Who doesn't love to relax with yoga?
Have you ever thought of trying a little wine with that Salute To The Sun?
Well now you can. (Okay, well maybe AFTER the yoga!)
Most of us have probably seen the Yoga for Wine Lovers cartoon on YouTube. If you haven't, you can check it out here:
And while I'm not really suggesting anyone strike a pose while balancing a bottle - or a tipple of any kind - organisers of this weekend's Runaway Barossa Marathon have found a healthy way to mix the relaxation benefits of yoga with a drop of the good stuff.
They have joined forces with Barossa Yogini, Natalia Bondarenko (above and below) who is inviting all athletes, supporters, friends, family and visitors to join her at the Finish Line Festival at Peter Lehmann Winery in Tanunda for a yoga class with a difference: Wine Yoga.
“Wine Yoga is something that we have pretty much invented for Runaway Barossa Marathon. It’s a little bit of fun and a nice way to help you appreciate your wine a little more, with a couple of stretchy poses and a little bit of partner yoga as well,” Natalia says.
“There are a couple of Tai Chi movements that I do at the moment where you have to imagine that you are holding something precious on the palm of your hand and I think we might try and translate that to reality and see how we go. It is a bit of fun and not to be taken it too seriously. Everyone is welcome to join in.”
If you'd prefer to skip the wine, Natalia is also conducting more traditional yoga classes at Runaway Barossa Marathon to assist athletes with their post race recovery and to help anyone who needs to reduce stress.
They will be spaced out during the day, so hopefully people can catch one of the classes or even a bit of a class is they want to wander in. You can come and have your fix and then head off and do something else if you need to.”
“Two sessions are stretch classes. Having been a runner in the past I know that the hip flexors and the shoulders get really tight so we will probably be concentrating on those areas. Then there are the two unwind classes for more relaxing and some guided visualization so that they can relax after the event.
“The wine is just going to be a little bit of added fun and a reward. If you have run anywhere from 10-42km I think you deserve a glass of wine at the end of the event. After you have properly hydrated of course.”
The Barossa Yogini has been living in the region for seven years and in that time she has fallen in love with the area.
“I probably haven’t been here long enough to be a real local but I absolutely love it. Every time I drive to work and home I go: ‘Wow, I can’t believe I live here’."
While Natalia didn’t have time to get her running up to scratch to compete in this year’s Runaway Barossa, she is penciling in 2018.
“We are all mentally busy but these days our bodies aren’t doing anything, we need more moving and less thinking. I have just started back to running and I must say I do find a good run is like a good meditation. You can have a million things solved at the end of it. Even an ordinary run is so much better than not moving at all,” she advised.
But the Runaway Barossa Marathon isn't just about yoga. It's the launch of Australia's newest weekend escape, which combine holidays where you don't just chase your dreams - you run them down.
There a new marathon and half marathon courses, as well as 10 km and kids' runs - with the scenic Barossa Valley being the launch pad for the first of the series to be held around Australia.
Ironman Oceania managing director Dave Beeche says that following on from the success of the Queenstown and Hawkes Bay Marathons in New Zealand, he is excited to launch the Runaway Marathon series in Australia.
“Australia is a natural location for the Runaway Marathon Series as it brings together our love of the outdoors, our passion for being active, our enormous wealth of delicious foods and produce, and combines them with some of the most stunning locations on earth.
“The first event is Runaway Barossa Marathon which is a new look at the traditional Barossa weekend experience, that not only immerses you in the unique wine and food experience the region is famous for, but also allows you to indulge in your passion for running on innovative and creative courses while being consumed by the Barossa’s beautiful countryside and patchwork quilt of paddocks and vines.
“Runaway Barossa Marathon will be a race experience that’s all about sharing life’s simple pleasures with family and friends. It is all about ‘drinking in’ the experience of running happy and free, the pleasure of leaving the everyday behind, and the opportunity of being immersed in the natural beauty and warm hospitality of one of Australia’s oldest wine regions,” he says.
“When the running is done, they will have the chance to indulge in the Barossa’s world-class food and wine, found everywhere from family-run bakeries to international wineries and the finest dining rooms."
I don't know about you, but that sounds like a weekend worth running away for!
Runaway Barossa is on October 21. 2017. For more information visit www.runawaybarossa.com or visit the Runaway Series site at http://runawayseries.com/
(Photos courtesy of Natalia Bondarenko and Runaway Barossa Marathon).