In my late 20s, I lost my sight due to juvenile diabetes. I had been raised in the wine business from childhood and had already been working in the industry for nearly a decade.
I started doing yoga a few years before losing my sight, not realizing how important a part of my life it would eventually become.
Yoga and wine have been my passion for over 20 years and I’ve found a way to bring these together.
After first losing my sight, I would wake up each morning and the darkness would remind me of my new circumstances.
Getting out of bed and doing even a few simple poses and meditation would calm me, center me, and allow me to accept this change.
My mind became my biggest asset, constantly visualizing where I am, where I am going, and what I need to do. Yoga helps me turn that off for a little bit, focus on myself, my breath, and my energy and be in the moment.
My appreciation for the benefits of yoga, both mental and physical, grew as my life continued to change. My career in the wine industry also continued to grow and evolve.
Recently I found a way to bring together my passions for wine and yoga.
It may surprise you that yoga and wine have quite a bit in common. Yoga is an ancient discipline and wine has a rich history dating to 6000 BC. Yogis stretch their muscles both before and after meditation in order to sit motionless for prolonged periods. This is a practice that needs to be developed over time.
Like yoga, wine is a practical education – one must keep tasting in order to develop a palate and the ability to discern the flavors and nuances of wine.
I have combined my love of wine and yoga into a master class called, Vino y Yoga. In 2006, I started doing hot vinyasa yoga. The classes allowed me to be in the moment, detoxify my body, and become centered.
This is where I met Isauro Fernandez, one of the incredible and intense instructors at my favorite New York City yoga studio. Isauro has a background in martial arts and is a lawyer as well as a master yogi. He built a large following with his personal blend of martial arts, katas (called Ki Power Vinyasa) and his amazing playlists.
One day, after an especially intense class, Isauro and I were cooling down and we started talking about our mutual love of yoga and, of course, wine. We were quite “high” from the class the endorphins led to a wild idea.
Vino y Yoga is about being totally in the moment, enjoying where one is, and not worrying about what is coming next. It is a total sensual experience. We begin with a one hour Ki-Power Vinyassa Flow class taught by the Master, Isauro.
This portion of the seminar allows one to get in touch with the breath and body, feeling everything, going as far or doing as little as your body needs.
Once the yoga portion of the seminar is completed, everyone has had a few moments to cool down and really feel the lightness that comes after a yoga class.
We then begin the “vino portion.”
The vino portion is all about allowing the other senses, the smells and tastes, to take over. We experience the way wine and certain foods feel in the mouth and how they pair, or don’t pair, together.
Wine is for food and food is for wine.
This is one of the reasons Vino y Yoga blends so well. They are similar, like every pairing, every class is different and everyone will have their own unique experience each time.
Bringing these two passions together has truly taught us how well they complement one another. Of course, there are differences too.
(And for the record, we recommend that the yoga part comes before the vino!)