Monday, September 10, 2007

Yoga and Wine

I invited my friend, Jackie, to come along. “Do we have to work out?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied. “But after seventy-five minutes, we get to have a wine tasting.”

I’ve never been a big “yoga person.” I know its super trendy and good for you - blah, blah - but whenever I’m at Whole Foods, for example, and run across those self-righteous “new-found” yogi-types (with the tight little asses and snotty little attitudes) I just feel like letting my cart ram right into their shiny little BMWs.

Well, the Yoga and Wine class at Exhale in Santa Monica must attract a different crowd all together. It was AWESOME! Dave Romanelli, who also teaches “yoga and chocolate” (clever man) and “yoga and country” (I def want to try that), touts that in order to be “Livin’ the Moment” we need three strengths: mental, emotional and spiritual.

He led us through a variety of poses without making anyone feel like a flunkie for not contorting into just the right position. He also threw out cool quotes from people like Jimi Hendrix (something about how we search for ritual to bring together the fragments of ourselves). And, he played some early 70’s music (like The Doors) instead of that ohm-shanti New Age crap. (If all yoga classes were like this, I’d go all the time.)

David also compared us (writhing and bending and sweaty) to the grape vines in Sicily (now that’s a stretch ba-dum-bum). He regaled the mojo of a vine that can withstand the hot, dry climate of Sicily (sorta like the Valley – but with Mediterranean views) and compared its unwavering roots with the ones we should make to remain in connection with ourselves, via the yoga mat. (Ok, a little mumbo-jumho but frankly, he had me at “Sicily.”)

After all the twisty - bendy stuff, we laid on our backs and David went around to each person and rubbed violet oil on our arms and necks to help us relax, in anticipation for the next ritual. (The one that we were all waiting for…)

Blissed out, stretched out and smelling wonderful, we each sat cross-legged on our mats with a glass of Arancio Grillo (white) and a glass of Arancio Nero d’Avola (red) and David told us a little about each. In the Grillo, we were looking for scents of jasmine, green pepper and green tea. It is suggested to pair well with seafood, white meat and pasta with veggies.

The Nero d’Avola hints at dark fruits like cherries and blueberries, and nuts. Amazingly, in a yoga class, he even suggested we drink this with (gasp!) a steak! (Did I mention this was my kind of yoga?) We were also treated to the Arancio dessert wine, Passito Hetake, as well as cheeses and pesto sandwiches.

All I can tell you is that I’m signing up for his next class. I hope to see you there. Before I run into you at Whole Foods, anyway…

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