Yoga in the Vineyard – Mindfulness in Mendocino

November 1 and post-Halloween hangover…time to launch into the holiday season! Hold onto your hats and yoga mats. But it feels like retreat season just ended.

We finished with finesse this year, on our first Yoga & Vineyard retreat in NoCal. Many people share a similar reaction to this combination: “yoga and wine (snicker), that’s going to be fun”, picturing some sort of debauched yoga class where every pose becomes a balance challenge. Not so. I maintain a recurring theme for every retreat – yoga helps you do anything better. So yes, in this case, it took our wine sipping to new levels.

How, you might ask? A yoga practice is about being present, being mindful. We tapped into this to awaken our senses, to tune in to the enjoyment of food and drink. It’s all part of slowing down and appreciating the moment, an art we have lost touch with. We reminded ourselves how to slow down the process of eating and drinking, and savor those moments we never noticed before. Did you know that we pick up different texture and flavor sensations in different parts of our mouths? Swirl your wine in between sip and swallow, it’s a whole new world.

Photo by Amanda,
Vineyard Yogini

On retreat, we discovered the alchemy of taste, with a sensorial seminar on wine, spices and their interaction.

We strolled through an ancient redwood forest, the towering stillness silencing even the chattiest among us.

We discussed mindfulness in an apple orchard.

We practiced yoga in a vineyard, followed by a wine tasting.

We wore tees with the motto, Yoga helps you age like fine wine. 

The surprising theme of this retreat was Mindfulness in Mendocino. It’s always amazing to me that we have to be reminded to pay attention. It might be timeless for human nature to endlessly ruminate on the past and worry about the future, but something about our modern lives has conditioned us to often be oblivious to the present’s potential. You know, that whole Be Here Now thing. This is why we love yoga, maybe without even knowing it. It helps us be here, now. And quite frankly, if you practice your yoga and then go swill your wine…what have you learned on your mat?

As we move into the holiday season, I think the lessons learned on our Yoga & Vineyard retreat will serve us well. Make it a season of appreciation vs. excess. More life lessons from the mat, let’s raise a glass to a lifetime of learning.

Namaste and Cheers.

If you’d like to join our Yoga & Vineyard retreat in 2016, sign up for April or October now.