Yoga Instead of Happy Hour: What SXSW Did Differently This Year


Sober Recovery Expert Author

Austin’s annual SXSW festival wrapped up last weekend and it was a great time for just about anyone, especially those interested in music, film, technology and innovative ideas. Clubs, restaurants and stores were filled with eager people and crowds spilled out onto the streets. In years past, businesses wanting to get the attention of festival goers typically offer some sort of incentive to those attending their event—usually in the form of free booze. This is a great deal for those looking to drink during SXSW, but those who are sober get the short end of the stick. However, this year, a new type of incentive popped up at the festival – one that folks in recovery were also able to get behind: yoga.

NBC Universal held Vinyasa Yoga and Yahoo Health offered Core Power Yoga. Pandora also hosted Hip Hop Yoga while Swarovski Crystals incorporated fitness into their SXSW campaign as well. It makes sense. Yoga is a popular form of exercise in Austin and many people who show up for all of the free drinks and food at SXSW wind up feeling physically unhealthy and drained early on in the festival. Thinking that those people will warmly embrace an opportunity to stretch out and feel fit amid all of the chaos is a smart bet. A healthy atmosphere will probably attract even those who don’t normally practice yoga if they're feeling depleted enough.

A bit more down dog and a little less face-down (drunk).

Yoga can help you to stay mindful, physically fit and on track with your recovery. The meditative aspect especially helps maintain the mental clarity needed in order to avoid a relapse in a place as saturated with alcohol as Austin during SXSW. The festival usually encourages vices but it was evident this year that change is slowly happening in the concert culture as there are more people looking for healthy activities to participate in and, thus, more booze-free options made available.

Stay Connected
Subscribe to our newsletter to get addiction help, recovery inspiration and community tips delivered to your inbox.
No Thanks. I'm not Interested