Sunday Ritual Beach Yoga with Outdoor Yoga San Francisco
Yoga in San Francisco has been on my bucket list since I left Kuwait in 2009. Back then I had planned to stay in San Francisco for a month and participating in a Yoga teacher training before moving on to my next project in Europe. Yet it never happened, I stayed in Oman for two months instead which was also great.
But San Francisco was always on my mind since.
And here I go, its becoming reality! I am off to California including San Francisco for 2 days and next to all the sight seeing and walking the Golden Gate Bridge, I have time for a ritual beach yoga session.
And because I love Yoga on the beach and outdoors in general, I simply google “Yoga on the beach in San Francisco”.
Swish… Beautiful Julie Aiello and her outdoor yoga San Francisco pop up.
I sign up and pay for class online upfront on their website via Eventbrite, really easy and convenient. Outdoor Yoga San Francisco offers a couple of classes at various locations and different times of the day, and I opt for the sunset evening class at 5 pm on Baker Beach with special guest instructor Peter Walters. Not knowing what to expect.
I immediately receive an email with booking confirmation and exact meeting location details and map, and also the day before the event. Plus I can download my ticket to have it handy in my wallet on my mobile. Super simple and convenient!
Public Baker Beach, part of the Presidio, lies on the peninsula and is just short of 1 km long, south of the Golden Gate bridge. The north end of Baker Beach, and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, was the original site of the Burning Man art festival until 1990.
Somehow I can feel the spirit still living on.
An email sent to me on signing up instructs me to look out for prayer flags. And for sweet people welcoming me (which they are and they did!). It also tells me that beach towels work best for ritual beach yoga. Alright, I am all up for stealing a towel from my hotel room!
Peter Walters does Bhakti flow style yoga. Peter has a heartwarming personality, he just makes you smile. He makes his classes easy and fun, without any strictness or limitations. And adds just the right amount of that spark that you wish for when the pain and sweat gets to you on the mat.
You have to check Peter out, maybe we meet on one of his upcoming retreats?
Yoga on the beach is a sandy affair, no denying that. Yet the beauties and benefits weigh heavier. Peter took us through Vinyasa flow, we had a little dance party on the shore and a lovely live mantra singing at the end of class.
Peter focussed on transporting spirit and fun to the students more than focussing on ‘correcting’ postures, which I think is totally suitable for this kind of class. I love Yoga outdoors for the fresh air and for reconnecting with nature.
Listening to the sound of the waves
Students wear wireless headphones during class and I set the volume on mine so that I could well understand charming Peter and listen to the great music playlist in the background at the same time, as well as still being able to hear the rolling and soothing sounds of the waves of the Pacific. The weekend in question was supposed to be warm and sunny. It was about 30 C when I had signed up for class.
But as always in San Francisco, weather can be super unpredictable. That day turned out to be foggy, windy and cold. I was very close to cancelling my participation in class due to the weather. After all, I had pictured myself sweating during practice on the beach, while a red orange sun was setting on the horizon…
Well it wasn’t exactly like that in reality. I had to pull each and every piece of wear out of my suitcase and layer clothes once I had set my mind on going nevertheless.
Yet in hindsight, I believe the class could not have been any better or more fun in better climate conditions. It was a truly special experience for me and I would go back for class every day if I could!
Promise to try it out for yourself whenever your travels take you to San Francisco!
Outdoor Yoga SF Julie
Beautiful Julie is the founder of outdoor yoga SF and the ritual beach yoga sessions. She says “I believe that practicing outside, in nature helps us reconnect to the grounded, peaceful and powerful state that exists within us all”.
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