October 29, 2007

Yoga and Wine: Together at Last?

Cranky Fitness has been alerted to a surprising new development: did you know you could combine yoga practice with wine tasting? Crabby sure didn't!

The New York Times was on it many months ago (registration might be required), but Crabby missed the boat and needed a nudge from the helpful vital juice folks, who emailed to let her know about it. Apparently there is not just one venue, but several, that offer both activities together.

On hearing this, Crabby was at first confused. How can you sip wine if you're standing on your head? Or what if you're bent over at the waist, or crouched on all fours, or flat on your back? Crabby is capable of dribbling wine down her front when seated upright at a table in a nice restaurant. How on earth could people do their tastings during yoga class?

But then Crabby realized: Oh. Probably they both don't mean at the exact same time. Probably they mean do the yoga first--then taste the wine.

Got it now! You go on a retreat or to a workshop that features both yoga and wine tasting, but not simultaneously.

Still. Do they belong together?

Crabby has lots of opinions. Problem is, her opinions totally contradict each other. Perhaps she needs to do a sun salutation or pour herself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and meditate further on what it all means. Or, better yet, she may have to ask her Smart Readers what to think.

So please help Crabby sort this out. Here were some of her first impressions:

1. Smart marketing! Lots of people like both wine and yoga, and many of these folks have $$$ to spend on retreats.

2. How crass! Yoga isn't just an exercise, it's part of a spiritual practice. What's next--Yoga retreats combined with tummy tucks? Or with seminars on "How to Profit from Real Estate Foreclosure Sales?"

3. But most people don't do yoga as a religion. They do it for exercise. Why should they have to get all picky about what they combine it with?

4. So what if "most people" only dabble? You shouldn't subvert the deeper nature of the practice by treating it as some consumer product to exploit.

5. "Deeper nature?" What do you know about the "deeper nature" of yoga? You've never even been to a yoga class!

6. Well, I saw a video once. Some nice pony-tailed man with a cute British accent kept talking about his "sit bone." Anyway, it still seems kind of cynical. I bet most real yoga people would object.

7. So they can stay home! Think about it--gentle stretching and mellow people and wine? What's not to like?

8. Hmm. Would there be, like, a really nice restaurant? And a spa with deep tissue massage?

9. Sure!

10. What was the question again?

Please help the bewildered Crab.

Yoga + Wine Tasting. Yes? No? Maybe?


  1. Crabby, you crack me up! You have the order wrong. You taste the wine first in order to be loose enough to do the yoga poses! Of course, if you taste too much, you might end up doing the Warrior Pose on your face...

  2. Don't be bewildered. Just sit back and have your wine. Contemplate doing yoga and consider it doing your part of mental exercise and keeping your brain cells healthy and active.

  3. Absolutely brilliant marketing.
    It'll appeal to the dabblers everywhere.
    Bag Lady is correct. Have the wine first.

  4. Maybe it's just me, but combining wine and yoga seems seems a little weird.

    (but I totally laughed at #2!)

  5. I'd be afraid to do a drunken downward dog, myself.


    I am intrigued by the "deeper nature" of yoga though. I'm always wondering *what* people are thinking while doing yoga and how it's REALLY relaxing. I'm too busy trying not to fall on my ass.

  6. Sure! Wine and anything! Just pour me a glass of merlot and then tell us more about the cute guy and his "sit bone."

  7. You guys are too funny!

    And yeah, I'm thinking the wine BEFORE the yoga might have some serious exercise/recreational potential. A class full of semi-toasted wine imbibers trying to do headstands and such... could at least be fun to watch.

  8. So where do I sign up?
    Wine and yoga sound great together to me...I'd be more flexible after a glass or two too...

  9. Wine and cheese? Yes. Wine and Yoga? No. I realize that yoga has been westernized quite a lot, and for the most part I'm completely fine with it. But I think this is taking it too far! :p

  10. Hey, whatever floats your boat, you know?

    I would have to imagine that wine and yoga go together better than pot and football or something, heh.

  11. Sorry for the double post, but I had one other thought. I wouldn't think that people who would sign up for a seminar on wine tasting would also want to practice yoga very seriously. But obviously I'm wrong. I love wine, but I find I can't drink it very often and keep up with my workout schedule. Ok-I'll shut up now. :)

  12. haha! i guess it depends on where you're from...here in northern california (san francisco bay area & napa area especially) yoga and wine are two HUGE pillars of the culture. so it's just bringing together two things a lot of people do anyway.

    my trainer at the gym went to a 10k race in Napa this past weekend...a race that ended with wine tasting tours. now *thats* odd...at least both yoga & wine are relaxing!

  13. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! My yoga goes well with red wine.

  14. Crabbby, you are so funny! I think the bag lady & Marijke have it right even though I can't drink wine. I guess, I would have to have....hmmm, maybe a lime margarita!

