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Cultural Events

Pours + Poses: Resident Combining Yoga, Craft Beer To Support Susie Foundation



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When Sandy Hook resident Julia Murphy decided to fundraise for an organization she supports as a volunteer, she combined two of her favorite things.

Murphy is organizing a new event called Pours + Poses, which will begin with a yoga class suitable for all levels and conclude with adults enjoying a pint of craft beer. The event is planned for Saturday, June 25, at Reverie Brewing Company, 57-B Church Hill Road.

It will begin at 10:15 am. Cost is $25, which includes the all-level class taught by Cynthia Bearison and one free post-class pint.

For those who want to participate from home or another remote location, a virtual option is available for $10 per person.

Reservations for both options are available through bit.ly/poursandposes.

Proceeds will benefit The Susie Foundation’s work supporting families across southern New England who live with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is focused on changing the lives of young caregivers and families struggling with the daily challenges of living.

Since 2013, the foundation has raised more than $550,000 to provide innovative programming opportunities that deliver compassionate, enduring, and life-changing support services to patients, caregivers, and families living with the challenges of ALS.

“I love yoga,” Murphy said recently. Seated inside the brewery on June 3, she talked about her reasons for creating the special event while sipping a pint of Reverie Waterfall.

A passion for the practice seems to run in the family: Bearison, the event’s instructor, is Murphy’s mom.

“Yoga has always been so therapeutic and calming,” she said, adding “I also love supporting small local businesses.”

Murphy was looking for a way to combine her love of yoga with helping families living with ALS. She is a member of The Susie Foundation’s Resource Development Committee, which handles fundraising and other event planning, she said. Its members often have information tables at events. Pours + Poses will have such a table, she said.

Murphy discovered the foundation a few years ago when a co-worker was doing fundraising for it ahead of a road race. The co-worker was Ryan Matthews, founder of the West Hartford-based foundation created in 2013 and named to honor his late mother. Susan Ready Matthews died in April 2011, 17 months after she was diagnosed with the debilitating disease.

“His generosity and enthusiasm was magnetic,” Murphy recalled. “He makes everyone feel welcome. I asked what I could do, and have been helping since.”

While Murphy is organizing the event, it will be her mother who will be leading the class.

Bearison has been studying and practicing yoga for over 20 years. She is E-RYT 200, RYT 500, and YACEP certified.

For those not familiar with yoga or its certifications, those numbers and acronyms represent hundreds of hours of extensive training and study. YACEP designates Bearison as a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.

Her overall approach, according to her online biography, is focused on creating a safe and accessible environment for all students while inviting a deep awareness of the mind-body connection.

“She definitely focuses on all ability levels,” according to Murphy. “Whatever you can do, you’ll be comfortable with her.”

Advance interest is already so strong that a second Pours + Poses is being planned for July. A third may also happen, depending on interest, Murphy hinted.

A few sanitized mats will be available on June 26, but Murphy encourages anyone planning to participate to bring their own mats and any props they will want to use. The class will take place inside the main tasting room, so weather will not be a factor.

Additionally, Murphy promises the order of the class is not the same as its title may imply.

“People have asked if we will be doing a pose, and then sipping from the pint,” she said with a laugh. “No, we won’t be doing that — it’s difficult enough to balance sometimes. We’re going to pose, and then gather after the class to celebrate with a pint.”


Associate Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at shannon@thebee.com.

Julia Murphy stands inside the tasting room of Reverie Brewing Company on June 3. The Newtown resident is organizing a fundraiser that will take place at that location on June 26. —Bee Photo, Hicks
Multi-certified yoga instructor Cynthia Bearison will lead the poses at the Pours + Poses fundraiser. —photo courtesy Julia Murphy
Spaces are filling up for next weekend's Pours + Poses event, so Julia Murphy has already scheduled a second event. A third offering, in August, is also a possibility, she said.
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