Chakras & Chardonnay

Ep 34: Stop Stretching: From Pain to Joy & Wines of Rioja with Yogi Aaron

February 07, 2024 Maria Mayes Season 2 Episode 34
Chakras & Chardonnay
Ep 34: Stop Stretching: From Pain to Joy & Wines of Rioja with Yogi Aaron
Show Notes Transcript

Today, Maria is joined by Yogi Aaron, and they delve into the world of yoga, anatomy, and the misconception surrounding stretching. Yogi Aaron is the creator of the revolutionary approach to yoga, Applied Yoga Anatomy and Muscle Activation, Ayama as well as the Online Platform, the Yogi Club host of the Yoga Podcast, Stop Stretching, author of Autobiography of a Naked Yogi and the recently published, Stop Stretching, a New Yogic Approach to Master your Body and live Pain Free. Yogi Aaron shares his personal journey with chronic back pain and how he transitioned from a focus on stretching to muscle activation for pain relief. They discuss the importance of understanding the language of the body and avoiding ego-driven injuries in yoga practice.

Yogi Aaron emphasizes the significance of stillness and joy in yoga poses, encouraging practitioners to find steadiness and ease rather than pushing for extreme flexibility. He also sheds light on the concept of being addicted to pain and how it can shape one's narrative.

The conversation takes a turn towards wine, with Yogi Aaron sharing his love for exploring wineries and enjoying wines from regions like La Rioja in Spain. He describes the unique tastes and stories that wines can tell, highlighting the connection between history, land, and the experience of the wine.

To connect with Yoga Aaron: 

To purchase Yogi Aaron's latest book:
On social: @yogi_aaron

For those interested in Yogi Aaron's approach to yoga anatomy and pain relief, he recommends checking out his free Pain-Free Series on his website:  

Featured in this Episode:

Vallobera Crianza Rioja 2020 at Trader Joe's

Learn more about Maria and her work at Take5.Health and subscribe to receive tips and free Guided Meditations each Wednesday. Connect with Maria on social:

Maria Mayes: Well, welcome back chakras and Chardonnay listeners. I'm so grateful to be back with you again and I'm really excited about my guest today 'cause I have with me one of the most sought-after teachers today of yoga. This is Yogi Aaron joining me today and he's trailblazing a new path in the world of yoga, known for his unorthodox perspectives on stretching and flexibility and how both cause more harm than good.

His teachings aim to help as many people as possible live a pain-free life, so they can realize yoga's true intentions. Oh, I'm just digging every single word of that. So he is the creator of the revolutionary approach to yoga, Applied Yoga Anatomy and Muscle Activation, Ayama and the online platform, the Yogi Club host of the Yoga podcast, Stop Stretching, an author of Autobiography of a Naked Yogi and a new book, Stop Stretching, a new yogic approach to master your body [00:01:00] and live pain free. And he is also the co-owner Blue Osa, , yoga Retreat and Spa in Costa. Rica, which is where he's, uh, coming at us from today, where he leads yoga teacher training immersions year round. And um, just in our quick conversation before we hit record here, um, he's just got a great energy, his sense of humor, laugh, adventurous spirit.

This is all. Uh, gonna be so much fun and it's coming through already over the, the camera and over the audio here, and I'm just really excited to, to learn more. So thanks so much for joining us, Yogi Aaron.

Yogi Aaron: Thank you so much for having me on your show. Talking about two of my. Favorite topics? Wine and chakras.

Maria Mayes: Oh, we got that in common. We got that in common. Well, I've gotta tell you, just in reading through, you know, your body of work here, there's a lot, right? There's so many different angles we can take this, but I love the [00:02:00] fact that you focus on, uh, the pain free Mm-Hmm. And that being something that's not necessarily associated with stretching.

So tell me more.

Yogi Aaron: So I tend to kind of ramble sometimes, so if I start rambling, I won't be, I'll reel you back in. No worries. Um, yeah, reel me back in. I won't be upset if you cut me off or something, or, or say Aaron bring it home. Okay. Sounds good. But, but I, I mean, I've been into yoga since I was about 18 years old and one of the things that happened right away.

