'Hangover Yoga' Mixes Downward Dog With Hair of the Dog at Bushwick Bar

By Meredith Hoffman on April 3, 2013 7:25am 

BUSHWICK — This Bushwick bar invites you to enjoy the "hair of the downward facing dog."

Yoga instructor Reagan Wilson wakes up Sunday's post-party sufferers at Cobra Club bar with a set of soothing twists, stretches, Bloody Marys and mimosas.

"Hangover yoga," which she's been teaching since January, offers a chance to "let go of the embarrassing photos you took last night," to detoxify, and to numb your pain with a new round of free booze.

"The same way social drinking can be a way to relax, yoga is another tool," said Wilson, who's taught yoga the past six years and bartends at the establishment. "It's a lighthearted class. I make jokes about being in an altered state. I accept everyone as they come."

The class includes a free drink — Wilson recommends students consume after the session — and is tailored to the hung-over set, with poses focusing on detoxifying the liver (like twists) and easing a headache's pain (like putting pressure on the forehead in child's pose).

"It's both gentle and soothing. I start off saying, 'Let go of everything before this class. Let go of any of the phone calls you made,'" laughed Wilson, 33, of her sessions in the club's back room. "People feel more welcome if you're making playful jokes."

Even if students start to doze off or moan in pain, Wilson still wants them to feel welcome.

"I've had people fall asleep, and when you're hung over you fall asleep in a much more dramatic way, like starting to snore," Wilson said of the class, which the club started soon after its opening a few years ago. "Once we were on the floor and one student flopped over to one side. I guided his legs out to help him be comfortable. If you need to sleep you need to sleep!"

And for practitioners who'd rather have their bar yoga at another time, they can hit up Wilson's Friday "happy hour" class at 6 p.m. It doesn't come with a free Bloody Mary or mimosa, but drink specials are still available when the session ends, Wilson said.

 Reagan Wilson bartends and teaches "hangover yoga" that includes a free drink at Cobra Club bar in Bushwick.
Reagan Wilson bartends and teaches "hangover yoga" that includes a free drink at Cobra Club bar in Bushwick.
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DNAinfo/Meredith Hoffman

"All my classes here, since they're in a bar, have that lighthearted element," she said. "It's about doing what works for you. If you want to have a mimosa because that makes you feel better, you should, rather than feeling guilty."

Cobra Club's hangover yoga is every Sunday at 2:30 p.m. for $15, and happy hour yoga is every Friday at 6 p.m. for $8. More details about all the club's yoga classes can be found on the business' website.

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