I just got back from Yogaville. Here are some of the highlights:
1) I meditated for the first time in an interfaith temple
2) I learned the basics of the Integral Yoga style of yoga
3) The vegetarian fare was really good and a lot of the food is grown on the property. I bought their cookbook. (Of course I bought a cookbook).
Typical breakfast was oatmeal, stewed prunes, yogurt (whole, fat free, soy), granola, corn flakes, puffed rice cereal, rice cakes, rice milk, soy milk, orange juice, apple juice, grapefruit, apples, bananas. A salad bar was always available at lunch and dinner.
Hot lunch and dinner included such things as spaghetti, marinara sauce, breaded cauliflower, steamed kale, curried cauliflower, beans in tomato sauce, lentil or chickpea dal, split pea soup, rice (wild, brown, saffron, and white), aloo chat (spicy chick peas and potatoes), spelt bread, cabbage with coconut, and tofu - plain, curry roasted, soy sauced and seasoned.
Dessert was usually a fruit salad and fresh fruit was always available during all meals.
The condiment table was a bit of a mystery. Somebody needs a label maker. There were a number of things in syrup containers that had no label :( But there was garlic flavored olive oil that I kept wishing was honey. There was something that looked and tasted like thinned out peanut butter but I'm guessing was roasted tahini. Still good on a piece of bread. Then there was some sort of powder that I wasn't brave enough to taste. Maybe it was nutritional yeast. Apparently it tastes like cheese. Grated parmesan for vegans I suppose.
4) Speaking of food, on the way there, we stopped at Whole Foods in Fair Lakes, Va and saw this guy -
He was taping for his show Emeril Green which is on the new Planet Green network. Apparently he's there a lot. It's a really nice Whole Foods, so I don't blame him. He walked behind me while I was looking at a magazine at one of the registers. When I looked to see why there were camera men rushing by, I stared at Mr. BAM! himself with my mouth agape and I'm pretty sure he looked at me like I was strange. (When I stared at Pierce Brosnan outside the National Gallery of Art, he gave me a debonair nod of the head. In the battle of celebrities that I stare at, James Bond wins.)
5) Speaking of celebrities, when we were at the temple gift shop at Yogaville, this guy was at the information center across the walkway - "Do you know who that man holding the baby is?" asked the cashier at the gift shop. "That's Leiv Scheiber, an actor. His mom lives here at Yogaville. I knew him in New York when he was a kid, a kid with a broken leg." I didn't actually see him, just a man with a baby from 20 feet away. And nobody could tell me what movie/tv show he was in. Or that that kid's mom is Naomi Watts or if Naomi Watts was also there. If only Yogaville had more CSI fans or people who even remember he was Cotton in Scream or nerds who knew he's gonna be Sabertooth in the next X-men movie. Too much to ask from yogis at an ashram?