Which it would take me about another 25, 28 years to put two and two together was that I hurt my body. And my back hurt. And I was never a person that had like a lot of pain, especially like back pain. Um, it, but the interesting thing was after the first time I [00:03:00] hurt my back, I started developing that kind of ego.

I'm a person with back pain and so just something to put a pin in. Uh, but I then of course did more yoga, more stretching to get rid of more pain, you know, um, long pigeon holds and, um, you know, a lot of like, quote unquote hip openers and, you know, to fair all of it always felt good. You know, you stretch, you feel good, you know, you, and the sad thing is actually if you ask most yoga teachers, like, why should you stretch?

They just say. There's no real reason other than it feels good. And here we are talking about wine and um. You know, drinking a bottle of wine feels fabulous, but just because you can doesn't mean you should. Right. So, um, I also like to say to people like, doing a line of cocaine also [00:04:00] feels good. So, um, again, just because it feels something feels good doesn't necessarily mean we should always do that.

Right. And think like it's nurturing. Right. Yeah, and, and that's the other interesting thing like about, you know. So many yoga teachers will get on the bandwagon of like, well, we've got tight muscles and we have to quote unquote, they literally use this language, open them up, and um, and so what yoga teachers have failed to answer this most important question.

If you ask 999 or a thousand yoga teachers, this question, probably nine. Only one might get it right. But the question is, why are muscles tight in the first place? And so muscles tighten up as the body's way to protect itself. And so it's a protective mechanism. And so I. You know, in yoga there's this [00:05:00] big, there's a lot of buzzwords going around, especially after me too.

But this whole idea of, you know, we have to hold sacred space. We have to honor our bodies. Meanwhile, we're violating our body's own protective mechanism by trying to stretch. So anyways, jump forward. 25 years after a lot of, when I say chronic pain, I really mean chronic pain. Uh, a lot of chronic pain, a lot of tearful nights.

Um, 'cause I, uh, had just such enormous pain. I ended up in a hospital in emergency room with the orthopedic surgeon saying to me like, we might need to do. A, um, spinal fusion in your lower back. Now, just to be clear, I haven't had the spinal fusion yet. Um, thank God. Uh, but that is also because I've learned A, I've stopped stretching and B, I've learned how to start activating [00:06:00] dormant muscles.

And so to answer that question, why are muscles tightening up? Yes, it's a protective mechanism because. The central nervous system senses instability, aka. Muscles that should be working, muscles that should be supporting joints are not working. And so what we need to do is kick start. That's one word to use.

Kick start that neuromuscular connection. And this is something like a lot of yoga teachers don't understand. One of the biggest benefits and, and I'll be the first to get on this bandwagon. Of yoga is this development of kinetic awareness. Like if you ask most people, where's your pinky toe? They can't tell you.

So yes, we are improving that sort of quote unquote mind body connection. But there's a lot happening at an autonomic nerve level, which. Is like, we don't think about, okay, I'm gonna make my, he beat every second. [00:07:00] So in our line, in my line of work now with muscle activation, it's improving that sort of unconscious 'cause it's happening in the on uh, nervous system that on unconscious ability for muscles to contract and.

Tracked on demand. And so some of your listeners might be going, well, my muscles work perfectly. I can go from A to B. Yeah, of course you can, but you're always gonna go from A to B, you know, that's the way nature works. You know, we we're gonna go there and we're going to use whatever we have available in our system.

A lot of times, a lot of us are getting from A to B with 30% of our muscles working properly, you know, um, that's like 70% are not functioning. And that's why when you do get to B, you're in enormous pain because now you've ended up with a body full of joints that have been compromised because muscles are not engaging properly.

So that's the [00:08:00] short. Explanation. 

