Why Yoga and Wine are the Perfect Pairing

2-Minute Read

Before you have visions of yourself lying in savanasa with an empty bottle in your hand, let me stop you right there. I’d like to start by saying we won’t be handing out Straws ‘n Shiraz during our yoga classes. There will be no drinking vino and tree-posing at the same time. Neither will we make you ‘stretch to reach for the bottle’. No no.

First we practice yoga, then we drink the wine. The obvious reason is to avoid any injuries, but more so to respect the practice. We know the general consensus of Yoga is that there are certain restrictions in place, and that most yoga retreats go hand-in-hand with organic, wholesome and super healthy foods/juices.

Whereas we love clean eating, we’re also strong advocates of a life lived in balance. Enjoying the good things in life – slowing down, forgetting about Netflix and social media, admiring the sun rise, enjoying delicious meals paired with silky wines and flowing conversations. All of these are just as important as green juices and exercise.

BENEFITS OF YOGA AND WINE

Whether you step on the mat after a hectic day or curl up on the sofa with a glass of red, you’re allowing yourself to unwind and slow down. Practicing yoga and drinking wine (in the right moderation) are both experiences that can reduce stress, encourage social connection and improve relaxation.

By Sab at Retreat Here
Original Article Here

How To Balance a Healthy Lifestyle with Yoga and Wine


Yoga class? Oh, I thought you said, “Pour a glass.”


Considering my blog is all about yoga and wine, I cannot believe this wasn’t my first post! Nonetheless, here it is.​There is currently a trending idea of mixing wine, beer or other alcohol with yoga. You may have heard of classes like, “Glass after Class”, “Beer Yoga”, or “Downward Drinking Dog”. Besides the obviously clever names, it’s revolutionizing the way we look at a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Fifteen years ago, the general consensus of yoga was that it placed restrictions on what healthy is: no meat, no alcohol, no caffeine. I remember many years ago going to a Detox class with a highly disciplined yoga teacher who said she could “smell the meat” oozing off of the practitioners in the room. I swear she said this as she was passing by me, which totally brought heat to my cheeks.

I get why there is restriction. The concept of the 8 Limbs of Yoga leads us to ultimate Samadhi. Samadhi is considered the final stage, at which union with the divine is reached through intense meditation. Ironically, the term Samadhi also refers to a tomb, so it may be best not to take it too seriously. Nonetheless, in order to achieve Samadhi, one must experience the 8 Limbs of Yoga (Asana/Pose being one of them). And if your tummy’s acting funny from the toxins you’re putting inside of it, there sure isn’t a way to feel those higher vibes in meditation. You know what I mean?

That said, I would argue that yoga is no longer reserved only to those who have the intention of achieving Samadhi. That pretty much went out the window when western culture modernized it. Perhaps some of you are pulling your hair out at this claim but, I would sincerely ask you to take a step back and relax. There is room in this world for all of us to practice yoga in our own way; whether it be to reach Samad-hi or to reach an awesome Bo-dy (see what I did there?!). We all get to “own” yoga in our own way. Yoga can take on any meaning we want it to. You stay on your mat, and I’ll stay on mine.

With this theory in mind, let us consider the concept of combining activities that appear to be polar opposites. A wine glass on a yoga mat is going to get knocked over. It’s that simple. If you’re seeing a person on Insta posing with a beer glass in their hand while in Dancer’s Pose well, 1) to each their own but, 2) that doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience to me. Drinking makes me tipsy physically and, I have no business practicing yoga and drinking wine at the same time.

I love my yoga practice to be a sober experience. I approach my mat with respect for the body I am in, the studio I am practicing in, and the teacher that is spending their time to help me further my yoga practice.

Similarly, I approach drinking wine with respect for the body I am in, the winery that provided the bottle of wine, and the friends around me that are spending their time to help me further my drinking practice.

Sort of funny. But true!
​​
I look at these two activities as separate but equal experiences. In the right moderation (for both), these activities help ease stress, enhance social connections, and increase relaxation.

​Here are my Top 3 How-To’s on how you can find a balanced lifestyle between being active (I will call it yoga but, if it’s different for you, then edit the wording in your mind) and drinking (I will call it wine, but you know what to do).

