When I imagine a perfect weekend, I think of exploring the outdoors, practicing yoga, and sampling several 2-ounce servings of my favorite wines. Said activities reveal life’s simple pleasures. To combine all three would create an experience so relaxing it may as well come with a down comforter. Luckily, some yoga teachers and winemakers are one step ahead of the game, and have found a way to combine the two in unique yoga classes and retreats.
While it may seem like I’m making excuses to drink more vino tinto, wine tastings can be incredibly mindful experiences. Drinking wine requires our minds to focus on the flavors and feels of the drink. We observe the taste, and then go inward to try to find the right words to accurately describe the wine. Such an experience demands presence. And let’s not forget about those antioxidants! Together, a yoga session and wine tasting can provide an incredibly healthy indulgence.
Drinking wine requires our minds to focus on the flavors and feels of the drink. We observe the taste, and then go inward to try to find the right words to accurately describe the wine. Such an experience demands presence.
Vineyards and yoga studios alike are beginning to recognize this powerful combination. We’ve hunted down some of the most innovative wine and yoga combinations.
Penns Woods Vineyard in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
Beginning in May, Penns Woods Vineyard in Pennsylvania will be hosting a Wine, Body, and Soul program, which consists of select Friday and Saturday classes offering a gentle 60-minute yoga class followed by a wine tasting and selection of edible treats from local farms. At Penns Woods they believe that the aging of wine is a beautiful metaphor for the aging of the spirit, and that youth is not determined in age, but in a vibrant and balanced spirit. pennswoodsevents.com
LaBelle Winery in Amherst, New Hampshire
At LaBelle, they believe in connecting the mind, body, and soul through meaningful practice and a relationship with Mother Nature. The winery is offering six Yoga in the Vineyard events this summer, beginning in June and running through late August. Located in Amherst, New Hampshire, the vineyard grants yogis the summer beauty of the Northeast, as well as some delectable, hand-crafted wines. labellewinerynh.com
Drishti Yoga in Napa Valley
I’ve only been to Napa Valley once, but I saw enough to reach the conclusion that this little slice of paradise belongs on everyone’s bucket list. Drishti’s program offers a three-night yoga retreat over Labor Day weekend in the heart of Northern California’s Mayacamas Ranch. If you’re in need of relaxation, look no further. The area surrounding Mayacamas is known for its wine—and its hot springs. Meditate, explore the forests, and experience the definition of a perfect vacation. drishtiyogateachertraining.com
Bloom Retreat in Walnut Creek, California
Sorry boys, this one is for ladies only. Led by Bloom founder and yoga teacher Michelle, these classes focus on restoring a healthy spirit through connecting with your body and like-minded women. Participants are invited for a mixed-level yoga class, and post-practice wine, tea, and treats. This event occurs on third Friday of each month. bloomretreat.com
Or you could also do what I did, and throw your own.
A “Yoga in the Vines” gathering can turn any mundane Friday night into an experience. Collect a group of your favorite yogis, attend a class, and then head back to someone’s home for an evening of mindful fun. Ask each guest to bring a bottle of wine, and take turns sampling and noting the various flavors. No wine experience necessary. The best part? You can do the whole thing in your yoga pants.
Photo by Kate Harris for Wanderlust Festival.
Amanda Kohr is a 24-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel. She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the internet via her blog at cozycaravan.com.