Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yoga and Food

This has got to be one of the weirdest trend spotting articles I've ever seen... The Rise of Foodie Yoga:
The words of Ziggy Marley’s “Love Is My Religion” floated over 30 people lying on yoga mats in a steamy, dim loft above Madison Avenue on Friday. All had signed up for a strange new hybrid of physical activity: first an hour of vigorous, sweaty yoga, then a multicourse dinner of pasta, red wine and chocolate. As soon as the lights went up, dinner was served on the floor: an (almost) seamless transition designed to allow the yogis to taste, smell and digest in a heightened state of awareness.
It would be sort of exciting if the entire three page article was about foodie yoga classes and about how they are going to explode across the nation, but unfortunately it's more an article about the clash between the old skool vegan yoga practitioners and the upstarts who like them some bacon consommé (Fun Fact: Rick Bayless loves yoga and pork belly).
“A pure yogic diet is one that is only calming: no garlic, onions or chili peppers, nothing heavy or oily,” said Ms. Grubler. “Steamed vegetables, salads and fresh juices are really the ideal.” Yogic food choices can also influenced by ayurveda, a traditional Indian way of eating to keep the body healthy and in balance. Some yogis determine their dosha, or dominant humor, vata (wind/air), pitta (bile) or kapha (phlegm), and eat accordingly. Foods are invested with properties like warming or cooling, heavy or light, moist or dry.

Mr. Romanelli says that such ideas about food are aspects of yoga that most Americans find forbidding, unrealistic and generally, as he puts it, “woo-woo.”

One man’s woo-woo, of course, is another’s deeply held belief system.

Mr. Romanelli believes that any profound pleasure of the senses — a live Bruce Springsteen track, an In-N-Out burger, the scent of lavender gathered in the French Alps — can bring on the “yoga high” that is a gateway to divine bliss.

People are weird about their food... especially when they are trying to crowbar their food choices into a moral and spiritual paradigm. All I know is that no garlic, no chili peppers, and only steamed vegetables would be a deal breaker for me... I'll pass on that kind of enlightenment, thank you.

photo by flickr user miheco used under a Creative Commons license