Pairing Wine and Yoga at the Same Time is a No-No
It may be funny for a picture to appear like you are drinking wine while doing yoga but, I don’t actually recommend the act. Here’s why: (1) Drinking inhibits your inner balance. Yoga poses can be trickier while drinking, leading to injury. (2) Yoga requires a warm-up so that your body is ready to enter into advanced postures. If you’re drinking, you’re more than likely not warmed up. Your inhibitions are also lowered, and you may be willing to test advanced postures that you aren’t warmed up for or worse, haven’t tried before. Hello, injury!

First Practice Yoga, then Drink the Wine
Practicing yoga burns the calories needed in order to drink a glass of wine, free of guilt. For instance, Power yoga burns around 300 calories per hour for a 130-pound person! That’s actually two glasses of wine (shh…). Or drink one glass and use the other half to eat some chocolate! Win, win.

​Plan a Night of it!
Plan a lady’s night or a couple’s night out! Visit a local studio in your area, and then head to a nearby restaurant for some yummy food and wine. A good yoga practice relaxes you and lifts away distractions, hence actually enhancing your senses. Colors and tastes are actually thought to be more distinct after a yoga class. Cool, huh? Talk about a great date!


A balanced lifestyle of being active and drinking can actually be very healthy. Making sure to mindfully choose moderation with both activities, you truly can maintain a lifestyle that lets you have your cake. And drink it, too.  ​​

How to Host a Seriously Amazing Yoga Wine Night

Doing yoga and drinking wine is pretty much all I ever really want to do. How about you?! So if you’re looking for a fun and unique party idea for you and your pals, how about hosting a yoga and wine party? Here’s how:
Choose a Venue for the Yoga

Figure out how many yoga guests will be attending the event. You will need about 2 square meters (or 21 square feet) per yoga guest. For instance, if you have 10 guests coming, you will want to find a place that has about 20 square meters of space. 

It’s best if the space is void of big obstructions such as walls or columns, as this can affect the way mats are set up and how sound travels. 

Venue ideas include: outdoor areas such as backyards, beaches, parks with grassy areas, and yoga studios. Oftentimes, yoga studios will be happy to rent out their space (especially a second studio space) if they don’t have a class going on at that time. 

Once you have chosen a venue idea, make sure to double check rules and regulations and make sure you abide and agree to them.

Choose a Venue for Drinking the Wine​

Ideally you would practice yoga, then drink wine at the same venue! But this isn’t always the case. Regulations placed on drinking in public areas for instance, could affect where you can drink wine legally.

Drinking wine in one’s home is probably your best bet. Have everyone pack up their mats and head to your place!

Check out local bars and restaurants! Consider making reservations and asking about large party options such as fixed or open wine bar, depending on how much you want to spend!

Choose a Yoga Instructor

Most yoga instructors would love to be hired for a private event! Why? Because they will (more than likely) make more than when they teach a studio class. And it’s arguably more fun!

Reach out to yoga instructors via social media (check Instagram and Facebook) or search by Google Maps. Reach out to 5+ instructors, so you can choose. Be sure to tell them the date and time of your event, the amount you would like to pay them (anywhere between $75 and $150 for an hour-long yoga session is pretty standard), and be sure to double check they already have yoga instruction insurance.

Once you choose a yoga instructor, make sure to sign a contract with them. This holds them responsible, as much as it holds you responsible for the event.

Ask if they would like your guests to sign a liability waiver. If so, ask the yoga instructor to bring X quantity to the event to distribute and collect.

Invite Your Guests! ​

I am a sucker for snail mail invites. If you are too, think about doing something custom! Evites are also great, because they are so efficient.

Make sure to include an RSVP date so that you can account for all guests attending!

Favours for your guests ​

No party is complete without fun (Instagram-worthy) favours, right? A couple ideas would be to have a wine glass or tank  designed for the event!

BYO Mats and Props ​

Let your guests know that they will need to bring their own mats and props of choice. You could also ask the yoga instructor if he or she has any extra mats to bring along. They may charge you a rental fee for these, FYI.

Check the Wine Count​

You should plan for 2 glasses (or ½ bottle) per guest (some will drink more, and some will drink less). Consider getting a mix of White, Red, and Rose, depending on the time of year. Winter I recommend going red-heavy, summer I recommend going equal parts White and Rose. Wondering what varietals I love the most? Just ask!

Games to Play ​

No party is complete without conversation starters. So how about considering games to play that relate to wine?

