Last week, the New York Times reignited the yoga food debate with their article, “When Chocoloate and Chakras Collide,” which talks about David Romanelli’s, aka Yeah Dave’s, latest Jam Session tour, Yoga for Foodies.
Yoga Journal, twitter and top yoga blogs all joined the debate because food, particularly eating meat, is a huge hotbed discussion in the yoga community. One of the eight limbs of yoga, ahimsa, is non-violence, and many traditional yogic texts and modern yogis believe wholeheartedly that in practicing non-violence towards ourselves, others and the earth, that includes not eating the flesh of animals.
For me, this isn’t an issue. I’ve been vocal about my vegan lifestyle and by the time I discovered yoga, I was already meat-free for five years and I’m not bothered by the concept of Yoga for Foodies, which according to Yeah Dave’s website, will go something like this:
“A Jam Session will begin with David’s flowing yoga class whose message and music will emphasize a more sustainable pace. When we move in a frenzied way throughout the day, we don’t eat, we “feed.” This high velocity lifestyle diminishes the essence and flavor of life. In the process, we’ve grown accustomed to eating on the run, often being “nourished” by a bag of potato chips and a sandwich to go. Our palates have evolved to crave tastes that are invented in factories by good scientists rather than tastes that grow from the earth and nourish the body and soul.
“In your post-yoga splendor, the featured chef will delve into the mystery of their creations while guiding you through a feast. Jam Session chefs will be some of the vert best in the nation all of whom embrace sustainability, eco-friendly practices, local farming and compassion. This will be the dream experience for anyone who relishes a savasana so sweet you never want it to end; a bite of food so perfect you feel like world stopped spinning; an evening so deliciously amazing, you might just want to join me on the 2010 Jam Session tour.”
I think the tour sounds cool, and I hope Chicago foodies open their wallets as generously as New Yorker’s have to throw down $75 for a spot at the Yoga for Foodies Chicago event at Provence on March 8.
More importantly, I hope local food writers, who suddenly claim they love yoga and have been practicing for years, become more accepting to a plant-based diet. Yoga for Foodies isn’t a vegan or vegetarian event, but I hope that in practicing yoga beforehand they’ll understand that, in having your senses opened through a moving meditation, that yes, a yogi, regardless of if they have a culinary background can be a foodie.
If a foodie is someone who enjoys food, mindfully eats every bite and appreciates a delicious, lovingly prepared meal, almost every yogi I know is a foodie. Is a vegan with an impeccable palate, a disdain for fake meat and a kitchen always stocked with the finest quality local and organic produce not a foodie simply because she refuses a buffalo sloppy joe, foie gras and pork belly?
So foodies and food writers, enjoy the Yoga for Foodies tour. I hope your meal is amazing and I hope that at some point throughout the evening you experience true gratitude and bliss. Be present and remember this quote from Yeah Dave:
“What yoga teachers do and what chefs do is not so different. We take every day actions like moving and eating and slow you down so you ca appreciate them.”