COVID-19 has sadly canceled countless big days, from graduations and weddings to megawatt concerts and events. For Padres co-owner Peter Seidler and his wife Sheel — and for Padres fans everywhere — March 26 was that day.
“I had my outfit planned with the brown-and-gold hat,” sighs Sheel, “and I was ready to eat some dumplings.”
The hat? It’s part of the Padres’ return to the old-school uniform, which was set to be unveiled on opening day to the delight of fans long clamoring for “The Brown.” This year, the team is ditching the ubiquitous blue and white in favor of the franchise’s original color scheme from 1969 through 1984.
And the dumplings? Din Tai Fung, the cult-followed Taiwanese eatery located in UTC, is the latest culinary victory for Petco Park, which boasts an all-star local lineup of vendors like Seaside Market, Phil’s BBQ, Lucha Libre, and Pizza Port.
In 2012, the Padres moved on from the John Moores era with new owners Ron Fowler and Peter Seidler, who was reared in baseball (he is the nephew and namesake of former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley). When it came time to relocate, Sheel felt a kinship to the region, having earned her law degree at USD.
Community support came swiftly as she launched Kundalini With Sheel, giving up her law career to become a stay-at-home mom with a spiritual practice. In La Jolla, Sheel teaches classes and workshops at Buddhi Yoga, while online she has garnered a devoted following for her uncanny ability to translate ancient teachings with candor and relatability.
“The quarantine has forced us into a place of not being able to project a facade the way we used to,” says Sheel. “Some people in the yoga world see COVID not only as a physical disease but also as a spiritual contagion, and the real pandemic was the go-go-go culture we couldn’t seem to stop on our own.”
At home, she finds comfort in cooking for her family of five. The menu includes Indian food in the ayurvedic influence with fresh herbs and veggies. And there’s also the occasional hot dog.
“It’s part of our deep longing for baseball,” she says, as hot dogs sizzle on the backyard barbecue.
Alas, the dumplings will have to wait.
Waiting to Exhale
“Just breathe” is currently replacing “Play Ball” in the Seidlers’ La Jolla household where Sheel, a well-known kundalini practitioner, carves out time for breathwork when she’s not cooking for her family. Here are her steps to a brief yet calming meditative breathing method.
Find your center:
• Inhale for 5 seconds
• Hold for 5 seconds
• Exhale for 10 seconds
• Repeat 3 times