Check it out :: Yoga + Ecstasy

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August 31, 2009 // UPDATED 8:26 am - August 31, 2009
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Dave Romanelli, founder of At One Yoga in Arizona, has a simple philosophy he lives by — everyday he tries to enjoy one beautiful moment, one funny moment and one delicious moment.

He’ll be encouraging others to do the same at a special event, “Yoga + Ecstasy: Chocolate, Wine, Music and Flow,” at the Yoga Center of Minneapolis’ Downtown Labor Day weekend.

“Life is not always about achievement and efficiency and speed,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s about if we don’t take moments to relax, slow down and enjoy life, than we never appreciate anything. We never remember anything.

I think people are drowning in information.”

The social networking craze has some drawbacks, he noted.

“Life has become so overwhelming — it’s a joke. People are getting 200–300 e-mails a day. Then you get all the Facebook invites. At the expense of being connected with what’s going on around us, we’ve lost touch with what is going on within us,” he said.

Romanelli got into yoga after taking a class with Seane Corn in Los Angeles in 1999. He said it was the most challenging thing he had ever done physically until that point. It also moved him spiritually and he got addicted to it.

He’s out with a new book, “Yeah Dave’s Guide to Livin’ the Moment,” that shares insights from his experiences with yoga.

“In the first chapter of my book, I talk about my man boobs — the idea being that I’m not a stereotypical yoga teacher,” he said. “I don’t have a loin cloth and I’m not really stick skinny. I’m like a normal guy. I like to drink beer and watch football. What I’ve learned in my years of teaching yoga is that it creates the sense of the present moment where you’re just lying there after class, so relaxed with nowhere to go and nothing to do.”

His special yoga event includes four workshops. The first class on Friday, Sept. 4 is a two-hour vinyasa practice followed by a tasting of Sicilian wines from the Feudo Arancio vineyards. A description of the events notes that Romanelli will  “explore how a glass of wine is the gateway to a deeper sense of life and a deeper look at youthfulness not as wrinkled skin but as a vibrant spirit. This workshop will show you how to model the aging process after one of the few things that ages well … a bottle of wine.”

On Saturday, Sept. 5, the first workshop, “Beautiful, Funny, Delicious,” will have participants do another two-hour vinyasa class. There will be music and Romanelli will read from his new book, “Yeah Dave’s Guide to Livin’ the Moment.” A tasting of olives and cheese from around the world will follow the class.

The evening workshop, “Yoga + Chocolate,” will start out with a tasting of chocolatier Katrina Markoffs Red Fire truffle made of dark chocolate, Mexican ancho and chipotle chili peppers and Ceylon cinnamon. The two-hour vinyasa class will end with another chocolate tasting — a truffle made with Japanese ginger, wasabi and black sesame seeds.

The weekend ends with a “Chocolate Chakra Tour” workshop on Sunday, Sept. 6. Participants will be led on a journey into the seven charkas. For each chakra, there will be a deep stretch yoga pose, a chocolate truffle tasting, a music selection and some storytelling by Romanelli.

Yoga is something anyone can appreciate, Romanelli said.

“It’s a simple pleasure that doesn’t require anything but your body and your breath,” he said. “It gives you a sense of clarity that is so hard to come by nowadays. If you don’t have that clarity you get lost.”

When: Sept. 4–6
Where: Yoga Center of Minneapolis, 212 3rd Ave. N.


Orpheus and Eurydice: A Picnic Operetta

Seven community gardens in Minneapolis, St. Paul and St. Louis Park will be the backdrop for Mixed Precipitation’s musical, “Orpheus and Eurydice: A Picnic Operetta.”

The touring production will make a stop on Nicollet Island at Maple Place and Nicollet Street on Sept. 5.

The show celebrates the sustainable food movement and is based on the Greek myth about Orpheus and his love Eurydice. It will feature dance, music and local food samples.

Scotty Reynolds, founder of Mixed Precipitation, is the director of the musical. He’s collaborating  with chef Nick Schneider, music director Erik Pearson, choreographer Taja Will and seven singers and musicians.

Thru Sept. 27
For show venues, visit


A benefit dinner for Lift Kids

Dancing Ganesha is hosting a benefit for Lift Kids, a St. Paul-based nonprofit that works with organizations around the globe to develop village communities in an effort to get children out of poverty.

Organizers also hope to raise awareness about the impact of the world’s diminishing water supply.

The nonprofit is working on projects in St. Paul and abroad in Argentina, India and Africa.

The benefit will feature a three-course Indian dinner, live entertainment and a silent auction. The dinner is $40. For reservations, contact Dancing Ganesha at 338-1877.

When: Sept. 12
Dancing Ganesha, 1100 Harmon Place