Vino-Vinyasa-2Finding balance in our lives can be extraordinarily difficult.  When looking at the quality of life of the few who stay committed to achieving a balanced, harmonious state, the benefits appear to outweigh the necessary effort.  It sounds easy, but most of us realize the challenge in maintaining the nirvana called balance.

Individuals who achieve balance in their lives are not just legend, they do exist!  I have the pleasure of being friends with one such woman. Over the course of seven years, I have observed her schedule, listened to the choices she faced, and watched how they have all impacted the ‘puzzle pieces’ of life.  Her ability to balance seems to boil down to remembering not to take yourself so seriously. Looking back at the first girls’ trip we took to the Napa Valley – away from work, family, school, PTA meetings, volunteering, the gym, etc. –  I remember she scheduled us for a class of all things!  As our group reluctantly rose with the sun, we made our way to Vino & Vinyasa.

We assumed we would be studiously taking notes on the winery’s best varietals, trying to reach note pads from a downward-facing-dog position, but before we even entered the room our sensorial journey began.  We were met with intoxicating floral, oak and fruit scents that drifted into the hallway leading to our class.  Once we stepped inside the room our eyes widened at the beautiful sight of the vineyards, stretching as far as the eye could see through the floor to ceiling windows.  Our instructor explained she never would have considered wine tasting with Yoga, as it just was not respectful of her practice, but she fell in love with the combination after experiencing her first class.  The Vino & Vinyasa session changed my outlook as well, and was more fun than any other yoga class I had ever taken.

We are delighted to offer Vino & Vinyasa at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells. This private yoga, wine-tasting class is a two-hour journey of the senses and begins with a welcoming introduction to the art of yoga and wine in unison.  We then move into 30 minutes of standing yoga poses to relax the mind, body and breath, and to enhance our senses. After using principles of yoga, we compare two white wines and enjoy cultivating the craft of tasting notes using our individual pallets to discern flavors, likes and dislikes.

We begin the second half of our journey with yoga poses close to the ground on our mats with respect to the earth and red wine-tasting. We further discuss tasting notes, flavors and small nuances having introduced numerous facets of breath, balance, present moment mindset and other yoga principles to further each individual’s experience of wine-tasting.   Lastly, we practice a moment of relaxation and quiet-mind in corpse pose feeling the belly rise and fall with each breath. Then we’ll close out our session with a toast of champagne in honor of our journey.

With the popularity of yoga steadily increasing, the traditional physiological, psychological and biochemical benefits we receive from practicing are becoming more commonly known.  The question still remains, do people realize the essential aspect that fun plays in daily life?  It makes perfect sense. The more enjoyable we make any of the demanding routines in life, the more likely we are to stick to them.  Pairing Vino & Vinyasa allows us to enjoy the benefits of vast body relaxation and stress relief, in a connecting experience.  Our guests feel a sense of community and fun.  The resident V&V expert at Agua Serena Spa, Honri Marcel, says it best, “Guests enjoy the experience because the benefits are multiple: We use the yoga modality as a release; increase flexibility and range of motion; access the relaxation response to help reduce our thoughts; increase our sense of being present; and enhance our primary tastes, smells and senses to discern personal flavors.”  Honri goes on to make a point to which many of us can relate. “We spend most of our waking hours in thoughts of the dead past, or presumed future, missing the NOW, which is where true awareness lies.”  In class he has even caught people lost in thought, about to take a sip before they even looked at the wine!  How quickly we can move away from the moment and miss the experience.

If Vino & Vinyasa sounds interesting to you, give it a try. The gentle yoga class is open to all ages (over 21 of course), all backgrounds, and all body types. Some of our guests have never done yoga, but love the idea of wine tasting, while others are avid yogis but have never practiced with wine.  Key features of these classes are the small size and sense of privacy, and combining the principles of yoga (breath, balance, flexibility, strength and physical expression) with wine tasting.  “Tasting” being the operative word, as we are working inside the healthy context of drinking wine and enjoying all the health benefits researchers have proven about phenols, polyphenols and other natural properties.

Considering moderation brings us full circle.  Experiencing all things within limits, including not taking ourselves so seriously, allows for fun and leads us to that balanced life for which we all strive.

Vino & Vinyasa is offered as a private or group activity. Call to schedule your 2-hr class now. Pricing starts at $250 for 2 people and $65 for each additional person (maximum 10 people).

Cristina Cascio is Spa Director at the Agua Serena Spa at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells 760.674.4100. For more information visit

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