Yeah Dave Visits the Greenhouse Tavern
Claiming how a great meal can be as exciting as a rock concert, pioneering yoga teacher David “Yeah Dave” Romanelli attempted to prove his point last month with a “Yoga for Foodies” workshop hosted at The Greenhouse Tavern, Ohio’s first certified green restaurant.
The yogic butt-whooping was punctuated by a playlist featuring The Grateful Dead, Ziggy Marley and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young as well as Romanelli’s inspirational anecdotes.
After turning them into jello, participants were treated to a four-course meal in another private room of the restaurant where Romanelli encouraged participants to enjoy every bite of the sustainable meal, to treat themselves to an early-afternoon glass of wine and, most importantly, to savor the moment.
“The whole mission of the movement is to learn how to find beauty and the sacred regardless of where you are-whether you’re in Cleveland or Sicily, it’s about where you are mentally,” he said. Romanelli said he drew inspiration for Yoga for Foodies from the Slow Foods Movement, which originated in Italy after founder Carlos Petrini was outraged at the construction of a McDonalds in a sacred Italian spot.
“Some experiences which are crucial to our maturity cannot be speeded up, and are only possible if they occur slowly” Yeah Dave emphasized, quoting Petrini.
In a world dominated by fast food, fast paces, smaller gadgets, and a more constant stream of information, Romanelli suggested it’s harder for people to engage in their daily experiences, which make up the good life. “Every day, if you can enjoy one delicious moment, one beautiful moment and one funny moment, you will soon recognize a meaningful life is no further away than a box of chocolates on your desk, the street
musician on your walk to work and a little heartwarming-if not sidesplitting-laughter,” Romanelli writes in the introduction of his book, Yeah Dave’s Guide to Livin’ the Moment: Getting to Ecstasy Through Wine, Chocolate and Your iPod Playlist.
The Greenhouse was the perfect fit for a yogic celebration of the Slow Foods Movement, which Romanelli said is all about passion. Romanelli got hooked up with the Greenhouse chef Jonathon Sawyer through Ellie Weiss, another local foodie. According to their Web site, the Greenhouse embraces the idea that “the proximity of the farm and soil to a restaurant correlates directly to the quality of its food.”
In addition to their focus on taste and sustainably, the restaurant’s décor consists entirely of recycled materials: Wood covering the railings were reportedly lifted from old barns, and the stairs to the basement bathrooms are illuminated by light shone through recycled glass.
“Cleveland’s got soul,” Romanelli said. “It’s a Great city. Every time I come I eat at great restaurants and I see great music.” Romanelli boasted of his experience at last month’s Snoop Dogg show at the Cleveland’s House of Blues on his Web site Yeahdave.com.
Romanelli said his Cleveland connections are numerous, noting how his world-wide career in hosting yoga workshops began at Evolution Yoga, a studio in Woodmere. The studio continues to support Romanelli, and recently hosted more of his workshops entitled “Chocolate Covered Happiness” and “Yoga + Eternal Youth: With Wine, Anything is Possible.”
Yeah Dave is also buds with Shaq. Cleveland’s own Shaquille O’Neal is featured on the back cover of Romanelli’s debut book, Livin’ the Moment. “Livin’ large in the moment changes everything,” O’Neal said.
For a better glimpse into Romanelli’s modern take on the ancient practice of yoga, check out his book at your local library or on Amazon.com.
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