From The Days of Wine and Yoga

If you are doing yoga a few times a week, you can probably throw down a few glasses of wine. I guarantee that 80 percent of the people that do this also go tear it up. – Rachel Cimino

The New York Times has an interesting article on yoga-and-wine retreats that are popping up in Madison, Wisconsin. At first, I thought it was ridiculous – a very posh, bourgeois thing to do. Not to mention the danger involved in trying to practice drunk – something I would stoically recommend against. My gut reaction is that this idea flies in the face of my practice and everything I look to yoga for.

But then again, it doesn’t. Not really. I believe in tasting all different parts of life fully and with relish. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t indulge myself now and then. You’ve all read the proof here, in fact.

So this article brings up an interesting question – what’s the difference between the “yoga on Thursday, drinking on Friday” plan and sitting in the middle of a vineyard tasting wine and breathing the three-part breath? Isn’t it better to take a yogic attitude toward drinking (really savoring every taste, being aware) than divorcing the two completely?

I have to say that, in general, my mantras never meet my martinis. I tend to keep those two parts of my life very separate. And I think of one as “good” and one as “bad” – which is really an arbitrary and unfair judgment. And while I still don’t think asana and anisette should be combined in a literal sense, there’s something to be said for acknowledging that they both exist in on the same plane of reality. And maybe it wouldn’t hurt to introduce them to one another.

Any thoughts?

– mmny


3 thoughts on “From The Days of Wine and Yoga

  1. I got myself into serious trouble by compartmentalizing my life. The “good” parts started forcing the “bad” parts into hiding, and I was eventually leading a double life. NOT a good thing.So, now I try to let them mingle a bit more. I’d never practice yoga drunk, but I love the idea of taking a three-part breath at a cocktail party. Having a moment of gratitude before a sensuous meal. This makes me think: what is the definite of hedonism? “The devotion to pleasure as a way of life.” Yoga can be very pleasurable! The way your body feels Alive after a vigorous practice? Not unlike the way you feel after a great cocktail. It’s just that one is a bit kinder to the body, in the long run!Interesting conversation…

  2. acb – I’ve thought about that hedonism bit too. Sometimes I crave yoga, I <>use<> it for the natural high. Is this good/bad? Clearly, it’s better for you than most thing – but in a psychological/emotional way, is it just a crutch? I’m also noticing I’m really hung up on defining or judging things as good or bad. I’m not sure, but I think I’m doing this more than usual lately. Something to keep my eyes on, I suppose.Thanks for contributing!

  3. Neither is GOOD nor BAD. they are BOTH part of a /the” PATH”. when you get SERIOUS about WHO you are[ if you indeed “ARE”}. then you will begin to make pertinent choices. HONEST!!!!!!!!!!! i AINT KIDDIN YA!!!!!! but dont take MY word for it. educate YOURSELF. not educate ” yourself”. [ I LOVE APHORISMS}. spiritual people like yourself use it as fuel![for the internal fire] that which you think IS is “NOT”. and that which you think is “NOT” actually “IS”.

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