The Singular Delights of ‘Foodie Yoga’
Hi, Gawker! First off, please forgive all my lower back and inner thigh sweat. I just got done with a four-hour Birkam Yoga marathon to benefit Haiti, and boy is my hridaya akasha tired. (Sorry, little yoga humor there!) Anyway, I think you’ll find I have an interesting insider’s perspective on this whole foodie yoga phenomenon: See, Times reporter Julia Moskin actually spent a lot of time at my yoga studio, Exhale Spa on Madison Ave., for her 2,000 word piece in today’s paper about people who eat fancy food during or shortly after doing yoga.
I still remember the day she wandered into our foodie yoga class with her reporter’s notebook. Here is how Moskin described the scene in her excellent article:
The words of Ziggy Marley’s “Love Is My Religion” floated over 30 people lying on yoga mats in a steamy, dim loft above Madison Avenue on Friday. All had signed up for a strange new hybrid of physical activity: first an hour of vigorous, sweaty yoga, then a multicourse dinner of pasta, red wine and chocolate. As soon as the lights went up, dinner was served on the floor: an (almost) seamless transition designed to allow the yogis to taste, smell and digest in a heightened state of awareness.
It was one of the best sessions yet, since everyone tried extra hard not to fart in front of the journalist. One quibble: Julia forgot to put in her article that we each paid $75 to be there. I only mention it because people should be aware that foodie yoga is as affordable as it is centering. Think about it: I got a full hour of yoga and a delicious vegan dinner for almost $10 dollars less than it costs to buy twelve MRE’s for Haitian earthquake victims. (Please text “Help Haiti” or something to some number. Every dollar counts.)
Of course, foodie yoga not only about food and yoga. It’s also about our AWESOME foodie yoga instructor, David Romanelli. (Or “Yogi Dave” to those of us who have paid the extra $10 fee which allows us to call him that.) He totally just gets the deep yoga-food connection, as he demonstrated in the article:
Mr. Romanelli says he eats meat when he knows its source (and sometimes when he doesn’t). Bacon, he said, is a yogic teaching tool, providing an opportunity to contemplate principles of attraction and revulsion, desire and self-denial, and why we are so attracted to things we know to be unhealthy.
Food is a great opportunity for contemplation, just like yoga. Example: Right now, I am contemplating why I’m eating this 900 Calorie Starbucks cinnamon swirl coffeecake from less than twelve minutes after downing an entire plate of bacon during foodie yoga class. Is it because I desire it? Who knows, really! Just like in yoga, there are no easy answers in the world of food.
But some mean Yoga Nazis just don’t get the connection. Sure, Eve Grubler might be the director of training at the famous Dharma Yoga, but she really needs a good Agnisar kriya to cleanse that stick out of her ass:
“A pure yogic diet is one that is only calming: no garlic, onions or chili peppers, nothing heavy or oily,” said Ms. Grubler. “Steamed vegetables, salads and fresh juices are really the ideal.
Welcome to the real world, Grubler: What I don’t think you understand is that even people who do yoga every weekday only have enough willpower to do one or two things that are good for us each day. And if I do yoga—which I do do every weekday—that’s one. And if that yoga is a benefit for Haiti, that’s two. (Sometimes I get held up at the office and I miss yoga. But when that happens I feel so bad about it that it counts as one Good Thing.) So, come on, lady: Let a guy eat a freaking panini once in a while, K?
In conclusion, foodie yoga is perfect for someone who loves food as much as they love yoga, or for someone who hates both less than the prospect of eating another silent dinner at home with their horrible spouse. But don’t take my word for it! Yogi Dave wanted me to personally extend a special offer to every Gawker reader so you can see for yourself. Just bring in a non-perishable food item for Haitian earthquake survivors (canned beets, Rice-A-Roni, taco seasoning, etc.) you’ll get $3 off your first Foodie Yoga session. See you at the yoga studio… and save room for dessert!
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