our 2018 Belgian beer holiday

in October, eighteen of us took a Balance & Brews beer holiday to Belgium. we practiced yoga, we drank beer, we found a strong unity in our travel pack, and we allowed our experiences to change us as we explored an evolution of Belgian beer and culture.

this is my highlight reel of the moments and experiences I’ll always remember. a link to our full holiday album is below.

photo: Shelby Kulick • wanderlust at Brussels Beer Project

 

was this Brussels Beer Project glassware made just for us?!


our travel began in Bruges. we stayed at a simple, charming eco-hostel with a great Belgian beer bar and plenty of chill space for the group to get to know each other.

every day of our adventure was filled with blue skies and delicious beer, but what made me even happier was watching some fast friendships develop.

Bruges is shockingly beautiful. we learned a lot about the town during one of our brewery tours, like how it was spared the destruction that most other cities in the region fared during the world wars, allowing it to still stand beautifully in it’s old world glory.

from Bruges, a group of us took a bike ride through the Belgian countryside to visit Damme, a small town to the north. we saw all the standards you’d want to see on a trip like this: the autumn leaves falling, a Dutch windmill, the black sheep rebelling from his herd to be in our group photo.

our first yoga and beer practice in Belgium was at Brouwerij de Halve Maan (Half Moon). still a really proud moment in my career: from following through on a bold idea, this became our reality.

our practice at Halve Maan was in the morning. that afternoon, we noticed the half moon in the sky. this wasn’t arranged- my mission in scheduling this day was just to collaborate with a brewery in Bruges, on a day they could host our group. the literal aligning of the lunar cycle with our itinerary just proved the strength that is doing things with pure intention.

photo: a kind stranger. • our entire B&B group with our Halve Maan tour guide (front row, to my left)

from Bruges, we also visited a Trappist brewery! we ventured to Westvleteren to taste the brews direct from the source. it was another beautiful day and a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience.

the second leg of our beer holiday took us to Brussels. our first group outing was a Belgian beer tour. we ranked beers, learned even more about the local beer culture, and practiced perfect pours.

our yoga practice and tour in Brussels was with Brussels Beer Project- a full shift in evolution from the old world brewery roots we experienced in Bruges. BBP brews in an experimental fashion, similar to American craft brewing styles. staying true to their mission of growing forward, brewmaster Dimitri practiced yoga in his brewery with us, and hung out with a few of us who stayed in Brussels an extra day after the retreat. I had asked him to take us to one of his favorite local places - he suggested we hang out at the local BrewDog- another revolutionary international brewery!

the vision of this trip was to explore evolution via a path of Belgian beer.

‘become who you are’ was the final takeaway from the ode to exploration that was the decor of our hostel in Bruges. I think you find who you are when you explore. when you are open to change. when you have enough trust in the support of others to get out of your comfort zone. when you are open to connecting to anyone, anywhere.

through all these shared experiences, you become who you are.

need to see more than the highlights? our full holiday album is below- from Bruges to Brussels and everywhere between.

want to be a part of the next adventure? the 2019 trip is live NOW. join us october 6-11, 2019.


find out more about this yoga & beer community- get on the Balance & Brews list below.

my mom is the reason i became a yoga teacher. 

my yoga practice started casually at home, with a dvd set i found on amazon. it took a couple of years for a friend to convince me to make it to a studio. clearly, it was a good fit. 

around that same time, my mom ended up with a life-changing blood clot. over the next few years, it created many complications for her, eventually leaving her on oxygen support 24/7 for the rest of her too short life. 

as i was working regularly towards finding a deeper connection to my own breath, i was witnessing my mom lose her connection to hers. when she lost her breath completely in 2011, it was the pivotal moment that led me into my first yoga teacher training program.

with mother’s day coming up this sunday, she’s of course on my mind a lot this week. and there’s no neat resolution to that situation. any day of the year, this hole can be tough to handle. it’s extra tough when the calendar throws it in your face. 

so this year, i’m choosing to travel back. about 150 years back, to the roots of mom’s day:

holla, 1870 and julia ward howe. julia wrote the ‘mother’s day proclamation,’ a call for peace, and for all citizens of the world to own the responsibility of taking care of each other.

well, shit, current day 2018. that level of mothering is a NECESSITY in the world we live in.

if you have- or are- a mom, may 13 is for you. you deserve the honor for all you do, and continuing to do it is what will make a difference in the world. 

but for those of us that can’t physically hug our mom this or any sunday, maybe this is our call to respond to. our mom-less boat is dumb. it’s dumb, and it’s not fair. but not fair compared to what? we’re not entitled to anything. so let's think bigger than ourselves, and let's own our responsibility to take care of the world. 

but that sounds huge and exhausting, right? so think of it this way: if you had a million pound cookie, you could not eat that cookie by yourself. but if you took a bite, and you asked your friends and peers to take a bite, and they told all their friends who told all their friends, then together, hell yes, you can take care of that cookie.

on this sunday, may 13, let's eat that cookie. in whatever size bite your hunger is craving. if you’re looking for inspiration on how to take action, share this post with a friend, buy someone a cookie, or check out a current favorite of mine: http://thecompassioncollective.org/

^ live your purpose with society verde.