Shape Up or Sip Out

By Hilary Berg, OWP Editor

When I was a kid, my great aunt, Faith, introduced me to yoga. I remember her special visits to my grandma and grandpa’s house. With wafts of the best fried chicken I have ever had — or will ever have — coming from the kitchen, my siblings and I, knee deep in chocolate shag carpet, would be trying to attempt the tripod headstand pose. 

I am sure our posture was off and, of course, meditation was not even attempted, but the physical aspect was in full force. By the end of the day, we were all downward-facing-dog-tired with sleepy eyes and nodding heads in the backseat of the family station wagon. Needless to say, my parents appreciated Faith’s visits, too.

Fast-forward 30 years, and yoga has become immensely popular and big business. Studio classes, gear, clothing, music, books, body products and more can all be purchased for yoga’s sake — ahhh … consumerism. I am not surprised though; most people who have tried yoga invariably rave about its benefits and become enmeshed in the pastime.  

In McMinnville, where we produce Oregon Wine Press, there are two yoga studios, as well as classes offered at the community center and health clubs around town. That’s impressive for a small city of around 30,000 residents. 

In addition, many wineries in and around Mac, and Willamette Valley wine country, have also joined the yoga trend and currently offer instruction. With stunning views and a peaceful, country atmosphere, yoga among wines and vines makes a lot of sense; especially when the reward for challenging poses is a glass of Pinot. 

For those who’d prefer to pick up the pace and hit the road, more and more Oregon wineries are also hosting cycling and running events that have already cultivated loyal participants from all over the nation. 

Alas, if yoga, cycling and running are not on your leisure list, simply stopping by the winery for a tasting remains the favorite pastime in these parts. Requiring no additional gear or high-tech clothing, tasting world-class wines will always be a winner in the Willamette and other Oregon appellations.

Someday I would love to run a race or even climb a hill in low gear, but until then, I will concentrate on perfecting my tripod pose and graciously cheer on anyone able to cross the finish line.

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