Yoga for Foodies Pairs Vinyasa Flow With Fresh, Sustainable Fare
Practicing yoga and eating good food rank high among our favorite activities. (Thankfully, yoga burns calories.) David Romanelli’s Jam Sessions: Yoga for Foodies combines the two with an hour-long Vinyasa flow class, followed by a meal from a local chef who uses sustainable, eco-friendly practices and fresh, locally farmed ingredients.
Romanelli, whose previous tours have included Yoga + Chocolate and Yoga + Wine, is taking his new concept across the country. We had the opportunity to take his Yoga for Foodies class at Exhale Spa in New York City, with a food pairing by Joy Pierson, purveyor of elegant vegan food at Candle Cafe and Candle 79.
After an intro focusing on slowing down our frenetic lifestyle, Romanelli guided the class through a series of Vinyasa poses, from sun salutations to dolphin. The class was relaxed yet challenging, set to an unconventional soundtrack that included Bruce Springsteen and Vampire Weekend. The class also was infused with humor — during the ending savasana relaxation pose, when typical Manhattan noise interrupted with a rumble, Romanelli quipped, “Pretend those are Tibetan bells.”
After the class, we filed outside and returned to our yoga mats with butternut squash soup from The Candle Cafe Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 2003), topped with spiced pumpkin seeds. Though we were encouraged to eat slowly, it was hard not to devour the delicious meal.
A selection of Spanish Tempranillo, Chilean chardonnay and a special fruit elixir were available to pair with the following course: field greens with jalapeño dressing and spinach mushroom ravioli with cashew cream and red sauce. Even after a generous portion of apple cobbler and a piece of Vosges Haut Chocolat, we felt light and refreshed. (Candle 79 founder Bart Potenza also kindly gave everyone a copy of his book of affirmations, Look Two Ways on a One-Way Street [Lantern Books, 2008].) Romanelli is taking his tour to various cities (from $65, prices vary by location), including:
- Cleveland on Feb. 17 with chef Jonathon Sawyer of The Greenhouse Tavern
- Chicago on March 8 with Randy Zweiban of Province
- Phoenix on March 12 on with Lauren Bailey of Postino Winecafé
- Dallas on April 12 with Dean Fearing of Fearing’s
- Los Angeles, on July 25 with Akasha Richardson of Akasha
- Sedona, AZ, on Dec. 3 with Steve Sicinski of Mii Amo
For more of Romanelli’s philosophy, check out Yeah Dave’s Guide to Livin’ the Moment: Getting to Ecstasy Through Wine, Chocolate and Your iPod Playlist (Broadway, 2009).
Once in post-yoga relaxation, we felt we could leisurely enjoy and savor the meal — and justify the $75 price tag for yoga and a fantastic meal in New York as pretty reasonable. What do you think of the pairing of yoga and food?
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