Idol Chatter

Yoga and chocolate I totally get. The sensuous feel of that delicious substance melting into your fingertips, that burst of flavor on your tongue, all in a bite-sized portion perfect to put your thoughts into that ideal mindful state. Chocolatier Katrina Markoff of Vosges Haut-Chocolat certainly convinced me that chocolate and yoga make a perfect pair when I interviewed her for Beliefnet a while back about reconciling these two spiritual practices (yoga and chocolate eating, that is).

But yoga and wine?

Yes, it’s true. For those who’d like to be a little tipsy while attempting to hold the Crane Pose (careful, don’t fall on your head), look no further: On your next trip to Sonoma, Calif., you can take wine-tasting to a whole new level.

In “The Days of Wine and Yoga,” Cindy Price of the New York Times reports that yoga instructor Angela Gargano believes the next big yoga thing happens to be pairing it with wine:

Ms. Gargano, who owns Bliss Flow Yoga in Madison, teamed up with David Romanelli, Yahoo’s Mind/Body columnist, last August to stage a weekend-long yoga-and-wine retreat at the Fairmont Mission Inn and Spa in Sonoma, Calif., [which] was successful enough for Mr. Romanelli to schedule a lineup of seminars across the country for 2007. Tomorrow, Ms. Gargano will take the idea international with a retreat in Barcelona. And next year DeLoach Vineyards, in Sonoma County, will hold its own series of yoga-and-wine retreats.

Though Gargano may have gotten some interest, not every yoga practitioner is convinced this is a good idea.

Nancy Elkes, a New York-based yoga trainer and instructor who doesn’t necessarily condemn drinking–she just isn’t so sure it goes with yoga…. That sentiment is shared by the popular Web site Holistic Online, which states in no uncertain terms: “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.”

For yogaficionado readers who have already perked up at the idea, apparently the key will be to drink in moderation. “For her part, Rosemary Garrison, the San Francisco-based instructor who will lead the DeLoach retreats, thinks moderation is the key…. The retreats will feature vegetarian meals from the 18,000-square-foot organic garden, cooking classes and twice-daily yoga sessions. The wine poured for dinner will come from DeLoach’s own vineyard, in the Russian River Valley.”

No downing the entire bottle in other words–at least not by yourself. Click here for more information. Cheers!

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