Yoga and wine

A trend that is popular overseas, is now also starting to take shape in South Africa – doing yoga in the morning, and sipping on a glass of wine afterwards!

Reading an article, written by Sharni Quinn, founder of Follow the Sun, she said the idea to combine the two, came about in 2013.  It was during this time, when she took groups overseas on an “Eat, Play, Yoga journeys” to Bali, that she realized that one can have fun and freedom of mind, while at the same time living more consciously and sustainable.  She started “Yoga & Wine- “weekends in the Cape and says it is a huge success.  In the morning the group does yoga, self-reflect / meditate and relax.  In the afternoon a shuttle takes them to various wine farms, where they learn about wine-making and get a chance to taste it.  Sharni says that, combining the two, is a new way of connecting with like-minded people and forming new friendships.

According to Alex Elman, yoga is an ancient, if not the most ancient, discipline; and wine has a rich history.  Both dates back to 6 000 BC.  He believes that one develops a palate for wine-drinking over time and, during yoga, you stretch your body in order to sit in meditation for prolonged periods.

Going way back into history, we know that wine was used in different, sacred traditions, for example in the Greek Dionysian rites, the Buddhist tantra, as well as the Christian Mass.  When you drink wine, you savour the taste, the smell and the aroma.  You are mindful of the cultivation and making of the wine.  In Yoga you are mindful of your breathing, the way you do each and every pose and the way you centre yourself in meditation.

Another interesting thought of why this trend has taken off, is that they claim that you can achieve a state of relaxation and/or mindfulness with both yoga and drinking wine!  This is partly true.  A big difference (I believe) is that wine helps a person to feel more relaxed once the wine “kicks in” after a glass or 2.  When you do yoga regularly, you automatically start to become more mindful, more relaxed and present, because you learn how to breathe correctly, as well as learn how to meditate / become still. 

Popularity is growing and new ideas are popping up almost every day when it comes to exercising.  Whether doing this as part of an organization’s team-building, or as a birthday- / special occasion-celebration, pairing wine and yoga seems to be working in a positive way.  The key, however, is to remember that life shouldn’t be taken too seriously, and that moderation is key to living a well-balanced life.

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