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How Do You Use Yours? - Why The Waterproof Tote Bag is The Perfect Yoga Companion

Posted by Lydia Burdett

Abi, the founder of VINOYASA, grew up in Devon spending most of her time on the beach or Dartmoor, which instilled a deep connection to nature. Abi is a fully qualified 500 Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), Certified sommelier (Level 4 DipWSET) and has also completed her Outdoor education training, with a special interest in Nature connection and rites of passage.

In her own words, here's the story of VINOYASA:

I have been running VINOYASA for 5 years - it all began with gathering a bunch of friends who I bribed with a glass of wine to let me enthusiastically practice teaching yoga, having just qualified. There was something in the class that clicked, and I felt a desire to know more about wine as we sat together and chatted about what we tasted and how the wine made us feel. So, I went on to study for my WSET Level 4 diploma, which continued my deep fascination with the connection of the land to the bottle of wine I was sharing with the group. For me, the most important thing is creating fun community spaces where people can relax and recalibrate – a place to develop human, nature, and self-connection.

After obtaining the qualifications of a Nature Connection outdoor facilitator, a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher, and a WSET Level 4 Diploma in quick succession, the combination of these three things began to take shape as VINOYASA sessions. VINOYASA now offers yoga and wine sessions, wine tastings, and nature mentoring, encapsulated in the phrase "Yoga, Wine, and Wild".

One of the sessions was joined by Red Equipment and the talented Jasmine Pillar Photography, where I was kindly gifted a Waterproof Tote which is now my trusty yoga bag. My Mandala mat slots into the side, balanced on the other end by a couple of bottles of wine. The zipper pocket keeps all of my important items such as my keys and phone, ample space for my swimming gear, towel and a few emergency snacks as our treat for when we get out of the sea. The bag is like a Tardis, there’s always space for those overpacked items you might need! It’s also incredibly robust and waterproof meaning it handles all of the different outdoor environments that we move through from the grass, sand and next to the fire.

In our session, we met at the beautiful walled gardens at Mothecombe House, where we had a flowing yoga session that celebrated individuals' unique bodies, followed by a glass of delicious wine with which we went through a sensory meditative wine tasting. Being in beautiful natural surroundings outdoors helps to connect people to nature and community. We then walked through Mothecombe Gardens down the path to the beach, as a group we enjoyed the invigorating experience of jumping in the sea. We meandered up through the old woodland towards the picturesque Somewhere Sauna which overlooks Mothecombe beach. As a group, we moved from spending time in the sauna or around the fireside where we enjoyed each other’s company, some brave souls even faced the plunge pool!

These sessions are designed to offer a unique opportunity to unwind, connect with nature, and indulge in the simple pleasures of life. It provides a space to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, allowing for a deeper appreciation of the present moment and a chance to find balance and serenity in the great outdoors. VINOYASA is offered in wild surroundings, in places that evoke a sense of being and holding. The importance of the setting for a session helps participants to be fully present. Yoga and wine make for an unexpected yet harmonious pairing that offers a delightful blend of relaxation and indulgence. When practiced outdoors, this combination creates a unique and refreshing experience.

The sessions take place in a variety of locations across Devon, including beaches, vineyards, meadows, and walled gardens. I always bring my trusty Red Waterproof Tote Bag, which is waterproof and fits all my wine, wine tumblers, and yoga gear!

VINOYASA has been hosting wine tastings for 5 years but with a twist. I gained experience and knowledge from working in vineyards, wineries, retail and wine import before launching fully into VINOYASA. The aim for my tastings is to find wines off the beaten track from small, sustainable producers that are fairly traded yet still affordable. The fun and whimsical evenings are full of twists, turns, and trivia. The wine tastings help participants learn how to taste wine like a pro and identify wines that they love.

VINOYASA is a way to unwind and connect with yourself or others. It's a unique opportunity to relax, take care of your well-being, and enjoy some time in nature, while creating meaningful moments by building community through yoga, and wine in the wild.


Words by Abi Jones - VINOYASA

Photography by Jasmine Pillar