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Wine and Yoga for Health

Posted: Thursday, 25 June 2015 14:56

Blog: Wine and Yoga for Health

June 25: The First International Yoga Day organised by the UN throughout the world with a nudge from the Indian government was supposed to generate interest in Yoga for healthy living but it would have been nice to have the global wine industry promote Yoga with Wine, a concept already gaining ground with health conscious people across the world, particularly in the USA

Click For Large ViewUnlike Yoga, the concept of combining wine with yoga is not ancient.  The purists frown at the concept if combining alcohol with yoga-which is spiritual in nature. Many people who already see it as a religious ritual would be very upset to even imagine combining it with wine or aany alcohol. However, several people do follow the regimen on their own for a healthy and balanced body and mind.

I am in Puglia where I spent one night at Masseria Le Fabriche near Manduria. Owned by a woman winemaker Alessia Perrucci this countryside Resort is a very modern property set within the vineyards and olive groves owned by her. She has been working with Gayle Olson of Exotic Yoga Retreats in California for the last 3 years. The group has been so happy with the retreat they keep coming back, booking the whole property which is a 4-star hotel, for the retreat in peaceful, serene surroundings.

The idea to match Yoga & Wine is to give the participants the possibility to experience a program balancing good health with good living. People are generally more aware of the benefits of a good Mediterranean diet for health. Wine is one of the main part of Mediterranean diet; numerous studies have indicated that red wines is healthy because of anti-oxidants like Resveratrol that helps human body to prevent heart diseases, when taken in moderation.

This substance is contained in the skin of the grapes. Negroamaro, one of the most important Apulian (Puglisi red grape varieties) is claimed to have more of this chemical and the more the maceration with the skin lasts, the higher the quantity of Resveratrol is contained in the wine.

It helps that Le Fabriche has a range of red wines which are certified organic, a factor that would weigh positive in the minds of the group. ‘Our evening yoga lessons were followed by light dinners paired with one or two glasses of the red wines “Le Fabriche”, the cherry on the top of a day dedicated to body and mind wellness, says Alessia with a smile. The group has already indicated they are coming back next year. ‘We are always looking for new partnerships to organize more yoga retreats during the year,’ she adds, as she feels her Masseria encourages a healthy lifestyle.

There are many other groups working to promote Yoga and Wine as a therapy for health, especially in California but also places like New Jersey and Seattle. Yoga Wine Trails of New Jersey is  touring a variety of wineries in New Jersey in the Spring of 2015. Classes with a certified yoga instructor will be held outdoors and are designed to suit all experience levels-, beginner to advanced. Tickets are priced rather modestly at $25.

A Washington winery Woodhouse Wine Estates in Seattle has joined hands with a fashion clothing company to offer Free yoga classes under Yoga & Wine, titled Vinyasa & Vino, on the second Saturday of June, July and August, It offers a glass of wine and shop latest styles in the range developed by Lulu their partner in the venture. (Details at. http://seattleyoganews.com).

California has several instructors who have certification in Yoga as well as a WSET Certificate enabling them to chalk out their own niche, But it is important to understand this is not as if you are advised to take a glass of wine during the yogic Asanas. All such events expect you to fully rest and have a glass of water and follow whatever the yoga instructor says. It implies firstly, that there is a group of health conscious individuals. The ritual is followed by a glass of water when you have come to normal in terms of breathing etc, in case of companies like Woodhouse Wine Estates or a light dinner with a glass or two of wine as in case of the Masseria Le Fabriche.

It’s a pity that the Indian wine industry missed out a great opportunity to organize their own Wine and Yoga  workshops at their wineries or through their offices in the main centers of business even if it meant giving a glass of free wine for the event. The publicity and branding received would have been substantial and with residual values.

There are several agencies in Mumbai, Pune and Nashik that can take the initiative and develop their own programmes in conjunctions with the wineries which ought to be more than happy to support such ventures for the long term benefits. Unlike the Yoga Day and the thinking of the current government making it compulsory, this is a purely voluntary mission and if someone does not want to be a part of it due to social reasons, it would be fair to respect the feeling but there would be many takers for the project of Wine and Yoga-it’s worth a try-International Yoga Day or any other day-preferably a weekend. Needless to say, this would be a good branding exercise for the wine producers.

Subhash Arora

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