 There's just so many, just different levels there, and I, I really, I'm just grateful to be having this conversation with you today. Um, you know, I, I too have had my, uh, my years of chronic pain. Mm-Hmm. As you talk about that, you know, protective mechanism, one thing that.

Maria Mayes: Has allowed me to be really tuned into the current world today of people having a ton of neck and shoulder tension. Right? Mm-Hmm. We're all cocked over with our heads, looking at our phones all day. Yeah. The fact that I've been challenged with what's called. Coat hanger pain, which is mm-Hmm. If you kind of imagine a coat hanger, um, due to a nervous system dysfunction I have with the autonomic nervous system.

And so my muscles are in a constant state of contracting in Yeah. Uh, the shoulders and the neck with the intention to push blood flow to my brain because I'm [00:09:00] not getting it necessarily all the time as, uh, much as I need. Right. And so it's this, yes. It's this very, um, intense example of what opened a door for me to really discover that within myself.

And a lot of times, I think until we, you know, and, and I, you know, I literally just said. Less than an hour ago, probably in a class that I was teaching in a facility, um, that yoga's actually how I've avoided having back surgery and mm-Hmm. Um, but it's not with this crazy stretching that people are expecting that they need to do.

And so, yeah, just. Beautiful timing. So let me, um, I wanna throw this at you and then circle back around to explore more about your techniques, but question, um, that I got this morning, right, it, it, as people are looking for, in this case it was in a, uh, adult behavioral health program, but, uh, several that individuals are [00:10:00] suffering from chronic pain and.

As they share a little bit about that, you can really read into and hear, um, the story that has been created around that. Right. So, um, which you kind of started out with when you were saying, I'm a person with back pain, right? Yes. This is what we do as humans. We create these stories around things. So yeah, I would love your perspective on, on that piece of it 

in terms of the progress one can see, but also just how that, the concept of what I've seen in my own life and in working in medical offices where I'm working with chronic pain groups, or in this case behavioral health center, um, the attachment to the story and the emotion. Mm-Hmm. Begins to at some point, take over the physical pain and then they become so intertwined that there's a.

It's, as we say, loosen, right As we're trying to create expansiveness and [00:11:00] loosen, there's an expansiveness and loosening that needs to happen there before they can even realize that they're separate. Right? That you can, yeah, and, and I shouldn't say separate, but that they can realize how to step into, maybe, maybe there's more than this.

Maybe there's, maybe there's another story out there. 

Yogi Aaron: Yeah. The third. Chapter or third part of my book is titled, who Am I Without My Pain? Mm. And and part of this is like we can approach the healing and, and look at this from a very biomechanical perspective and et cetera, et cetera, but there are so many, there is a lot of people out there that no matter what they do, they're always gonna have some pain.

And, and that's what they focus on. And so one of the precepts of yoga is like, be careful where you put your mind because that's what you [00:12:00] will manifest. You know, right where you put your, where, where you, where your mind goes, you go or where you go, your mind goes. Energy flows to that. So we, we be, we're very powerful at manifesting it.

And so, so part of that is like, yes, I'm a person that's had back pain and, and the reason why I brought that up was because. If I trace back my journey, I became very. For lack of better words, obstinate in the fact that I had back pain. And so that I was always going up to yoga teachers. I'm a person with back pain.

I need to modify and the, you know, but here's the killer. Um, I mean, there's so many things to unpack there, but one of them is, you know, the poses that I backed out of the most was always backbending, and those were the poses that I needed the most, so. Never had a yoga teacher say that to me. Um, and I also never had a yoga teacher teach me [00:13:00] how to do back bends in a dynamic way that was actually going to strengthen the muscles, supporting my back.

Never, not once. Twenty-five years. And I've had a lot of master yoga teachers. Lots. Wow. Yeah. Like lots. Yeah. Um, never once have I had a yoga teacher say to me, Hey Aaron. These are the muscles in your back by doing, you know, shasana for example, every single day. Is going to help get those muscles stronger after you do Shalabhasana.

