Stretch, Eat and Be Yogi

Stretch, Eat and Be Yogi

Food & Drink

Stretch, Eat and Be Yogi


By Cari Martens

You’ve just spent an hour contorting, stretching and straining your body in yoga class. Then, while still sitting on your yoga mat, your meal arrives. Maybe it’s soup, maybe it’s wine and chocolate, maybe it’s…bacon?

How does that sound to you? Well, the idea may be coming to your town soon.

Mixing yoga with gourmet food appears to be one of those emerging trends of the new decade, and it was explored in a recent feature story by Julia Moskin in The New York Times. She describes a scene taking place at the Exhale Spa in New York City in which yoga participants follow up an hour of ‘vigorous, sweaty yoga’ with a multicourse dinner of pasta, red wine and chocolate. It was the year’s first stop on the Yoga for Foodies Tour.

The brains behind this concept is youthful yoga instructor David Romanelli who plans to bring his Yoga for Foodies Jam Session tour to Scottsdale, Ariz., Chicago, Cleveland, Phoenix, Dallas and many other cities in 2010.

Romanelli is driven to bring yoga to a wider audience. As he’s quoted in the Times story, ‘The world is a better place if people do yoga. And if they come because chocolate or wine is involved, I’m fine with it.’

Some yoga purists have objections to the mixing of foodie enjoyment with yoga enlightenment. They contend that some foods—such as wine and meat—are strictly verboten. Romanelli is on the other side of the fence, saying as long as it tastes good, he has no problem combining food with yoga. In fact, he embraces the combination.

Although most Americans probably associate yoga mainly with its physical activities, yoga can also involve meditation, worship, study and other means of enlightenment and purification. While not wanting to offend yoga traditionalists, Romanelli favors a more ‘everyman’ approach. He’s even gone so far as serving bacon at his sessions.

Well-known Chicago chef Rick Bayless has been practicing yoga for 15 years, and he seems okay with Romanelli’s approach. Bayless is no vegetarian. He loves pork. ‘I think that sometimes the yoga community is a little too austere,’ he says in Moskin’s story.

‘If you are a lover of food and are seeking a new, fresh, fun way to experience meals by some of the nation’s most talented chefs, you’ll love Yoga for Foodies,’ Romanelli says.

So, if you’re interested in combining a love of great food with the challenge of yoga, you may want to visit the website to see if the tour will be making a stop near you.

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