60 SECOND DOCS
'The Doctors' on CBS
"Eli held my leg as I stepped out of the headstand. “I found a niche in teaching yoga to non-yogis,” she said, brushing her hair out of her face. Now that’s what makes Eli unique, her drive to flip yoga on its head (and not just me on mine).
According to Eli, “Divine Your Story” is supposed to help people ask difficult questions of themselves. For example, “How much control do I have over my life, and how much [is] the universe driving the ship?” “It’s about empowering people to take charge of their life by teaching them how to write their own stories so that they don’t feel trapped in a narrative that they didn’t even realize they wrote,” she explained."
'"The yoga craze has reached new levels of quirky after a 45-minute class featuring an open bar debuted in New York City. Eli Walker, a yoga instructor, regularly teaches her 'Drunk Yoga' classes Saturday at the Grey Lady in the Lower East Side...'I excitedly started to develop a fun yoga sequence for beginners that incorporates drinking games for this event, for the sole purpose of inviting New Yorkers to try yoga in a fun environment who wouldn't otherwise come to class, giving them full permission to "look silly" — secretly as a ploy to introduce them to yoga as a tool to empower them with more conscious movement,' Walker said. "
"One of the main reasons people avoid the yoga studio is because they're embarrassed of their lack of flexibility, but like every strength-building workout, you've got to start somewhere. And if there's anything that gives you the confidence to do something you've never done before without inhibitions, it's alcohol. We know what you're thinking, and this isn't a "get super drunk on tequila and try standing on your head" kind of madness. It's structured, stimulating, and not nearly as intoxicating as that situation sounds.
Cheers to having fun and testing your flexibility after a few sips, because Eli said it best: 'When you're playing with your body in time and space in a new way, surrounded by friends in a bar with a glass of wine, it's hard not to enjoy yourself.'"
"And while that might not sound like the safest idea, Eli insists that all moves are entry-level and it's more stretching and practicing flexibility than it is drunk headstands. The thought of getting drunk and exercising at the same time may seem counter-intuitive, but it's actually more about the experience than it is about losing weight and as Walker says, 'Happiness is health.'
While the classes sound like the perfect idea for a fun get-together with friends, there's actually a bigger meaning to the studio.
Walker shared that she came up with the concept as a way to give people who would otherwise be too intimidated to try yoga, a comfortable place to practice. The founder told PopSugar, "'Drunk Yoga, which involves adding wine to a beginner yoga sequence in class that takes place in a bar, was just another idea I had to make yoga more accessible and less intimidating to a certain population who might not otherwise try yoga at all.'"
“Walker’s unique approach to yoga integrates the art of storytelling into her classes, which are meant to empower her students to deconstruct the hardships they’ve faced in life in order to find more joy and inner peace.
Her “moving meditation” is called Divine Your Story, and it’s basically the most incredible, therapeutic experience that you probably never even knew you needed.”
"Eli Walker, 28, an actress and yoga instructor who lives on the Upper West Side, has been teaching a regular "Drunk Yoga" series at Grey Lady on the Lower East Side on Monday nights, offering newcomer yogis an open wine bar paired with an easy vinyasa class (wine glass in hand) in hopes of teaching them yoga's not so scary, after all. "I've had a lot of people, whether in classes, or friends, or people I met at parties say something like, 'I'd love to try yoga but I can't because I'm not flexible, or too afraid I'd look stupid,'" Walker told Gothamist. "I thought it would be fun to turn yoga into more of a party. If I made it into a game it would make people more comfortable.'"
'Here you’ll practice low intensity Vinyasa with a glass of wine in your hand (forcing you to hold the position correctly, too, so the glass won’t tip over!). The open wine bar during the 45-minute yoga session is intended to help people new to the practice loosen up a bit and make it easier to flow into various positions. This is ideal if you’re not particularly flexible yet. Don’t worry, you’ll get there! And probably with the assistance of everyone’s good friend, vino.
This is a fun spin to classes and an awesome introduction into yoga. The positions Walker chooses for this class incorporate holding your wine.'
Read full blog piece HERE.
"Eli's words began to dance throughout her yoga instruction, her words were what I needed to hear in that moment. The statement that stuck was "get over yourself" (said in a playful and relatable manner). I immediately became present and looked at her. I wanted to get off my mat and give her a hug. A week of self-loathing and all I needed to hear was "stop"! Step away from being so self-involved, and BE! I'd been a helicopter mom, nagging myself for a week straight and Eli dropped in to tell that piece of myself, to chill out!
I'd gained so much from the workshop."