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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee Magazine

MKE Yoga Social, MKE Goat Yoga 
and MKE Hot Yoga Collective: Building Milwaukee’s Yoga Community

May 01, 2022 12:00AM ● By Sheila Julson
In an effort to encourage more friends and family to practice yoga, Jessica Hope got creative. The registered yoga teacher partnered with a friend that owned a music hall in Walker’s Point to put a fun social spin on yoga: he played guitar during Hope’s class, and the group enjoyed mimosas afterward. The event was wildly successful and became the genesis of MKE Yoga Social.

With the goal of creating a welcoming, fun ambiance for everyone to practice yoga, Hope partners with Central Waters Brewing, Central Standard Craft Distillery, Great Lakes Distillery, Enlightened Brewing, Faklandia Brewing, Saint Kate Arts Hotel, MobCraft Brewery, The Hive, Dead Bird Brewing, STUMP Nurseries, Urban Beets Café and other venues around town to host approachable, beginners yoga classes. Tickets include something to incentivize the social component for attendees to mingle.

“Each MKE Yoga Social class lasts an hour. We stay afterward to enjoy something from whichever venue we’re working from,” Hope explains. “If the class is at a craft brewery, attendees get a beer. If it’s at a craft distillery, they get a drink.” Events at STUMP Nurseries include a cup of tea.

MKE Yoga Social has 10 consistent teachers that regularly lead scheduled events at their flagship partner locations. Hope also hosts additional pop-up events at venues such as En Pointe Gallery and Gifts, which includes yoga, wine and chocolate. To date, MKE Yoga Social has partnered with 100 different local businesses.

MKE Goat Yoga and MKE Hot Yoga Collective Add Depth to Social Offerings

MKE Goat Yoga, a separate branded division of MKE Yoga Social, offers a series of goat yoga classes available from March through June while the goats are babies. Goat yoga combines nature and animals with yoga, allowing the baby dwarf goats to frolic about and jump on the participants while they do poses.

Classes are designed for beginners and formatted with 30 minutes of goat yoga followed by 30 minutes of cuddling and photos. MKE Goat Yoga partners with Platinum Sky Farm, which brings in the goats.

As a Bikram hot yoga teacher, Hope knows the benefits of hot yoga and sought ways to serve people seeking a consistent yoga practice. MKE Hot Yoga Collective, another branded division of MKE Yoga Social, offers 50 classes per month at Bikram Yoga Heights, in the Washington Heights neighborhood.

Bikram Yoga, devised by Bikram Choudhury, consists of 90-minute classes with 26 postures done in a room heated to 105° F. MKE Hot Yoga Collective offers a 60-minute abbreviation of this practice.

Hope emphasizes that classes through MKE Yoga Social and MKE Goat Yoga are for all skill levels, from beginners through experienced yogis.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light challenges faced by locally owned businesses. Hope emphasizes how organizations such as MKE Yoga Social—along with its divisions MKE Goat Yoga and MKE Hot Yoga Collective—foster a support system among local businesses. “We’re promoting their businesses, and they’re helping to promote the healing community. There’s a lot of cross-love,” she affirms.

This month, Hope is opening a second physical location in Downtown Milwaukee, on Water Street. The space will feature gently heated and non-heated weekly yoga classes, noon “Lunch Specials”, night and weekend classes and specialty workshops. The Bare As You Dare class series is designed for the naturalist community and is taught by an instructor that promotes body positivity. Hope will also offer registered yoga teacher training.

“MKE Yoga Social, MKE Goat Yoga and MKE Hot Yoga Collective together form an inspiring outlet for me to use my creativity,” Hope concludes. “I also love that this has allowed me to reach so many different demographics.”

MKE Yoga Social has studios at 5326 W. Vliet St. and 735 N. Water St., Ste. 728, both in Milwaukee. For more information or for tickets for MKE Goat Yoga events, visit Tickets and registration for MKE Yoga Social and MKE Hot Yoga Collective are available through the Mindbody app at