Standup Yoga Retreat Brings Holistic Lifestyle To North Shore
The North Shore is continuing to cement its reputation as the surf and yoga capital of Hawaii.
On the tail of Wanderlust yoga festival, Fluid Yoga Surf Retreats are planned for April 4-10 and May 2-8 at Turtle Bay Resort.
The land-and-water getaway for the flexible and athletic is the brainchild of local pro surfer Jamie Sterling and Quebec resident Nadia Bonenfant.
As the story goes, the pair were at an athletes’ summit in Canada when
Sterling, who already runs surf travel and tour operations on Oahu, shared his goal with Bonenfant about hosting surf-yoga retreats. The latter, who owns JUNA yoga, a surf and outdoors business featuring skiing and mountain biking, bit, and the two ran their first Hawaii retreat last fall.
“Nadia will be teaching the land-based yoga,” said Sterling of the upcoming retreats, “and I will take more charge of the water activities, whether it’s leading surf instruction, SUP (standup paddle-board) yoga or standup paddle tours up river or on ocean.”
Sterling will guide participants on hikes, and the two also will co-teach breathing workshops, similar to a Wanderlust class they co-taught.
“It’s like a North Shore cultural exploration,” Sterling said.
While the retreat focuses on yoga and surfing, Bonenfant agreed that it’s also a holistic endeavor.
“It’s about creating a lifestyle that’s super healthy and really connected,” she said. “We’re working with a local chef through a company called Pono Aina. We’ll go to farms and pick greens for dinner, and we’ll have local botanist guides.
“We’re diving into how you can live yoga off the mat on so many different levels – from what you’re putting into your body to the way that you’re connecting with people, or connecting yourself with the natural environment.
“It goes way beyond learning to surf and being on a yoga mat.”
Collaboration between the two outdoor enthusiasts from opposite climates is expected to continue. Sterling plans to join Bonenfant in conducting her Canada SUP retreats in the near future, where the water is so frigid that “Us Canadians … we’re born with wetsuits,” she laughed.
“We’re definitely brainstorming various ideas to connect Quebec and Hawaii a little bit more,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Fluid Yoga Surf Retreats offers various options from a full six-night, seven-day experience or a half-week retreat, to a drop-in-for-the-day option for kamaaina or resort guests. For details, visit turtlebayresort.com.