Let's do down dog to up dog. You know, so many times all the teachers I had were more interested in how great my Chaturanga looked. You know, my Chaturanga Dandasana, or how much I could push my forehead to my knees, which. Was the absolute wrong thing for me to do with all of my back problems, right? I should have been doing more, more back bends, but I never was educated, even as a yoga teacher, I never had that proper [00:14:00] education to go, oh yeah.

If we want to improve the efficacy of our back muscles, we need to get these muscles going. And I know you wanna say something, but just let me finish up on this. Yeah, no, continue. I'm loving it. But the whole, the whole chapter of this idea too, of who are you without your pain. Comes from right in the beginning of the second chapter in the sutras, which is, you know, Patanjali lays out very clearly the causes of suffering.

So it's a Vidya, which is ignorance, a Smita, which is the eye maker, and then Raga and Dvesha. So Raga is like likes or pleasure. And then dvesha is, um, dislikes or pain and. What, what doesn't get talked in. I would say that I've never heard a yoga teacher talk about this except for my teacher, Panditji Rajmani Tiganai, who has talked about.

This. This is kinda one of the dirty secrets that [00:15:00] we just, I don't think we talk about, we have an aversion to pain, so that's what Patanjali is saying is like we, we avert pain to go to pleasure, but there's actually another side of Devesha, which is our addiction to that pain. And uh, that we are attracted to that pain because it actually fuels our narrative.

And I don't think I really got it until I had a woman in my teacher training who just the shortest story possible, she just suffered enormous abuse in the army. And she was stationed, stationed in Germany. It wasn't quite overseas 'cause there's a US Army base there. She went through a lot of abuse and.

I was giving this talk on devotion. She all of a sudden said, oh my God, I don't have to be addicted to being in pain anymore. And it was kinda like at that moment I was like, oh, that's what this means, right? I was like, all of a sudden the lights went off for me and I [00:16:00] started thinking about that in terms of my own addiction to my own back pain, and how much that defined me in life.


Maria Mayes: much there. 

Yogi Aaron: Sorry. 

Maria Mayes: No, it's such a beautiful conversation and I'm so glad we're having this while things are recording right now. Right. It's, that's the beauty of this podcast, you know, being able to have these amazing conversations and have them, uh, recorded. So as you were finishing that up, I was just thinking about, one of the things that hit for me towards the end of that is the.

In addition to that addiction, to the pain, the addiction to being the victim from that pain. Right? And so I think there's, there's a lot of that within, um, the world right now. Um, and I, I found myself there for many year too and, you know. It's such a, so for the listeners, if you are out there [00:17:00] exploring different, um, you know, yoga classes in different, um, different towns where you might live in, this is such a key point that I'm always, you know, trying to hone in on, on any class that I teach.

And I just wanna offer it here because there is so much potential for injury if we have someone who's not conscious enough to. Really look at it from the lens of we all come to class with our own. Unique bodies that are built completely differently with our own unique histories of injury. Right? Yeah.

And so to really just, uh, remind folks that your body knows so much more than any teacher that is in front of you. And so to really listen into that, but it takes. It, it's a skill to build, right? That self-awareness and that that mind body awareness as you mentioned. So, I mean, can 

Yogi Aaron: can I push back a little bit on that though?

Sure. Yeah, yeah. Um, if you don't mind, um, because I think, [00:18:00] I think I, I'm gonna make this point just by starting by saying that I don't think that most yoga teachers know how to listen to their body or even know what they're, you know what, that's a great point saying. I just want to, but, but the point I'm getting to is like our bodies are talking to us.

You're absolutely right about that. But. And we should listen to them. But I can listen to somebody speaking Japanese. Yeah. But I don't know a word of Japanese so I can listen, but I'm not going to hear that. And so part of our job, I think in, in yoga as yoga teachers especially, 'cause if we're gonna teach people.

How to listen to their body. If we're gonna tell people to listen to their body. It's like, well, what is the language of the body? Yeah, sure. And, and that's, that's kind of the lane that I kind of drive in more and more these days is like, for example, uh, pain. Pain is the check engine light, you [00:19:00] know? And.

