Yoga and beer can both have a calming effect, but what happens when you combine the two?
That’s (sort of) the question being put to the test by Night Shift Brewing in Everett. No, they’re not drinking beer while doing the tree pose, but on Sundays once or twice a month, the brewery floor fills with enthusiastic yogis looking to balance their chakras.
Since February, the free sessions have been led by Arlington’s Kat O’Leary, a Night Shift fan who is a member of the brewery’s barrel society, in which patrons pay an up-front fee for access to limited beers. O’Leary got wind of Night Shift’s desire to start up a yoga program through a mutual friend in her yoga teaching class. Given her friendships with Night Shift founders Michael Oxton, Mike O’Mara, and Rob Burns, it seemed like a perfect fit.
“We have an active staff here,” says Alex Navarro, who manages events at the brewery. “Yoga fits our desire to grow our community ties.”
“Going to a yoga studio can be intimidating sometimes,” says O’Leary. “This is good for people who are new to it.”
In addition to yoga, Night Shift also offers trivia on Mondays, a Thursday fun run, and food trucks five days a week. The goal, says Navarro, is to make the brewery a place for people to gather, even if they’re not just interested in drinking beer.
O’Leary, who also teaches at CorePower Yoga locations in Greater Boston, says there are quirks to practicing poses in a working brewery. “There’s all these funny little noises, like the tanks releasing pressure,” says O’Leary. “One day they were canning, so that was pretty funny. It was pretty loud. I think we had 57 people that day. I was telling people to relax, but I was yelling it.”
But there are advantages, too. Arlington’s Ginnie Chow says she typically does yoga two or three times weekly. While she says Night Shift isn’t always the zen atmosphere you might expect, she sometimes likes the sessions there even more. “What’s becoming a bonus for me is the socialization aspect that you don’t get in the studio,” says Chow. “Usually after yoga, people pack up their bags and go about their day. But when you do yoga at Night Shift, there’s space to socialize. No need to change. Just grab a drink with your fellow yogis.”
Night Shift Brewing, 87 Santilli Highway, Everett, 617-294-4233, www.nightshiftbrewing.com The next two yoga sessions are at 11 a.m. on Sept. 27 and Oct. 4.Gary Dzen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.