Eating crow bakasana-style
Yoga and wine - there is always someone trying to put these two wildly disparate concepts together. The reasons span commerce to comedy, though the latter is usually unintentional. Many of these daring souls are friends of mine; others are the criminally insane. Some are both. Please consider these words confirmation that wine and yoga do not "pair" as it were. In fact, it's downright dangerous. I'll explain.
New Year's Eve, 2006 - my then-band and I were ending the worst gig we ever played. Three songs into the set. Our patron, sommelier to the stars Christopher Sawyer, had a rare lapse in his finesse at creating harmony by coupling this and that when he booked our rock act with the traditionally staid audience of a prix fixe dessert experience at the Lodge at Sonoma. Suffice it to say, when it became apparent that the frequencies of our amps was curdling the cream in the eclairs (let alone the batteries in the hearing aids of those for whom we were performing), Sawyer diplomatically suggested we sit out the set with a complimentary bottle of bubbly.
Somewhere along the line, my then girlfriend (now wife, the Contessa) and I were delivered to my Springs studio, whereupom someone lost a bet (me) that resulted in an impromptu yoga session from the Contessa. There was apparently some question as to whether or not I could perform "bakasana," which I've since learned is not a Middle Eastern menu item but rather Sanskrit for "crow pose." The more aesthetically inclined call it "crane pose." Simply put, you willfully defy the laws of physics and lift your body from the mat with your palms down while levitating your knees behind your upper arms. Then you eat crow. Well, that's the polite way of putting it. Ether way, you eat it. Or at least your nose does, especially when you've been partying with Sawyer. Our crow pose ended with couple of bruised beaks.
Now, mind you, I have nothing against wine or yoga. The Contessa herself is a certified yoga instructor (naturally, she was certified post-crow incident). It was for no less a yoga goddess than Lisa Murray that I coined the term "Sonomaste." Moreover, I bear no grudge for wine. I've drained oceans of it. I'm personally responsible for the Great Sonoma Wine Drought of '08. That said, the crook in my nose tells me that wine and yoga do not a meritage make. It's more like "triage."
Now, you say, "DH, no one advocates drinking wine while practicing yoga." True but that hasn't prevented a few daft would-be yogis from trying. Every half-an-hour I receive a press release from someone touting some kind of "wine country meets yoga" gig. Even Karl Wente, the fifth-generation winemaker in Livermore and "devoted yoga practitioner" has released his own yoga videos in which he shares "how yoga has encouraged balance and focus in his life, allowing him to become acutely in-tune with the wines he creates ..." I've partied with the dude while on assignment and one way I achieved balance in his midst was by alternating between the wine bar and the kegerator in the basement. Albeit, this is more "um" than "ohm" but upon receiving the release, I immediately conflated Wente's two separate pursuits in my addled mind because of the persistent threat I perceive of them uniting somewhere in Sonoma. I mentioned this to a tasting room manager who sardonically replied, "Wine and yoga - that's a stretch" as she pulled on a puffer vest, obscuring the Lululemon logo on the back of her shirt. From Sanskrit "Namaste" translates "the spirit in me respects the spirit in you." In Sonoma, it just might mean "conspiracy theory."
• • •
Daedalus Howell gets limber at SonomaReporter.com.