The Beer Drinking Backbending Yogi
Does being a yogi mean that I shouldn't drink? If I love a good Manhattan or glass of wine on a Friday evening, am I lacking in commitment to my spiritual path? My honest answer to these questions is no; occasional alcohol consumption does not impact my ability to be a yogi. However, I imagine Pantanjali might have taken issue with the Heady Topper I drank last night.
This weekend my family and some friends took a small trip to Burlington, Vermont. It's been a hectic few months and we all needed an evening away. We packed our puppies in the car and headed a few hours north for an overnight at one of our favorite places. Our weekend revolved around our dogs, good food, great cocktails, and even better company.
We ate at the James Beard nominated restaurant Hen of the Wood on Burlington's waterfront. Our meal was three hours long, involved top-shelf whiskey and chartreuse, and the most delectable mushroom toast I've ever had. We ate, we drank, we shared stories, and we laughed until our cheeks hurt. Dinner filled my heart to overflow with love and gratitude... it was exactly what I needed.
I’m not gonna lie—I enjoy moments of indulgence. I live a very clean lifestyle, as I believe there is no better way to honor and protect the body we’ve been given. That said, I’ve never been one for extremes and I believe moderation is the key to happiness and wellbeing. Therefore, when I feel like eating chocolate cake and drinking pinot noir, I do. Or if I want to deviate from my predominantly vegetarian diet to eat a cheeseburger and drink budweiser, I will. I can follow the words of yogic scripture until I’m blue in the face, but it doesn’t guarantee happiness. And in all honesty, if liberation will only happen if I abstain from drinking tequila and occasionally eating bacon, then I’m not sure that I really want to be liberated. At least not in this lifetime. Also, who's to say that my experience of love, gratitude, and joy with my family and friends over dinner and drinks wasn't a manifestation of spirituality?
We all have our own path; what works for me will not necessarily work for you. I believe what is most important is love and acceptance of ourselves and others. And to be true to who we are! If we’re respectful of our individual boundaries and avoid excess, are a few Coronas while eating tacos really going to derail our spirituality? If we’re dedicated yogis, while honoring our humanness and allowing for a small amount of deviation, are we less yogic? I don't think so. No one's perfect.
I'm not perfect. But I am a wife, a doggy mom, a daughter, sister, and aunt. I love biking, long walks with my furry kiddos, music, and dorky vampire novels. I am also a yogi and a yoga teacher who loves craft beer, bourbon & cider, Bar Hill gin on the rocks, and rosé on warm summer nights. I'm me! And I'm proud of that.