There's so much in our mentality in our world today, like no pain, no gain, you know, ride the edge of the pain. Like you'll hear yoga teachers literally say like, go right up to that line of where you can tolerate the pain.

And that's, I'm smiling. 

Maria Mayes: I can't see video. I'm smiling 'cause this is all hittin really well. So keep 

Yogi Aaron: on. So, but the pain is the check engine. Light pain is a result always. Always of inflammation. And so the question then is, why is there inflammation there? Well, the inflammation is caused by stress, trauma, and overuse.

If you're stressing something out, it's going to create inflammation, and that inflammation is not good. We do not want the body in an inflammatory response, so. So that's just like the beginning of the journey. Yeah. You know, looking at dressing, [00:20:00] also muscle tightness. Muscle tightness is telling us, Hey, the body's protecting itself here.

And, um, and, and this is a journey like it, it's taken me a good six years, like just this last couple of months literally, I've just started addressing, like, realizing like, oh my God, I had this tightness going on. It's actually to my, my, um, left side. Sidebenders. So now I'm constantly leaning to the right and I didn't realize that before Mm.

Until somebody pointed out like, oh yeah, you're guarding to the left. Like, I don't like going to the left. Mm. And it's created this whole imbalance in my whole system that I'm just only now starting to, uh, understand. So it takes a while to learn his language and, and to be able to. Show, create stability in the body so the body's no longer in that protective state.

Maria Mayes: Right, right. And I think there's, a, as we look [00:21:00] at the, the person leading class, right? Yeah. And in the U.S, you know, where most of this is coming from a fitness perspective, right? Yes. Versus, um, another perspective what I see as as a teacher and what I've seen as a student, I mean, I recall, I mean it's so much resonates.

I recall being just had gone through my teacher training. Right. And I think I was maybe still in the process of going through it and another yoga teacher because they knew I was a teaching or in training to teach. I was doing a a forward fold and decided to come up and. Press me down because he thought, well, I should be as flat as a pancake because I am a yoga instructor, right?

Mm-Hmm. Well, little did he know I had a hard stop with my pelvis and he actually took a herniated disc and made it worse. Hmm. Um, so, you know, a [00:22:00] lot's changed since then in terms of the yoga world. Being more aware, I would say of, um, you know, do we want. Uh, Adjustments physical adjustments and not, and all that kind of stuff.

But I think it's, it's really important for us to empower everyone that walks into any, um, class that we're, we're teaching, right? To know that it, it goes, that whatever's offered is, is an invitation. And not a must do because the body's gonna speak up and it's gonna speak up, as you said, in the form of pain.

Or maybe not even quite pain, but a little, Hmm. What's that? Right? But just to create curiosity, to learn that, you know, as you said, it's, it's a, it, I definitely, I believe it's a skill, you know, and it takes a long time to learn, but I think if we can open up that dialogue to say this, that's, that's why we're doing this, to create that communication.

Yeah. Um, so I just, um. I love that you're [00:23:00] coming at it from this end. And so tell me a little bit more about through this work with stepping into, well, I said I would say maybe get into a little bit, maybe of the technique, but then also a, a, a tip that the listeners, if this is making them think, Hmm, you know, I, I've.

I've really been pushing in the class and trying to do this pose and it feels like crap, but I thought I was, you know, thought it was the right thing to do. Like pigeon, for example. Yeah. Um, what can we offer 'em 

Yogi Aaron: today? It's, you know, it's, it's really, it breaks my heart. I'm just gonna say it, it breaks my heart.

'cause I, I had this one, uh, woman, I don't know how old she is. She didn't tell me, but. She just literally just emailed me and I've been start, I get these random emails like, oh my God, I just came across your YouTube channel, or I just came across your podcast or whatever, and they're like, I am just [00:24:00] completely blown away.

