Why start a business around the unlikely combination of craft beer and yoga? Well, says Bendy Brewski Yoga founder Beth Cosi, “both are time-honored traditions rooted in centuries-old methodology,” and the flat, open floor plan common in breweries is oh-so accommodating to yoga mats. Last but not least? Studies show that socialization, exercise, and meditation are all top-notch ways to ward off stress. Since debuting in 2011, Bendy Brewski classes—which are held at a handful of area breweries and include a beginner-level yoga practice followed by a beer tasting—have more than quadrupled in number, expanding to Tennessee and Seattle, as well as to local distilleries.
CM: When did you start practicing yoga?
BC: When I moved to the Lowcountry in 1999, I lived out in Meggett, and there was a woman who taught yoga at Town Hall. I wanted to try something new and meet my community, so I started taking her classes and fell in love with it.
CM: How did the idea for Bendy Brewski Yoga come about?
BC: Before I was a full-time yoga teacher, I worked at EVO Pizzeria. My friend Chris Brown was a bartender there, and he and others would talk about their back and shoulder pain from lifting kegs or throwing pizza. I helped them stretch in the break room but couldn’t get any of them to come to the yoga studio. Chris, who was opening Holy City Brewing at the time, offered up that space for our stretch sessions. I would teach a beginner-level yoga class, then Chris would share a beer he was working on. It became obvious that craft beer and yoga were attracting the same people, so I asked Chris if we could open it up to the public.
CM: Can you describe a class?
BC: For $15, you get a 45-minute yoga practice and mat rental, plus 16 ounces of beer afterward. Many people stick around for another pint or to eat lunch or brunch. We play mellow music and joke and laugh—there’s a relaxed vibe and sense of camaraderie. We also have a monthly Bendy Boozy event at High Wire Distillery, which includes yoga, two cocktails, and Swig & Swine barbecue for $20.
CM: What do you think makes yoga so impactful?
BC: Shri K. Pattabhi Jois said anyone can do yoga, except for the lazy. And I believe it. It’s a wonderful path to reconnecting with yourself and feeling empowered through movement, even if that movement is lying on your back. And there’s that sense of being connected with something larger than yourself—that could be a spiritual connection or a community connection. It gives you a sense of belonging, which I think many people are seeking.
CM: Where else do you teach?
BC: I am a teacher, creative partner, and corporate liaison for Go Interactive Wellness. Go offers about 30 yoga classes per week, as well as ”Signature Courses” on stress reduction, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques, to local companies like Fuzzco and BoomTown, plus others across the Southeast.
Lives: In Park Circle with her 15-year-old son, Highland; 12-year-old daughter, Paloma; and yellow Lab, Rivers
Certified in: Vinyasa flow, senior yoga, prenatal yoga, yin yoga, and more
Off the mat, find Beth: At a farmers market or local brewery, on Sullivan’s Island, or traveling around the Southeast
Check the Bendy Brewski schedule: www.bethcosi.com or facebook.com/bendybrewski