Rejuvenate with Beachfront Yoga at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn
Stacey O'neill teaches yoga for guests of the Santa Cruz Dream Inn
Oftentimes, we need a vacation from the vacation, but the Santa Cruz Dream Inn's latest seasonal amenity encourages guests to add self-care to their beach getaway. Weekend yoga during the summertime will send you home feeling peaceful and relaxed long after your vacation ends. I met with yoga instructor, Stacey O'neill one Saturday morning to experience beachfront yoga for myself. "I really enjoy the ocean waves breaking near us during our practice," says O'neill. "We don't even play music because the ocean is so soothing. The rhythm and sound accompanies our focus on our breath, as though the ocean was breathing with us."
O'neill leads the one-hour class of Hatha yoga practice every Saturday and Sunday morning at 9 a.m. on the pool deck. She describes Hatha as a meditative style of yoga and offers gentle guidance to her students, some of whom might be new to yoga altogether. "I especially enjoy teaching people from out of town. It feels good to contribute something positive to people on vacation, people who might not otherwise get a chance to try yoga and reap its benefits."
O'neill also takes time to demonstrate advanced and challenging poses, making it a great class for all levels of yoga practice. Among our group that morning were a young woman from New York, here to attend her friend's wedding in Felton, and a Bay Area mother/teenage-daughter pair celebrating her sweet sixteen with a weekend in Santa Cruz.
Stretching and breathing never felt so good as it did in the warmth of the sun and cool ocean breeze. Taking a moment to clear your mind and tune into your body is so much easier when the ocean is smack dab in front of you. Who wouldn't find it helpful to follow directions like "rotate your foot toward the ocean," "gaze out over the ocean" and "close your eyes and listen to the ocean"- you get the idea.
My favorite pose of the session was one I had never heard of but desperately needed. The Fish pose helps reverse the pain and soreness we feel in our necks from gazing down at electronics. I've been doing this once a day ever since and have noticed a big difference in my upper body posture.
The last asana, or posture, of the session was absolute heaven, and not just because we were lying down on our backs with eyes closed. O'neill's calming voice guided us to picture a basket in which we placed all the benefits of the day's yoga practice inside- peace, joy, forgiveness, achievement. We then imagined giving the full basket to someone who could use it and seeing the joy on their face. It was a lovely ending to a wonderful start to the day.
Read how the Santa Cruz Dream Inn proves it’s easy being green.
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