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Harry Potter Yoga | © Alexa Gonzalez Wagner
Harry Potter Yoga | © Alexa Gonzalez Wagner
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Downward Dobby: Harry Potter Yoga Is Austin's Spellbinding New Trend

Picture of Aubrey Cofield
Updated: 30 November 2016
Sisters Isabel Beltran and Ximena Larkin took their Harry Potter obsession and turned it into a Halloween yoga series, complete with local Austin beer and magical treats. The series, to their delight and surprise, gained much more popularity than they ever thought possible.

Isabel, the instructor of the Austin class, started teaching yoga about a year ago. With little success in finding a position teaching, she decided to start her own practice. Yoga and beer already have a nice ring to it, but add Harry Potter to the mix, and you have a stupendous event.

Isabel started her practice at her boyfriend’s local Austin brewery and later consulted with her sister Ximena to bring in more traffic and make a more interactive class. With Halloween fast approaching, they decided to do a yoga event focused on Harry Potter and the theme of death. While this sounds morbid, their intention was to concentrate more on the celebration of life past, a sort of testament to their Mexican heritage and their practice of The Day of the Dead. They specifically focused on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where the overall theme is the defeat of death and the decision to embrace life.

Harry Potter Yoga © Alexa Gonzalez Wagner
Harry Potter Yoga | © Alexa Gonzalez Wagner

The way the book is incorporated into the class is intentional and coincides perfectly with the overall meditation and promotion of health that yoga provides. They combine the mediation work needed in yoga with the concentration it takes to perform a spell properly. Pose terms were also changed to fit the theme: for example, ‘Downward Dog’ became ‘Fluffy and Fang.’

The sessions also included Harry Potter cookies, a Prisoner of Azkaban photo frame, wizard wands, and Isabel even made a papier-mâché version of the sorting hat. After the class, students enjoyed some beer while taking pictures with the hat and picture frame.

During the cool-down when the session came to a close, Isabel read from the Deathly Hallows. She ended it with a quote from Dumbledore: ‘Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.’

The event did so well that they decided to host a second class, which quickly sold out. They were also expected to hold a third one on the 27th of November in Austin, and one in Chicago on December 3rd.

They plan to continue with the theme sessions, and Harry Potter fans can only hope to see the magical class carry on in the future.