And she said, you know, I just finished doing my 200 hour. It was really great. Um, it focused, really didn't focus on anatomy at all, but focused all on energy and, and then she said after the teacher training, it developed chronic hip pain and, and then that's how I ended up. You know, in your, uh, lane, and I just want you to know, like the hip pain is completely gone now and I really want to actually come and do my 200 hour now with you.

And so, so I, I, it's just like we have work to do and I think part of what I'm trying to do is flip the script on a lot of different areas, but one of them. Is kind of this pseudo science that yoga teachers kind of feel really emboldened to use and, and inspire people to, you know, it's like my [00:25:00] systemology, if you want to call it that, is applied yoga anatomy, a muscle activation, but the applied yoga anatomy is, is like, Hey, let's have an experience of anatomy in our body so that when I'm folding forward, it's.

Actually, it's really about me getting in touch with like my trunk flexors, like my abdominals shortening and using and being in touch with that, um, action that's happening in the body. Or if I'm side bending, it's no longer about, you know, how much I can stretch, but how much I can, uh, engage. And so part of it is also flipping the script on on.

The way that we look at postures, that it's no longer about like I was using side bending, that it's no longer about stretching one side. It's really about all my attention now is how much am I really engaging my obliques in the side that I'm bending into if I'm doing back bends. And this is one of the reasons why.

I could never backbend [00:26:00] properly. 'cause nobody ever said to me, Hey, we gotta get your glutes working, your your lower back muscles, working your upper back muscles traps working. Um, and if we get those working, then you're gonna go up to back bends. And not only are you going to, uh, feel better and stronger and pain free, but your lower back will be helped with the disc herniation going on.

And so it's kind of like flipping the script on so many levels, but that is one of the areas it's like we're not focused on stretching anymore and, and we're focused on activating. Hmm. And so you asked me for a tip and uh, a tip. There's a few tips. Uh, the first tip is go to my website and get my pain free series.

It's free. There's a lot of freebies on my website, 

Maria Mayes: but yeah, and we will be putting all that in the show notes, but let's drop it here while we're talking about it. What is the 

Yogi Aaron: website, Aaron? Yogi [00:27:00] That's a-A-R-o-n dot com, and there's tons of freebies. Um, there's, um, a free mini course for my new online training that people can access as well.

So, but you know, in terms of tips like. One of the questions that I often ask people, and it's, it's actually the very first episode in my podcast series. It's a series, it's not like a ongoing thing, it's just a eight part series. It's kinda like a docu series and, and the first episode is titled, how much flexibility do I need to have in Order to Be Happy?

Like. And, and, and so one of the constant pushbacks that people get give to me is like, well, I need to feel the full expression of the pose. And I always turn to them and go, why? Like what, first of all, what is the full expression of the pose and why do you need to express it? Like, is it gonna make you happier?

Is it gonna help you to be more [00:28:00] successful? Is that going to help you to go out to manifest and live your life purpose? Um, and always the answer is, well, no, I just want to, well, then it's ego driven and so. For the record, I don't believe in yoga injuries. I believe in ego-related injuries. And so, so the, because I can reflect on my own experience, right?

So with that in mind, if the goal, what is the goal when we do postures? Well, Patanjali laid it out very clearly. Stiram, Sukham. So Stiram is steady. How steady can I be in a pose and steadiness? A lot of people don't understand this word. Steady. Still means literally still without movement. So, so what he is really saying is like, we need to get still, and that has many different connotations to it, which, you know, we we're, [00:29:00] we're talking about to the chakras and Chardonnay lady for goodness sake.

So there's, you know, there's a lot to unpack in stillness when we got get into the chakras. Right. And the other part of that equation is Sukha and Sukha. And it translates to a few things. Easy. The literal translation means good space, so you're cultivating a sense of good space, which means nothing in your space.

But the, one of the translations by George, I think it's George Fernstein Feinstein, he's a Sanskrit scholar, uh, famous Sun American Sanskrit scholar, but he translated Sukha as Joy. Mm-Hmm. I think of like, you know, Vyasa's translation of Shraddha, which all of us know Shraddha is faith. But Vyasa translated Shraddha as a joyful state of mind.

