I’m not sure I would want to do a downward dog after knocking back a glass of plonk but that’s exactly what a growing number of supposedly health conscious, flexible urbanites are doing. Vino-yasa is a new pseudo trend of pairing red and white wine with various yoga stretches. Los Angeles-based David Romanelli of ‘Yeah Dave Yoga’ (I hate him already) and Angela Gargano of ‘Bliss Flow Yoga’ tour the U.S. and Canada promoting their blend of antioxidant rich wines and detoxifying stretches to any desperate housewife with a wallet they can reel in. (Closer to home, a yoga studio in Scarborough is offering much the same.)
I hate to say this could be the next big health trend, but it just might, as yoga is increasingly Americanized for an attention deficit, pick-and-mix canteen culture. I already see an overpriced coffee table book in the works for Yoga + Wine, full of regurgitated information on both, all tossed off like an original idea for readers of Eat, Pray, Love. It seems like the worst idea since the IV Diet, in which celebs check themselves into hospital and get an IV put in so they can avoid eating altogether. I wouldn’t go and sup a pint of ale and then do some judo or a bike race, but when it comes to wine people like to seem so sophisticated which makes the combination with yoga seem even more absurd.
The website Vital Juice, a champion of the wine-yoga cause, asks such asinine questions as “which asana goes best with Pinot Grigio and when drinking a cab franc, should one invert or just go with the hatha flow?” I’m sorry, but as readers who practice yoga will know, ujjayi-breathing is the most important part of yoga, a technique that allows you to focus your mind on a pose and turn off the brain from useless thoughts. I don’t want to perform Toppling Tree pose with a glass of red inside me for fear of falling like one. And considering that the optimum time for yoga practice is in the morning, when your energy is highest, wine doesn’t seem like the best addition to the regimen. It’s a practice best reserved for drunks who at dawn can be seen performing Irish Yoga, bent backwards asleep on a park bench.
A trend that blurs yoga and wine, or chocolate, or even sex, seems ridiculous, but according to Vital Juice Daily, David Romanelli and Angela Gargano’s workshops are “popping up like corks in yoga studios, wineries and on retreats worldwide, with a recently offered sold-out ‘experience’ in Umbria, Italy with their own house blend of swirl and shivasana.” Holy cow! If you are intent on combining Yoga with something else, hot yoga is the thing, but if its an oral fixation you suffer from, a much better idea would be to follow Woody Harrelson and do the Yoga + Marijuana thing. At least you’d have a better chance of getting in touch with your higher self.