Can Wine and Yoga Co-exist?

Exploring the possibility of having a healthy relationship with both your yoga practice and your glass of wine

First, let me just make this clear: I really, really like wine. I also really, really like yoga. And, if I could afford it, I'd really, really like to sign up for one of these new wine-and-yoga retreats that takes place at a vineyard in Sonoma County.

But many serious yogis aren't exactly sold on the concept of a wine-and-yoga retreat.

According to the New York Times, as these retreats start springing up, some yogis are asking whether yoga and wine actually belong together.

Or as one yoga purist put it in the Times article:

“Yogis tend to think the drug is the problem... At some point, one has to say, O.K., if you want a glass of wine, but I don’t think it should necessarily go in conjunction with yoga.”

The article also mentions that some yoga websites are very clear about their position that yogis should stay off the sauce. Holistic Online, for instance, states: "Yogis do not touch alcohol, since they consider it to lower the vibrations of their subtle body (astral body)."

Personally, I've noticed that several of the serious yogis in my life don't drink at all. Not even the new organic wines. Not even though wine is loaded with anti-oxidants and is believed to have many health benefits.

While these friends don't frown on drinking, exactly, they very rarely ever indulge in a glass themselves. And they would probably argue that serious yogis should stay away from all kinds of alcohol, including wine.

It's an interesting debate, I think, even though I wouldn't want to imagine a life without wine ... or a life without yoga.

That may be an easy stance for me to take, because while I love yoga, rarely do I make it to class more than once a week (despite my best intentions). And while I love wine, I don't have a glass every day (despite my best intentions). In other words, I love them both, but I'm not wholeheartedly committed to either.

But I'm curious about how others feel about this topic. Does a wine-and-yoga retreat, or maybe just a glass after class sound like a lovely idea? Or does it strike you as just plain wrong?

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