Hmm. And, uh, I think that there's a connection between the Shraddha business and Suka. [00:30:00] So it's like how much joy can I experience? So if we take those two ideas, I'm in a joyful state that has nothing in my space to pull me down, and I'm also still, that really kind of reframes the way that we practice Asana 

Maria Mayes: beautifully.

So, yeah, beautifully. So, so I think. There's so many tips that you, bonus tips that you dropped just throughout that whole conversation. Right. I think just in terms of that good space, but also safety, a space and just looking at things from a different perspective on how do I expand and open a particular muscle group versus, you know, just bending to the side or trying to make that toe touch or whatever it might be.

Um, yeah, it's so beautiful. So, um, the. The website will be in the show notes, links to get a hold of you. I've got another question for you. Yes. And that is, what type of wine [00:31:00] do you like to mind? 

Yogi Aaron: Finally, we get to the wine portion of the podcast. Yeah. And not about this, uh, yoga stuff. So can I just tell a quick story first?

Please do So, I'm 51. What year is it? Right now? It's 2023. mm-Hmm. So around 2000, the end of 2008, I think it was like, I wanna say it was around October, 2008. It might have been November. I had this epiphany one day. That. And, and just to be clear, like I've always enjoyed wine, but I always like drank wine.

Like only on the very most special occasions. And all of a sudden I realized I wanna be a person that drinks more wine.

And so, so anyways, I started to become more of a wine connoisseur at that point. And I started to, you know. Uh, drink wine, not just on special occasions, but on more [00:32:00] occasions and, um, and for better or for worse, right? And, um, but it's, so that's been a whole wine. My wine journey has been, uh, crazy, but I. I have, um, my whole life has sort of changed now, especially in the last decade 'cause so many of my trips I, I travel a lot, but a lot of my vacation trips are centered around wine.

And where can I go to taste more wines or go to wine hotels? Like that's my favorite thing in the world now is find like winery, hotels, and, and with really good food. Uh, some of my favorite wines, one of my favorite. Two. There's actually two, I'm gonna say two areas because, well, I just have to, but I have more than that.

So if I, if it's not in your favorite area, that's okay. To, to your listeners. Um, but it's Spain. Okay. And, uh, Laha. I just [00:33:00] love traveling to La Rioja and drinking wines there. But the other place is also in Spain, and I never say it right, but it's, it's the Rio, uh, Rio, uh, re I always say it wrong. Uh, re, re rebrero or do, do anyways.

It's right by, it's right that area of Spain, that's past Salamanca. And uh, and that's where I found a place actually where I led. The retreat I was telling you before the show, okay. About where I took people to a winery hotel, and there was a one star Michelin restaurant attached to it, and they had the most amazing, uh, place to go to.

So if you ever want to go for a great wine vacation, check out Hacienda Zorita and one of the most amazing places to go to. 

Maria Mayes: That's just the names got me interested. 

Yogi Aaron: Their website will draw you in just like a fish. So tell me about 

Maria Mayes: the wines [00:34:00] themselves. Tell me about like what, what in particular, um, in either these regions, either the varietal or just describe the taste to me.

Yogi Aaron: You know, one of my, one of my new sayings as I'm trying out a wine is like, what kind of story is it telling me? Hmm. And I feel like so many wines, like you can just taste a wine that has a. History to it. When I say history, not like, obviously the wine, 'cause it's probably just a few years old, but Mm-Hmm.

Like the, the, the vines that are attached or the land that it's on. And it just, like, that's what, that's what enamors me into the different wines, um, is like, what kind of history, what kind of story is it telling me? And the wines of La, Rioja have this very specific taste. That is just, you know, and there's like so many of those V vines, they, the, the minerals there are just so different.