Have Water and Snacks Ready! ​

Yoga and drinking wine both can be dehydrating and energy burning! Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks available to your guests! Consider filling a pitcher of water with one of these fancy additions.

And Have an Amazing Time, of Course!

Have you hosted a yoga and wine night? Have any additional tips or have any questions? Comment below to help build the Balance + Vine community!

How to Achieve the Perfect Yoga and Wine Pairing (Satire)

It’s no secret I love the Yoga-then-Wine lifestyle. So how do you know what varietal of wine to drink after a yoga class?

Vinyasa Flow (Power Yoga)

This type of yoga class is all about the salutation flow, and meant to keep you moving and flowing for the entire length of the class (besides seated postures and savasana). Because of this, you’re going to be hot and sweaty post-workout, and need something refreshing, chilled and light. I recommend a glass of… SAUVIGNON BLANC.And because you worked out so hard and burned about 300 calories / hour, I recommend you pair it with cheese (like a Gruyere or Chevre) and crackers. You deserve it, babe.

Ashtanga Yoga

This is another very active yoga class, and is especially awesome for Type A personalities. It’s actually a set of six series, the first being the most commonly practiced (because it gets f*ing hard) and is a set sequence to follow. It can be taught by an instructor or, self-led with a teacher there for support (Mysore). After class, you’re going to be sweaty, and also excited because you just nailed a new level of a pose you haven’t achieved before (because you’re Type A, hello). Because of this, you will want something refreshingly chilled to the taste, dry and sweet, just like you. Might I suggest a glass of… ROSÉ.

Hatha Yoga

This type of yoga class is all about the basics, and essentially is a slower moving class. Most instructors place attention on being gentle with your body throughout this practice. Expect to leave feeling soft and mellow. You’re going to want something full-bodied to match those feelings, so I recommend a glass of…MERLOT.

Restorative Yoga

The point of this type of yoga class is to relax and restore. It is so incredibly slow in fact, you may only hold 5 poses the entire class. The idea is that in slower holds your body has a chance to tap into your parasympathetic nervous system to truly experience deeper relaxation. Imagine yourself lying across a bolster, blissed out AF. After class you will probably have a sense of grace and delicacy, but at the same time full of energy and love for your body. So, tap into your inner Goddess and try out a glass of… PINOT NOIR.

Bikram Yoga

Taught in a 35–42 °C (95–108 °F) room, with a set of specific postures, this is going to be another class that you sweat in. A LOT. I mean, a lot a lot. So, because of this, I recommend you drink a glass of…WATER.

*Thanks to my good friend, Maureen Mukai, for giving me this awesome idea for a post. 🙂 ​​​

The Inside Scoop on what it’s like as an American Expat Living in Australia

Three months ago, my husband and I got rid of most of our belongings, packed  our suitcases and moved across the world to Australia. I must have scoured hundreds of websites to figure out what to expect. What should I bring? What should I leave behind?

To preface this, my husband and I are both pretty tech savvy (he’s worked in the tech industry for the past 10 years, and I make a living via an online business). We live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. We both stay active regularly, enjoy eating nutritious food, and love binge-watching Netflix in the evening over a glass of wine. So umm…pretty normal.

If you’re anything like us, this is perhaps what you can expect as an American with plans to move to Australia, or vice versa as an Australian moving to America. This blog post also applies if you are already an American expat living in Australia because frankly, this is a moment where we can bond over our frustrations and excitement living in this beautiful country. Last but not least, you may also love this blog post if you’re just darn curious what the heck it’s like for some person to pack up all of their belongings and move to another country!

THINGS I MISS BEING AN AMERICAN IN AUSTRALIA

The other biscuit

Much to an American’s surprise, a biscuit here is actually a cookie. Think sugar and flour and yumminess. Yep! Much to my dismay, you won’t find (American) biscuits anywhere. What you may find are scones, which are similar to (American) biscuits. However, you will not find biscuits and gravy.

Driving (and walking) on the left side

I was nervous about moving here and having to drive on the left side of the road. But I figured I wouldn’t be driving, so it wouldn’t be too bad. What I didn’t realize is that people also walk on the left side of the sidewalk. Back home, you might not even realize it but, we totally favor the right side of the sidewalk. Therefore, it only makes sense that Australians favor the left side of the sidewalk. And let me tell you, walking in the Sydney CBD (that’s “downtown”) at 5PM on a Friday will make you get it right quick.​ I mean, left quick. 😉

Amazon

Oh, Amazon. How I miss you. It’s not that you can’t get items shipped to you here. But, there is no Prime 1-day or 2-day shipping here. Sometimes you do get lucky and get your package delivered in 1 or 2 days, and it’s always really exciting when that happens.

