SOUFRIERE, ST. LUCIA,, February 17, 2018 — If ever there is an ideal time to visit the Caribbean it has to be when winter morphs into spring. To accommodate that season with something unique, St. Lucia’s stunning five-star sister resorts, Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet, have added a bold new twist to their wellness regimes – paddleboard yoga.
Whoever heard of a fisherman with ulcers?
Situated on Saint Lucia’s southwest coastline, the duet of elegant island getaways has added Paddleboard Yoga to their menu of rejuvenation programs as a way of supporting the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) recent healthy living mission for the region.
What yoga does for serenity and peace of mind, paddleboard yoga throws in the added dimension of water to completely alter your senses. Water has always been associated with tranquility.
Paddleboard yoga accomplishes the same soothing ambiance as fishing without having to throw out a line, and once you have tried it you are almost certain to be “hooked.”
Traditional asanas in a non-traditional way
Classes are conducted by an experienced instructor, Laura Kai Timmusk, who studied under the tutelage of a pair of legendary disciples of paddleboard yoga technique. Students utilize traditional poses (asanas) while balancing on their boards to transform themselves into a new world spiritual existence.
Unlike surfing, where the traditional call to action is “surf’s up”, paddleboard yoga chooses the opposite mantra of “surf’s down” in order to gain maximum benefit.
When not teaching paddleboard yoga, Timmusk works as a physical therapist who describes her floating workouts as “Vinyasa-style” that focus on alignment, breathing, and mental clarity.
The added dimension, and challenge, of moving on water, without immersing yourself, forces muscles to stabilize and engage more deeply according to Timmusk.
“This is the most serene setting you can imagine for yoga because you have no choice but to be present and focused. Your mind has no desire to wander off and worry about the past or future, and you can let go of your expectations and judgments.”
Paddleboard yoga making a splash
Of course, if you do lose your balance there are worse things that could happen than being “baptized” in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean.
Group sessions of 45-minutes are offered on Wednesday mornings at 11 a.m. for $35 per person. Private classes are available by appointment for $100 per person or $140 per couple.
Guests interested in learning about “Stand-up Paddleboarding (also known as SUP) can attend a free weekly demonstration on Tuesdays at 12:15 p.m.
Traditional yoga enthusiasts are able to participate in complimentary land-based classes for beginners and advanced students at sunrise and sunset. It is also possible to book private classes with the resorts’ two resident yoga instructors.
Naturally, each resort features a spa that offers both classic and ayuvedic treatments.
Week-long seminars will be on the schedule later in the year.
The Jade Mountain resort
The resorts share a lush, scenic 600-acre estate where the twin 2,500-foot volcanoes, Gros Piton and Petit Piton, dominate St. Lucia’s background.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site which has come to symbolize the island encompasses two sandy beaches that border scuba friendly coral reefs as well as the organic Emerald Estate Farm.
So productive is the farm that it grows much of the produce served in the resort restaurants.
Other activities include bird-watching, hiking and jungle biking on private resort trails.
Individually, Jade Mountain occupies the upper half of the estate known for its dazzling beauty, spectacular panoramas and huge infinity pool.
Thanks to the unique architectural layout of founder Nick Troubetzkoy, Jade Mountain’s suites are called “sanctuaries.” Rooms are missing the fourth wall, allowing guests to peer out to the Pitons from their rooms.
The Anse Chastanet resort
The lower section of the property belongs to Anse Chastanet. Facing two beaches which won Best Caribbean Beach honors in 2017 by “10 Best” readers. The reef is especially popular for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Each of the 49 award-winning rooms has its own design; 37 of the accommodations are found throughout the lush hillside, while the remaining 12 are within a tropical garden at beach level.
Four restaurant menus vary including one that is entirely vegetarian.
Visitors wishing to return to reality from their paddleboard experience can also participate in interactive chocolate-making classes in the resort’s chocolate laboratory.
Saint Lucia has long been a boater’s paradise thanks to its lush vegetation and clear Caribbean waters. Add in the dimension of paddleboard yoga and a whole new world opens up to you.
It may just be the ideal way to make yourself “chairman of the board. ” Jade Mountain or Anse Chastanet, with or without the yoga, will not be “your last resort.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime
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