First Magnitude Holds Brewery Yoga Classes to Benefit Freshwater Springs
Local brewery First Magnitude is raising a glass to yoga and the local freshwater springs.
Throughout the months of August to December, the craft brewery will be hosting weekly Sunday yoga classes with all donations benefiting springs protection, including the Springs Eternal Project.
The Springs Eternal Project aims to help celebrate and preserve the natural springs throughout North Florida – an area laying claim to the highest concentration of freshwater springs in the world.
With a name derived from the springs, First Magnitude focuses on craft beers, strong community and celebrating its namesake.
“One of our bartenders was getting her yoga certification and asked if she could teach free classes. It took off from there,” said Co-Founder of First Magnitude Christine Denny.
“The Springs Eternal Project is one of our community partners that we support through yoga donations and through special events,” said Denny.
“We’ve been able to raise thousands of dollars for the Springs Eternal Project to conduct education and outreach, including over $7,000 in scholarships for middle school age kids to attend the week long Springs Ambassador camp this past summer.”
“Florida’s springs are so incredibly important for our lakes, our rivers and our drinking water. The Project’s work gives us a lens into life underwater and celebrates people’s connection to the springs,” Denny said of their partnership.
“We hope that while people enjoy their time at the brewery, they may leave with a bit more appreciation of springs and we feel this connection could make a difference for springs protection the future,” said Denny.
The classes, which have been averaging 40 to 80 attendees, have also served as an outlet for practitioners to unwind while giving back to the natural resources around them.
One of First Magnitude’s yoga instructors, Lauren Douma, first took to the mat to combat anxiety and depression.
“About 10 years ago, I took my first yoga class. I started a PhD course at UF and my anxiety became too much to handle,” said Douma. “I started a daily yoga practice and it has helped me control my anxiety. I know many other people suffer from anxiety and I am honored to be able to share my practice with them.”
While brewery yoga might sound like an oxymoron of sorts, the health benefits of practicing are undisputed.
“I have gained strength and have lost weight by simply doing yoga. But the biggest benefit to me is that I can clear my head and help reduce my anxiety,” said Douma.
Hailing from South Florida, Douma had never seen a freshwater spring until she moved to Gainesville.
“The springs are probably my favorite part about living in North Central Florida. We need to protect the springs and it is an honor for me to be able to help out by teaching these yoga classes,” said Douma.
Reward yourself after your practice by sipping on some locally-made craft beer while helping both yourself and North Florida’s freshwater springs at First Magnitude on most Sundays at 1 p.m.