Starbucks

Guess what? Australians are addicted to coffee. And it’s not Starbucks. When I first moved, I was looking for familiarity (and free wi-fi) and I was shocked that there wasn’t a Starbucks on every corner. Apparently, Starbucks tried to make it happen but, haven’t had much success yet. And on the note of free wi-fi, Starbucks here also have free wi-fi, but you have to type in a PW they give you at the counter and, you are limited on the Gigs you can use before they cut you off, circa 2008.

High-Speed Wifi

Speaking of wi-fi… The Airbnb we stayed in when we first moved to Sydney told us we had 1GB of data we could use per day. Hello, I use that much before my morning tea! And it was so incredibly slow; I couldn’t download a photo while I was streaming a show. It was connected to a phone line; They call it ADSL. When we moved to our new home in Manly Beach, I thought, “No matter what, we are getting high-speed unlimited wi-fi; I don’t care how much it costs.” Well, it turns out it is expensive and actually really hard to obtain. Everyone, and I mean (mostly) everyone, just accepts that ADSL is standard. Circa 2008. But we put our foot down and found the one company that offered cable internet (Telstra), paid an arm and a leg to get it installed, and now I’m thinking about running a side hustle where I offer high-speed wi-fi to anyone who is interested (or desperate) to have legit wi-fi.

Expensive Beer and Liquor

Beer and liquor is so expensive. I am talking about imported and local. If you go out to drink, you will more than likely pay $18-$30 AUD for a cocktail (that’s about $13-$22 USD). There are good deals during the week, so don’t you worry! As for beer, you can’t easily find a decent 6-pack of beer for under $18 AUD (that’s about $13 USD). Luckily, you can usually find deals for beers when you go out to bars and restaurants. And the best news? There is so much good local wine, and totally reasonable.

Opposite Seasons

Although there is something pretty neat about experiencing a warm North-facing view and seeing the water spin counter-clockwise, I have to say watching friends from back home in the States bathing in sunlight on a boat while we deal with our second winter in a row, is sort of well, miserable. Granted, Sydney winter is a ton more mellow than a Seattle winter, but there’s something to be said about enjoying four seasons in a row…Having two winters in a row was just tough. That said, the build-up for summer is AMAZING. I am so friggin’ excited for a Sydney summer at the beach!

Mexican Food

This is a cuisine that is almost unheard of here. Luckily, Mexican restaurants have been popping up slowly (we have a Mexican restaurant within walking distance called Chica Bonita). However, I would say that it just hasn’t tasted the same. Also, you can’t purchase fresh pico de gallo at the grocery store. Argh.

Hot Sauce

Did you know that Sriracha only showed up in Australia a couple years ago? My expat Canadian friend told me this, and I was so thankful we showed up after it arrived! In general, the flavor “spicy” is not a thing here (unless you’re talking Thai food).. You ask for hot sauce at pretty much any restaurant, and they give you a blank stare or a really old questionable bottle of some no-name sauce you’re not sure of. Australians just don’t know spicy like Americans do.

Alaska Air, Southwest, and Virgin America

What I’m getting at is, if you fly domestic in Australia, you have very limited choices. You either have Qantas or Virgin Australia, which are exceptionally expensive. Or, you have a plethora of extremely cheap airlines, such as Jet Star and Tiger Air. Your flight price will look reasonable, but then they charge you for everything. To assign yourself a seat, you have to pay $15. To bring two carry-ons over 7kg (about 15lbs), you also have to pay. To drink their water on board, you have to pay. It’s ridiculous! Alaska Air, where are you? I miss you!

THINGS I LOVE AS AN AMERICAN LIVING IN AUSTRALIA

Tim Tams and Tea

Australians may not have good Mexican food but, they have Tim Tams and Tea (The Tim Tam Slam) and it’s about the best thing I’ve ever eaten. It sounds like Target in the States now has Tim Tams! I’m sure you can also find them at World Market. Make sure you follow the tutorial. The first time I tried it, I had been instructed by an Australian but, she wasn’t with me when I actually did it. I totally bombed the experience. The second time I did it? Nailed it, and Oh. My. God.

