrounds and levels. Jenn Mulholland led the class in a gentle and accessible vinyasa flow class. Afterwards, the attendees rehydrated with a glass of beer and enjoyed some socialization.
We had an opportunity to interview Jess Fleming and Dawn Hood.
#1 What is Just Add Yoga?
Jess: Just Add Yoga is yoga social experience. (Booze is optional but it is included!) Just Add Yoga was born under the desire to bring people together and unite them under the bond of promoting wellness while making new connections and having a little fun. Our yoga pairings are in place to create an approachable entry point for those new to yoga. It is also a place for those who enjoy a mindful practice and would like to get to know the community in a casual way. We chose Beer + Yoga as our signature class because of what it represents; a fun, friendly, and community driven environment. We also view our relationships with bars, breweries, wineries, and our teachers as a partnerships. We want to bring awareness to what they do as well. Everyone has a different specialty and we want to highlight that. We love to collaborate!
Dawn: The goal of Just add Yoga is to bring people together, get them to move their bodies and socialize, by combining Yoga and booze. We do Beer + Yoga events at local breweries. We also host private parties as well as Champagne + Yoga for bridal parties.
#2 What did it take to make Just Add Yoga a reality?
Jess: Dawn and I started brainstorming this idea in the summer of 2015 – often at happy hours! We spent the entire Fall planning. In November our friends at Traveler in Montlake offered to host our beta event. That event was more successful than we could have imagined. With a bunch of feedback and encouragement, we have been growing ever since. The start-up wasn’t too time intensive, but it has surely grown!
#3 What are some reasons that people should come to Just Add Yoga events? What kind of crowd does Just Add Yoga attract?
Jess: Beer!! Isn’t that enough of a draw!? Ha. But really, those that are interested in having a good time and laughing with those around them. We see folks that are brand new to yoga (like have never, ever been to a yoga class) to those who teach (especially those who have spouses or friends who say they are going to come to yoga, but never do.) This is an event to connect with old friends and new. There is something for everyone!
We also created it to combat the “Seattle freeze!”
Dawn: Our events are a great way to get out and meet people in the Seattle community. Classes are all levels, our Motto is “introducing people to yoga one beer at a time” . We have a diverse crowd which we love, from seasoned yogi’s to first timers, young, old and everyone in between.
#4 What are your future aspirations for the program?
Jess: Beginning in May we will be starting Wine + Yoga and Cider + Yoga pairings. Further down the road, we plan to offer retreats locally and internationally. Swag is on the way as well. Champagne + Yoga (our wedding day yoga brand) will be moving into full swing this summer! Last, but certainly not least, we are hosting private events (corporate happy hours, birthday parties, and conference events). Lots of things on the docket!
Dawn: We would like to grow into other spaces, wine, whiskey, and Champagne. Also, would like to expand to other cities as well as creating retreats.
#5 What is your favorite style of beer and why?
Jess: So hard to choose! IPAs are at the top of my list because there are so many in Washington, but lately I’ve been partial to anything with hints of coconut.
Dawn: I love a good fresh hop IPA, I love the full, bold flavor.
#6 Anything else you’d like to add?
Jess: Just Add Yoga exists for the community. We hope to inspire movement, highlight the benefits of yoga, have a good laugh and some fun, and enjoy all the beverages the PNW has to offer. You can find us on facebook as Just Add Yoga, on instagram @just_add_yoga, and on twitter @justaddyoga
Dawn: This project has been a labor of love for us. We aim to build a community with our venue partners, with our guest teachers, and with the people who attend. Witnessing a group of people come together to move their body, experience yoga and enjoy a beer together in a warm and positive environment makes our heart sing. It sounds silly but it’s true, we love it!
BONUS: We also added a photo slideshow! Check out images from their last event below:
Seattle Yoga News would like to thank Dawn and Jess for letting us know about this unique take on the practice of yoga. We look forward to what they have planned for the Seattle community and beyond!
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