Pairing Yoga and Wine?

Just read an interesting article by yoga instructor Jill Lawson called ‘Pairing Yoga and Wine Blends Complementary Health Benefits’. Being a wine lover who is fortunate enough to live in South Africa’s beautiful wine-growing region, it comes as no surprise that I literally inhaled (sorry) the facts she cites, but I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of yogis out there that will be up in arms about what she is saying. I’m curious to see what sort of reaction she gets, but I trust that those nay-sayers note that she’s not advocating over-indulging, but rather freedom of choice, moderation and balance.

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Increased levels of heart-healthy high-density lipoproteins, better sleep, and reduced anxiety are just a few of the shared benefits of yoga and…can you guess? Wine!

As yoga rises in popularity, yoga and wine retreats are also making an appearance as some of the most sought after vacations in the world of self-pampering spa-like escapes.

In addition to booking a week of yoga and wine tasting at some fabulous resort with some fabulous instructor, such as Wine and Yoga in Tuscany with Sadie Nardini, yoga studios and businesses are also taking advantage of the delightful combination loved by so many.

For example, The W Hotel in San Diego is on the cutting edge of the wine and yoga craze by offering the popular Vino and Vinyasa series sponsored by Lululemon Athletica. Consisting of an all-level vinyasa flow class followed by wine and appetizers, yoga and wine lovers can take to the hotel’s rooftop to strut their poses before satisfying their palates.

But, it is not just businesses and retreat centers who are keenly tuned in to the dynamic relationship between wine and yoga. Colleen Saidman, wife of acclaimed yoga teacher Rodney Yee, has partnered with Estancia winery to assist in their campaign to sell wine. Pairing wines with health tips, Saidman believes that yogis need not steer clear of drinking alcohol, but rather find an appropriate balance and avoid overindulging.

As with anything, moderation is the key. Just as too much yoga can cause injury and harm to the body, drinking too much wine also has its own set of nasty side effects. While yoga may help relieve the symptoms of a hangover, the idea is to find the perfect pairing that fosters one’s health, not conquers it.

All people may not accept drinking, even in moderation. Some yogis may even frown upon drinking wine after yoga, or at any time for that matter. Everyone has his or her own personal preferences of how to act, and either belief shouldn’t arouse judgment or condemnation.

I personally love a smooth and light glass of pinot noir after flowing through a slow and mild vinyasa class. The lingering finish of savasana is the best precursor to the bouquet of oak and berries that is to follow. The first sip feels nothing more than a continuation of my yoga practice; body relaxed, mind at ease, and heart warm and happy.

About Jill — Yoga Instructor Twitter: @JillLawsonYoga
Jill Lawson has been a fitness professional for 20 years, and has concentrated on yoga for more than 10 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, and a master’s in physical education. This yogi lives in Southwest Colorado where she teaches yoga and Pilates.