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This story originally ran on April 14, 2014.
Shelah Davis is a professional yoga teacher who spends her 9-to-5 at a fitness studio in Florida City. But since the fall of 2013, she's been hauling her mats to microbreweries from Homestead to Oakland Park.
She founded Om Brew Yoga -- so far the only yoga classes offered at South Florida breweries -- after learning of the practice in an established craft-beer state.
"My husband and I vacationed to South Carolina last year in April and saw this really cool poster on the wall at one of the breweries there," Shelah says. "I knew it was something we needed to bring down here. It incorporates my love for yoga and my husband’s love for craft beer.”
Shelah's husband Jeff is a local beer aficionado. He's friendly with the brewers at Funky Buddha Brewery, Wynwood Brewing Company and Miami Brewing Company, breweries where his wife teaches. Jeff's also Shelah's most dedicated student: He comes to every class. And after class, Jeff, the students and the teacher all have a beer.
The combination of yoga and craft beer actually is not all that uncommon. Last August, the magazine Yoga Journal reported on the rising popularity of yoga at breweries, citing practices in California, Colorado and South Carolina – the state where Shelah got her inspiration.
Her one-hour yoga classes cost $15, and the ticket includes a pint (although Shelah says Miami Brewing Company offers more than a pint after class).
Shelah says drinking a beer after yoga doesn't counter the benefits of the practice. In fact, she says it's how she gets some students who may be turned off by a traditional studio.
"We get a lot more men than you would typically see in a regular yoga class, which is great fun," she says. "Usually men are terrified but when you promise them beer they’ll pretty much do anything.”
Jimmy Deal is one of those students. He's a police officer from north Dade County who says he joined Om Brew to work on his flexibility.
“I’ve been coming here since they opened. It’s good people, good vibes and free beer afterwards," he says. "You can have yoga anywhere, so why not a brewery?”
Press play below to hear what a brewery yoga class is like:
Find a schedule of Om Brew Yoga classes at ShelahDavis.com.