Since becoming a yoga instructor, I've been drawn to hosting workshops for different applications. Soma yoga, mindfulness meditation, spring cleaning for the wellbeing, you get the idea. But by a large margin, one type of workshop has been far more popular than all the others combined: wine and yoga.
There are many yoga instructors and practitioners who believe that no alcohol, of any sort, as any place as part of a yoga practice. Interpreting yogic principles a certain way or simply due to a societal impression of alcohol, it's widely-held enough for me to shy away from promoting my own wine and yoga workshops within yoga instructor groups.
At least, until I had time to sit and write this post to define my thoughts and experiences.
To me, wine is a living organism. It changes in the bottle, in the glass, even in our mouth as we let in envelop our tongue and inhale into the glass. I won't ever forget the moment I tasted a wine that gave me that "aha" moment: Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon. It was enough to inspire me to enroll in Saint Paul College's Certified Wine Professional program (something I can't recommend enough, especially if you're just interested in learning more about wine).
In this class, I was introduced to the lunar calendar and the basics of the biodynamic calendar (and learned more when I started parttime work in a wine shop under Ray Zemke, former director of wine education and now owner of a literal Wine Retreat lodge). While I'm no longer working in the wine world, my appreciation for it has never lessened. And, in the wake of my yoga teaching, I've been fortunate enough to merge these twin loves.
WINE & YOGA ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE
There's a mindfulness exercise I like to use for grounding in classes that asks students to simply run through their 5 senses and identify one thing each that they can feel in this moment. It frees their minds, brings them into the present and keeps their attention *here.* I want to create space that allows them to feel the yoke between mind and body, and go beyond the surface level of yoga as a means to an end.
Like yoga, wine isn't just a commodity. It's something with emotional resonance and authenticity. Something we can engage with as emotional beings, not just through analytical tasting or physical exertion.
Come see what I mean at my final (for the summer) yoga and wine event on August 17!