After sunset, on the grass, overlooking the ocean, under the moon and the stars, and the trees which line the park, the sand, and the sea, I discovered a new reason to fall in love with Hawaii: YogaInHIplaces!
This has been the coldest winter, with the temperature getting down to 70 degrees Fahrenheit this past December! The tradewinds were cool and crisp, so I threw on a thin, long-sleeve sweatshirt over my yoga gear and walked over from my car, in my rubber slippers, to the beachside of Kapiolani Park, to the big lawn next to the Barefoot Beach Cafe in Waikiki. Some brought their dog and tied them to a nearby tree for the hour. None of the dogs barked or acted out of line… perhaps it was the moon, the music or just the “Mana” in the air on this beautiful evening.
There were no signs, but a small white tent with soft DJ music and small blue lights, which called me over to check in like a private event amongst friends. I was lucky there was still a spot when I went to the website to make a reservation a few days ago. I guess they sell out all the time. I had taken yoga classes at night, outside, and even under the moon, but I had no idea how amazing this would be! I found a place on the grass amongst the others and unrolled my yoga mat. As soon as I put on the fluorescent blue lit headphones, my busy week with the holidays began to lift away with the resonance of soothing music. I thought the headphones would fall off during the Vinyasa flow Yoga, but they didn’t and actually went unnoticed during the entire session!
Each event is donation for a charity, led by a different, very experienced yoga instructor, of Wanderlust ability. There are 2 events every month, on the New Moon or Full Moon evenings, when the world is perhaps feeling energy shifts and movement, like the Earth’s tide. Having the headphones on and hearing only music and the instructors voice, not hearing any other sounds to distract us, help create an amazing ambiance, which enabled me to get lost into the flow and depth of my yoga practice in this amazing class!
Each instructor opens class with a theme. They lead us to call forth an “Intention,” from our hearts, or for our hearts, for the day, for the season, or for our lives, with something we want to let go, manifest or start anew.
And then it began… a timeless hour of breathing in the sweet Hawaiian air and moving our limbs under the night sky, under the moon and the stars, and the shadows of trees which lined our periphery… it was simply beautiful beyond words. Ujayi-breathing from your nose to your core, in a connected flow with perfectly chosen music, resonating all around and almost through you, with the wind in the trees, was as magical as our collective breath together in each pose, like a symphony and a dance. It made me feel so Alive like surfing does on a good day!
Class ends with us breathing, calm and relaxed, with eyes closed, in “Savasana” lying on our backs, or sitting with our hands at heart’s center, exhaling an “Aummmmm” or a whispering bow in “Namaste” — “the light, the love and the teacher in me, honors the light, the love and the teacher in you.”
I depart feeling lighter, feeling peaceful, grateful and blessed to be here in Hawaii with such beauty in life.
My first event was led by Stephanie Pierce on Thanksgiving’s New Moon eve, and I loved it so much I went back to another event, which was led by Katie Mecklenburg, on the Full Moon of New Years Day! How perfect and blessed I was to have celebrated these holidays here, with my heart’s Intention for the season and for the new year. Each instructor has their own unique warmth, voice, style, and grace — both moved me from the inside out. It was a beautiful, sweet, physical, spiritual and elevating experience. I can’t wait to return!