  15. Hi again everyone! Sorry it's one of those sporadic comment-response days.

    So Lisa, you're back! I've lost track of the dates so I'm not sure whether to ask or not... anyway, hope all is well & I've been wondering how you were doing.

  16. Hi all,

    I've been mulling this over for a while. (Having seen the piece in the Times.) I have to admit that my first reaction was a teeny bit scornful. Then I went through my obligatory be-tolerant routine, and twisted my brain into all kinds of accommodations for silly people, and well I guess I came out on the other side still a teeny bit scornful.

    Drinking goes with food and games. Not exercise and body awareness. But that's just me. (The 50-year-old wimp who's opted for the food and games, not the exercise. Tho I'm HOPING to change that soon.)

  17. Did you write this while enjoying some wine? Great read! I think for me I'd rather just keep the two separate...yes, I can barely walk and talk, why join other things.

  18. Let me apologize in advance for the personal and most Off-Topic of comments, heh...

    The Wee One will be a whole month old next Sunday - I can't believe it! I had a quick labor, did it completely naturally (not entirely by choice, hah), and tore pretty badly delivering our nearly nine pound baby boy (it actually didn't cause me much pain after and I've been healing just fine). The first couple of weeks were rough, but it seems Husband and I are starting to get the hang of this baby thing. And I've been getting more sleep which makes EVERYTHING better, hehe.

    He is, of course, totally beautiful (and wonderful and blah, blah, blah, etc). Seriously though, he only cries when he's hungry, gassy, or has leaked - which is fabulous. You can check out all the baby goodness on my blog (www.xanga.com/nwolfwood), if you're interested. :)

    Thanks for your interest. I'm glad to see that Cranky Fitness keeps on rolling along without me, heh, but hopefully I'll be able to check in regularly again for a while. ^_^

  19. I can't imagine them going together. I tried to do yoga, mostly because I want to be a movie star (I'd settle for rock star too). It was about 495 degrees and after an hour of that I was ready to dry heave, except I was too tired to do anything more than lay on the floor and all the 85 pound, non-sweating anorexic women who did it everyday explained that it was all the toxins coming out of my body, to which I replied that they could stay in there because I felt much better with the toxins firmly in place. So, wine was about the last thing on my mind after my yoga experience although wine does contain toxins.

  20. Subservient!!!!


    That was funny. LOL doesn't do it justice.

  21. Subserv, you definitely have a point about where those toxins belong! Your body is handling them just fine, thankyouverymuch :)

    I went to a museum today that had a wine-tasting bar in the corner. They sold pinot noir-flavored popcorn. At the time, I thought "that's just plain strange."
    But there might have been a medicinal reason for this comestible.

    Next door was an iMax theater showing a film about fighter pilots doing dogfights while going 600 miles per hour through these narrow twisty canyons in Nevada. I do not get airsick. Ever. Watching this friggin' movie for an hour made my stomach reconsider my position on being airsick whilst on the ground. Maybe wine-flavored popcorn would have relaxed me enough so that I could watch that without getting queasy.

  22. Lisa, he's gorgeous! Unfortunately, I can't seem to leave comments on xanga blogs (don't know why, but have tried repeatedly and it never works so I've given up trying). But it's so great to hear you and family are all doing well!

    And thanks everyone, for amusing thoughts on toxins and pinot flavored popcorn and margarita's etc!

  23. Lurker here.
    I personally think that wine goes with everything. Burgers, movies, family events, training programs, etc. Just be sure to do the yoga first.
    Namasta (burp)

  24. Yogis do not touch alcohol, since they consider it to lower the vibrations of their subtle body (astral body). This defeats the purpose of yoga, which is to increase the vibrational level so they can gradually unfold their Higher Self.

    Yoga also considers alcohol to have an adverse effect on the central nervous system, and in particular the brain. The integrity of the central nervous system is considered very important by the yogis, since one of the goals of yoga is to improve the health of this system, and much of the progress of yoga is achieved via this vital communication system.

    Modern science agrees with yoga on this point, since alcohol is known to first stimulate and then shortly afterwards depress the central nervous system.

    Alcohol also causes poor sleep. Alcohol cannot compare with the effects of yoga. Yoga produces a natural stimulation without the depressing after-effect. Yoga also produces a general feeling of elation. The increase in life force produced by practicing yoga cannot be duplicated by drugs.


  25. Wow, I think it sounds great!!! I'm not a total yoga freak, but I do love going to classes here and there when I have time! I am infact a wine LOVER!!! I think it would be a fun girls weekend!!

  26. Yoga and Wine... Both are different things, however both of them enhance the health. Wine, if taken in moderation, can benefit to your health.

    So both are healthy.

    When you do Yoga, you can think of wine but not alcohol.

    There is no harm in doing both of them separately.


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