When we planned YogaDates’ first Sunday Funday singles event at bar called Mile High Spirits in Denver, CO, we didn’t know what to expect. These are singles events after all, and we all know what the typical bar scene can be like for dating. Who would come to do yoga then drink? Would it attract a different crowd? Would people even show up? And seriously…was the floor gonna stink?
Turns out, this was one of the best events we’ve ever held.
– It was one helluva gorgeous Colorado day
Mile High Spirits has an outdoor area—complete with recycled Astroturf, picnic tables and a full deck—that served as our yoga studio. Twenty people laid down their mats under the rich Colorado sky with the sun shining bright behind us to the east.
– Mile High Spirits is amazing—as are the people who work there
The back half of the building is a private-label distillery that creates high grade, artisanal, small-batch spirits. Up front at the bars they serve a variety of different fruit and flavored infusions. Artisanal = insanely good. My pick was the strawberry basil vodka. And whiskey drinkers, take note: their Fireside Whiskey is a must-buy. Planning the event details was effortless. Chase (one of the owners) and our bartender Patrick were great; the kind of dudes I’d wish were my brothers. They truly appreciated us bringing a good crowd on a slow Sunday morning. The bar was clean and the décor hipster yet classy, with plush leather couches and 500 lb stone tables. And the floors smelled like roses (seriously).
– Our yoga class was one-of-a-kind
The was the first time we’ve led a class like this: one part vinyasa, one part partner yoga. Rather than dividing the two, we sprinkled partner yoga poses into a vinyasa class. Each partner yoga break, attendees stepped off their mat and chose a new partner. Quite the metaphor for stepping into the unknown. I’ve taught enough partner yoga to come to expect the shift people experience from apprehension to joy and laughter. It is a real gift to witness.
– Post-yoga sushi and appetizer spread
After class we headed into the cool, shaded open-air bar. As with any YogaDates events, there were snacks: fruit, crackers and hummus, a hearty grain salad, gingersnaps, plus non-alcoholic drinks. But one attendee surprised everyone with a homemade sushi spread with rice, seaweed and all the fixings, complete with little plates and chopsticks for everyone. Doug brought this to share and celebrate another YogaDater’s birthday, a spunky sweetheart named Anita who came with three friends in tow. It was truly a communal affair.
– Yogis drink responsibility
A few days before the event I received an email from a YogaDater who wrote to tell me that he wouldn’t be coming because it was at a bar and there would be alcohol involved. He ended with “yoga mixed with dating is a good one, but yoga mixed with getting loaded in the early afternoon is stretching it. No thanks.” I totally respect that. The ticket included a 4-flight infusion sampler; I knew this would not be for everyone. Mind you, my experiences with bars in the past are certainly not something I’d want anywhere near my yoga practice, but that’s another story entirely. Reading his message had me worried: what kind of people will show? Would anything get out of control?
The short answer: It was perfect. With the fresh open air, spread of food and lemonade, everyone sporting their post-yoga glow in a communal environment, no one was rushing to pound back drinks. Rather, I witnessed people opening up, chatting up, moving around and really connecting with new friends. I personally got to know a number of new people, and everyone truly has a story—and a personality to match.
Turns out yoga at a bar is a phenomenal way to create a communal, festive, community environment. With the welcoming Sunday morning open-air, spacious vibe, I have a feeling YogaDates just might plan a regular Sunday Funday at Mile High Spirits.
Have you done yoga in a bar before? What was it like for you? Let’s compare notes in the comments below 🙂