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Yoga and wine -- the ultimate fusion?

March 11, 2009 |  5:03 pm

Hybrids aren't popular just in the car world — they're big in fitness classes too. No longer is it necessary to spend an hour in one pursuit, such as group cycling or Pilates — now one or more workouts combine to cover more ground. It's perfect for short attention spanners and multi-taskers, but it also actually makes sense: More muscle groups get worked, and strength training and stretching can be combined with endurance.

Dave_photo_sm_2So it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that this notion of exercise fusion has been expanded even further to include ... wine and food. Yoga and wine, for example, are one of the newer combinations to come about, pairing a yoga class (which usually happens first, for obvious reasons), with wine tasting. And while this may sound like the ultimate thing white people like, we can think of worse ways to spend a couple of hours.

"There's nothing gimmicky about it," says yoga instructor David Romanelli. "There's something really organic about it — it's not like, 'Let's do yoga and let's do wine.' "

Los Angeles-based Romanelli leads two yoga fusion events this week at Exhale Spa in Venice, where he teaches: Friday evening is "Yoga + Chocolate + Wine Party for the Ages," featuring Sicilian wines and gourmet Vosges chocolates, preceded by a Vinyasa flow class (donations only, and proceeds will go to Heal the Bay). Saturday afternoon is "Beautiful, Funny, Delicious," with yoga followed by olives and cheeses ($30 in advance, $35 at the door).

In the Friday class, Romanelli will also impart wisdom about aging: "Everybody is afraid of getting old," he says, "but the yogis see aging as not based on your skin tone, but how vibrant your spirit is. How many times a day do you stop and take a deep breath and really enjoy life? So many of us just grind it out, and the spirit takes a hit. That's really when you age."

Pass the Cabernet.

-- Jeannine Stein

Photo: Tyler Boye