Mm-Hmm. Especially in that [00:35:00] region of, of Spain up in La Rioja. And it has this very, I would describe it like a little bit, um, musky kind of taste, which doesn't sound very tasty, but in a wine in the right setting. Absolutely. Right. 

Maria Mayes: Right. Oh, I love it. How do you keep it mindful? 

Yogi Aaron: I.

As I was saying in my wine journey has been somewhat interesting and I think there's been some unmindful, uh, parts of my wine journey. Right. And then there's been other parts that are more mindful. I think that one of the ways that I keep it mindful is I think sharing it with friends. Hmm. Um, and not necessarily for special occasions, but just sharing like a nice bottle of wine with a, a couple of friends.

Uh. And talking about the wine, I like to swirl my wine a lot and just kind of notice, you know, is it heavier, is it lighter? Is it a [00:36:00] darker red, is it a lighter red, you know, just being really em embodied in it. I also, um, a really good friend of mine is a sommelier. Okay. And one of the things that I kind of like little tricks that I picked up from him.

He's actually from Israel. And as you know, Israel has some of the most incredible wines in the world as well. Oh my God. And uh, so he actually was working at this kind of bar and he was responsible for ordering the wine. So when I was there last time, he took. Me to a few vineyards. Oh, beautiful. And we did some wine tasting.

But one of the things I always watch about him is he constantly swirls his cup. He constantly moves it around. He is always looking at it. And that's something that I've started to adapt more for myself is just being more. Part of the wine as opposed to just sloshing it back. 

Maria Mayes: Well, it's like, it's like our asanas, right?

In order to [00:37:00] really step into it, we have to leverage the breath to allow us to open, right? Yeah. Same thing with our wine. You know, that's swirling. We're allowing the wine to arrive in that moment. So I love it. And I think even what you mentioned about the story, to me, that's all mindfulness. When we can step into.

Observing and enjoying and smelling and tasting that glass and, and seeing the story behind it. I mean, you're coming at it with all sorts of, of mindfulness there. I love it. 

Yogi Aaron: Maria, can I, can I tell you just a very quick story? Yeah. Because I think you're gonna love this. Of course. So, um, so, you know, there was, I have, um, I go to India a lot.

I've been to India about 10 times, and during one of my trips, earlier trips, I met this guy. His name is Amit. He's from Rishikesh and I call him my little Indian brother 'cause he is very tiny. Um, but he's also like a, a living sage. Like the, the amount of wisdom of the tradition just he holds in his head and he is much younger than me.

But the last time I saw Ahed. [00:38:00] Um, I was telling him that I was gonna come to India and bring a group, and then he's like, what RNG, I want to visit you and in, in Costa, Rica. And, and I said, oh, I don't know. I drink a lot of wine these days and I don't know how you would feel about that. He goes, oh, RNG, I won't try to imitate him too much, but he says, we will drink wine together.

Meditate on God. Oh, what a wonderful meditation it will be.

Love it. I love it. And forever then my whole perspective on wine dramatically shifted after that. Well, 

Maria Mayes: I, I love it. And really that's the genesis of this podcast. I was teaching, uh, yeah, workshops where we'd start out either teaching, I need to teach meditation or breath work or yoga, and then go through a mindful tasting process.

And, um, that's. Where this podcast originated from doing that in person. So I love it. I love it. I love it. And you know, I'm always getting signs from the [00:39:00] universe and I think the local enology society today is exploring, uh, Spanish wines this evening. So clearly you've just indicated that I need to go explore some of the Spanish wines that they'll be tasting.

So I love it. So we'll have your, um. Website and all your links in the show notes. And I can tell you I'm gonna be ordering your book because you're, uh, preaching all that, all that I love, and I know that I'll be able to learn a lot from you too. So I'm super excited about that. Thank you. And just thanks again for coming on the show and sharing all this wisdom with our 

Yogi Aaron: listeners.

Well, thank you for spreading the good news of Wine and Chakras, two of my favorite topics. Oh, 

Maria Mayes: absolutely. Absolutely.