Yoga Is Replacing Coffee and Happy Hour as the SXSW Meetup of Choice

Branded networking, now with namaste

Forget a quick caffeinated meeting with your potential clients. This year more than ever, many brands are introducing themselves to South by Southwest Interactive attendees by way of yoga.

"Yoga asks the right questions," YouTube yoga guru Adriene Mishler explained via email. '"What do you need?'" and "'How are we going to nurture that?'" Whether you need a pick me up, a spiritual connect, to burn some steam, to stretch, to strengthen, to laugh, to dance, to be still – yoga has your back."'

Mishler will be leading a South by Southwest Stretch at Practice Yoga Austin this Sunday on behalf of her a multi-channel network, Kin Community. But it definitely won't be the only branded opportunity for bridge poses and downward-facing dogs. 

Crystal jeweler Swarovski and and smart-device creator Misfit are doing a Digital Detox with Swarovski Shine on Monday, featuring the fitness wearables created in partnership between the two brands.

NBC Universal's new fitness brand, Radius, will host Vinyasa Yoga sessions at the NBC Sports Lawn Friday through Sunday.

On Sunday through Tuesday, Yahoo Health is hosting CorePower Yoga sessions on the rooftop of Brazos Hall.

"As everyone knows, most health habits get derailed at SXSW amid the high-octane craziness of running from event to event, indulging in Austin's amazing food and drinks, and keeping a party schedule that doesn't allow for much sleep," Yahoo Health Editor-in-Chief Michele Promaulayko said. "Yahoo Health wanted to offer a morning reboot—and CorePower Yoga is the perfect workout because it's both relaxing and energizing."

Pandora is taking the yoga meeting a little more literally and hosting a private event for its current and potential clients and partners. Hip Hop Yoga will showcase its music and show how a few tunes can help motivate and boost productivity, Pandora svp of strategic solutions Heidi Browning said.

"We believe in showing, rather than telling, the power of the passion point of music to our clients and partners," Browning said. "Also, people are busy. Hip Hop Yoga is our chance to carve out some meaningful time with them and bring something valuable to their day as well."

Plus, Mishler pointed out, yoga is just more fun than drinks or coffees.

"Yoga dates are the best," she said. "And, let's be honest, yoga happy hours are way more sustainable than the classic tequila happy hours."