Yoga's Brewing in the Bronx!

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Opening my heart and a bottle of Stout; enjoying a flight in warrior three followed by a flight of craft beer -- these are a few of my favorite things. I heard that I could enjoy all of them in the same place in the Bronx, a part of New York that had been seriously down dog-deficient in the past.

Beer and Bend is a weekly Saturday morning yoga class that takes place right inside the Gun Hill Brewery at 3227 Laconia Avenue, organized by Mardeah Gbotoe and Yvette Quaye Akua.

I (and a full house of eager yogis) took a vigorous donation-based class led by Victor Chaves, just a few feet away from the bar. Nice to be able to work on your updog and check the b-ball scores at the same time. Victor (aka Jai Warrior) took us through a great, strong sequence, and yet was generous and thoughtful with the adjustments. He helped me really open up in my camel pose, lifted me higher than ever in my bow, and helped finally straighten my stubborn leg in triangle. The stone floor was a little chilly when we started out, but we were plenty warm after class and ready for a pint!

“ I found out about the brewery through an ad in the AM New York paper,” explained Mardeah, a dynamic poet, actress and not-for-profit organizer, after class. "The co-owner, Kieran Farrell, was hoping to get the word out about the brewery. During one of our conversations, he explained how being an entrepreneur is fulfilling and rewarding, but it can be stressful. 'Maybe I should do yoga,' he said jokingly. But I thought that was a great idea! And I pitched it to him." He liked it, clearly.

The classes are held every Saturday at 11 am, before the brewery opens. "We engage in the art of yoga for an hour, then we get to know each other after the class and experience the art of craft beer," says Mardeah.

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