Beach Yoga on Captiva Island, Florida
Guest Post and Photo by Amy Perry Basseches
A favorite activity of mine while in warm climates is the wonderful adventure of “beach yoga.” You do not need to be a yoga aficionado to enjoy it. All you need to like is the feeling of morning sun on your face, the sound of waves crashing in the background, the sight of birds flying overhead, and sharing a good laugh with others about how hard it is to balance on one leg in the sand, using only a small towel as a mat.
Ambu Yoga on Captiva Island is a great example. Founded by Yali Zawady several years ago, Ambu now has a studio at South Seas Resort, open to the public as well as to guests of South Seas, offering 2 to 4 classes a day, 7 days a week. But beach yoga is taught only on Saturday and Sunday mornings (as of now).
According to Yali, “ambu” means water in Sanskrit, and represents the connection “between the flow of energy in our surrounding waters and the mind-body-spirit experience of yoga.” You live this fully on the beach. In December, I brought my daughter, 2 nieces, a nephew, and my son’s girlfriend to class. At one point, Yali had participants (around 30 people of all ages) stand in a circle and lean on one another for support during balance poses; that was a great time. We all wished there was more than one beach yoga class during our stay, but, alas, next year awaits.
An important side note, Yali is from Santa Marta, Colombia. She says she first found yoga and self-inquiry at a very young age through meditation practices with her father in Colombia. Every year I look forward to connecting with her on Captiva. Her welcoming nature and calming voice are a respite from the hurly burly up North. She’s also been very helpful to me as I learn more about Colombia (my son lived there for 5 months; my daughter, my husband, and I all visited, at different times; and we’ve sent quite a number of ActiveTravels members on trips).
Let ActiveTravels know if you’d like us to find a beach yoga class for you somewhere in your travels, whether on Captiva or elsewhere (for example, Martinique in late February or Panama in late April, with our friend Checka. Also know that Yali has offered advice to our clients headed to Colombia as well.