TOWNSHIP, Ohio ó What kind of wine pairs well with a warrior
thatís the case at High & Low Winery, where Yoga &
Wine is a Monday evening routine. Yoga aficionados gather
there each week for 45 minutes of stretching, strengthening
and mind-clearing, followed ó of course ó by a glass of
relentlessly warm evening not long ago, I was kind of wishing
the wine part came first.
agreed to join in a class, sacrificing my less-than-limber
body and my dignity for the sake of journalism.
mind that I havenít touched my toes since approximately
mind that the thermometer in instructor Amie Applingís car
registered 87 on the drive over.
mind that the class took place on the wineryís back lawn, in
full view of a dozen or so patrons gathered around tables on
self was on display for all the world to see, and in tights,
no less. To the spectators, I can only say Iím sorry.
it wasnít a bad experience. In fact, I kind of liked it.
Even without the wine.
& Wine started shortly after owner Matt Snyder opened the
winery in November. It was a big hit pretty much from the
start, he said, so the winery has added Yoga & Mimosa on
winter or bad weather the classes meet in the wineryís High
Tasting Room, an elegant second-floor space. When itís nice
outside, classes move to the lawn below the back patio, where
a rock waterfall provides its own sort of soothing background
is to work out and then wind down, but the yoga-before-alcohol
thing isnít a hard and fast rule. Snyder said at least one
class member customarily drinks wine before class.
sometimes during," he said.
my surprise, I didnít need any liquid courage. My
self-consciousness faded quickly under the encouragement of
the impossibly agile Appling.
coaxed my reluctant limbs into pretzel shapes with names like
pigeon and chair and down dog, innocuous terms for demanding
positions. But I didnít tear anything, and afterward I
realized the nagging twinge in my right hip had disappeared
for the rest of the evening.
class normally draws around 10 to 20 participants, although
summer tends to be slower, Snyder said. On this night, the
heat apparently kept most of them away. Or maybe it was the
fact that Snyder had sent out an email earlier warning people
the Akron Beacon Journal would be there that night.
like the fear of a camera to keep you out of your yoga pants.
student resolute enough to withstand the swelter was Snyderís
sister, Granger Township, Ohio, resident Rachel Ross. This was
Rossí seventh class, and her comfort with both the
terminology and the body bending was evident.
poses she and Appling made look so effortless proved
challenging for me. Just bringing my bent knee forward from a
downward dog position involved a battle of will as well as
anatomy. Rocking back from a kneeling position so my knees
lifted off the ground was out of the question. I quavered as I
struggled to maintain a simple lunge position with my arms
raised overhead, silently praying I wouldnít fall over in
front of all those onlookers.
I managed to make it intact to savasana, which Ross admitted
was her favorite part of class. Savasana sounds a whole lot
more elegant than its translation, "corpse pose."
on your back, palms up and muscles relaxed. You look like a
I had no
trouble with that.
needs wine, anyhow?