Yoga and Wine: A Marriage of the Senses

Yoga and Wine retreats and workshops are now offered around the world.



What does Downward Dog have to do with Australian Shiraz? Or Châteauneuf-du-Pape with the Warrior pose?

According to Angela Gargano, owner of Bliss Flow Yoga and Wellness Center (www.blissflowyoga.com) in Madison, Wisconsin, yoga and wine are quite similar. That all-over glow felt after yoga class? It's not much different from a successful wine and food pairing, says Gargano, where a marriage of the senses is reached.

"I feel like so many people rush through the food and wine that they consume, and coming from a Sicilian background, it's really important to appreciate the food on the table and the wine that we drink," says Gargano, who grew up in a restaurant family and worked as a wine buyer for Cost Plus World Market in San Francisco.

Returning home to Wisconsin, she initially felt the "wine side" of her was stuck in the past, though she hoped to return to the profession some day. "I ended up trying yoga and certainly never intended to open up my own yoga studio," she says.

Impressed with what David Romanelli, a Los Angeles yoga instructor (www.yeahdaveyoga.com), does with Vosges Haut-Chocolat—where yoga students sampled chocolates during a workshop—she approached him about transcending into wine.

Now the duo offers Yoga and Wine retreats and workshops around the world. Retreats are held in places like Italy (Umbria and Tuscany this October) and Washington State (dates throughout 2008 at Cave B Inn & Winery). Each day kicks off with yoga, followed by culinary tours (from wineries to olive-oil production facilities) or guided wine tastings in the afternoon. Closer to home, and lasting just one day, are workshops in Santa Monica (September 8) and Chicago (November 9), where a guided wine tasting from a Sicilian winery (Feudo Arancio) follows yoga. And Gargano is in the early planning stages of an Argentina retreat in 2008.

For more information, go to www.blissflowyoga.com and scroll down to the Yoga and Wine workshops link.

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