Australian Accent

Because I am totally in love with the way Australians talk! You know what’s funny? The American accent stands out to me now. I smile really big when I hear the American accent somewhere around me, because it feels a bit more like home. We also hang out with some British expats and it’s safe to say I love the way they talk just as much as I love the way Australians talk. One funny note is that many Australians have said that when they were younger, they wished they could talk like “the people in the movies and TV shows” talked. But it seems that as they’ve gotten older, they’ve lost interest in having the American accent. Don’t know what that’s about, sheesh.

Free Range Eggs

You know when you pay $12 at a farmer’s market in America so you can get truly free-range eggs that have really fluorescent yellow yolks so you know they’re good and delicious? Yeah, that’s all eggs here. You go to your local grocery store, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an egg short of brilliant yellow.

Biscuits

Because yes, biscuits are cookies here, and I love cookies.

Koalas, Kangaroos and Penguins

There’s something so special about finally for the first time in a lifetime meeting these “exotic” animals I never thought I’d meet outside of the zoo.

BYO (Bring Your Own)

OK, this one is sort of funny because it does technically exist in the States. As in, you go to a restaurant and bring a bottle of wine and pay a corkage fee. However, the first time we went to a restaurant here that served BYO, there was something so novelty about it. Most places charge less than $3 PP to bring your own bottle. Our new favorite thing to do is pick up our favorite bottle of $8 McGuigan‘s Red and go out for Thai food.

Public Toilets

You know how in the States, you rarely use a public bathroom? Here it is totally normal and there are actually a ton of them. The ones in the CBD are a bit sketch (after you use them, you close the door, and then it sprays the entire inside with some antibacterial mist) but, if you’re in a pinch, there’s actually options here.

Wine Bottle Screw Tops

Pretty much every (good) bottle of wine in the States has a cork, not a screw. And in fact, I would argue that the belief is that screw top wines aren’t as good. Here in Australia, it’s the exact opposite. We have seen exactly one wine bottle with a cork, and perhaps hundreds (ahem) of wine bottles with a screw top. And I haven’t missed the act of trying to track down a wine opener one bit.

Free Coin Exchange

In the States, you have to use Coinstar to get rid of coins, unless you want to spend hours stacking coins into those round wrappers. Am I right?! Here in Australia, banks have coin counting machines and they are free. This is probably because Australians have a $2 coin, which really adds to how many coins you get when you spend cash. Oh and speaking cash, there are still a ton of places that are Cash Only. WTF.

The Weather

We live in Sydney, so we can really only speak to here. But let me just tell you, Sydney is amazing. We literally live on a whitewashed beach (I believe San Diego would be the closest example in the States, or perhaps Key West), and my husband Jason takes a ferry to the CBD everyday. We have only experienced the Sydney winter and it’s been between 17-25 degrees Celsius everyday (that’s 64-80 degrees Fahrenheit). There have been rainstorms and they only last for minutes at a time. The summer is supposed to be amazing with 25 degrees or higher everyday.

Coffee

I had to include this one as an ode to my husband Jason and pretty much every Australian. I don’t drink caffeine (health reasons), so I’m the odd woman out. Australians love their coffee and are actually very picky about it. You don’t find much automatic coffee machines over here; they love drip. Jason is an avid coffee drinker and his drink of choice is a Long Black.

Here’s some other interesting facts that didn’t make the top 10, but still you might now know about Australia. I only found these out when I moved here!

  • At a restaurant, an appetizer is actually called an “entrée”. You call your entrée a “main” here.
  • Screens on windows and doors are very uncommon here. So are double-paned windows. Ironic for a place full of insects and critters, isn’t it?
  • To convert to Fahrenheit, you multiply the Celsius by two, and then add 30 (ex: 20 degrees Celcius x 2 = 40 + 30 = 70 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s not exact but, it’s close enough.
  • There are wild cockatoos here. They look exactly like your neighbor’s exotic cockatoo. But they’re wild and hang out on your balcony.
  • Cilantro is called Coriander here, and Bell Pepper is called Capsicum here.
  • At a restaurant, you say “Take away” instead of “To go”. They actually look at your funny if you say the latter.
  • Clothes dryers are really uncommon! Clotheslines are like, normal here.

What are some things you have discovered as an expat? Or were surprised by in this post? Comment below and help me expand the Balance + Vine community!