David Romanelli (right), and Peter Berley (left) at The Culinary Loft.
Wind down, slow down, and live in the present moment. That’s what I did earlier this week when I went to check out the Yoga for Foodies event at The Culinary Loft, located in the heart of Soho, New York City. Yes, you heard right – yoga and food.
The brainchild of Yahoo! wellness expert David Romanelli, a.k.a. Yeah Dave, Yoga for Foodies was born after he watched Food, Inc. and as a result, turned to the Slow Food philosophy. Slow Food strives to reconnect people to food, with value placed on cultural culinary traditions and the people involved in growing, raising, and making the food they eat.
The goal of Yoga for Foodies is to embrace yoga, great food, and music (with a playlist of songs from bands like Arcade Fire, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Grateful Dead, Paul Simon, Band of Horses, and more) as gateways to the present moment. Romanelli also hosts Yoga + Wine and Yoga + Chocolate programs, both of which have the same goal. Yoga for Foodies, his newest program, teams Romanelli with well-respected chefs who apply the philosophy and importance of slowing down to food. Through cooking with sustainable, local, and traditionally-grown foods, not only are senses stimulated, but people are connected both socially and culturally.
Peter Berley's menu for the night.
After about an hour of vinyasa yoga practice, attendees are treated to a delicious and healthy gourmet meal. That night, dinner was courtesy of the amazing Peter Berley, former executive chef of NYC’s Angelica Kitchen, who created gastronomical magic with locally sourced ingredients, mostly coming from the Hudson Valley. We splayed out on our yoga mats, meeting new foodies and yogis, while indulging in Berley’s seasonal feast, sipping on some wine, and enjoying the then and there.
“More than anything, the [Yoga for Foodies] experiences are about realizing that you don’t have to strap on a loin cloth, become a vegan, and meditate for three hours a day to discover the present moment,” said Romanelli , who weaves humor throughout the yoga session, plugging comical witty truths while you’re intensely trying to hold chair pose.
“You can find the present moment through chocolate, wine, music, and delicious food. It’s just a matter of embracing the ritual of eating chocolate or drinking a glass of wine, which means turning off the cell phone, taking an interest in the origin of the chocolate, indulging in a mindful way, and creating a moment that stands out in your day.”
Romanelli’s moving to NYC in December! He told us he’s in the process of planning an ongoing Yoga for Foodies series with some of the NYC’s greatest chefs. Each event will highlight the chef’s passions and sensibilities, and take their style beyond the palette creating a complete sensory experience. Check the program’s website for more details to come in December.
Upcoming Yoga for Foodies Spa Retreats:
• October 29-31, 2010
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai, CA, with Executive Chef Jamie West.
• December 2-5, 2010
Mii Amo, Sedona, AZ, with Chef Steve Sicinski.