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How's this for a yoga studio?
Los Angeles is a mecca for the yoga community, so it's no wonder there’s a heaping sun salutation's worth of glamorous hotels available for nomad yogis. Below, we've tracked down 5 of the hippest, most yoga-friendly hotels in LA for your next visit. Now, take a big breath, and let's begin!
Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, CA (pictured): How about an hour of yoga amidst lapping waves on the warm Santa Monica sand? Shutters offers yoga on the beach every Thursday morning at 8am, free to hotel guests. To participate, simply reserve your spot with the concierge desk by 6pm the evening prior. The next morning, meet in front of the hotel and saunter down to the sandy beach, stopping just in front of the water to embark on an hour of stretchy, sandy serenity. Yoga mats and towels are provided. Guests can also book personal sessions if it’s just too embarrassing to face plant in the sand while trying to balance on one leg.
Fall is coming, but don't put away your bikini just yet. Perfect beach weather still prevails at the 24-room luxury retreat Lumeria Maui. It's after Labor Day, but as with most things in Hawaii, the calendar doesn't much matter here. At Lumeria there are still many beach days to celebrate your well-being with yoga, renew your relationship to nature, and experience true Hawaiian culture.
Lumeria is located on six-acres between that little sparkler of a beach town Paia, one of the best surfing and windsurfing spots on the island, and Makawao on Maui's North Shore. Situated near the slopes of Haleakala, the Hawaiian name for House of the Rising Run, Lumeria is a great spot to practice your sun salutations each morning as the sun rises up over the crater.
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Loews Santa Monica isn't about to let kids get away with saying "I'm booooored" during their stay. Through its brand new Fit For Fun wellness program, families wanting to get in a little exercise during their stay can choose from over a dozen outdoor activities offered at the iconic beachfront hotel.
Kids age five and up can try doing yoga on the beach, surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or hiking through the Santa Monica Mountains—they'll even get a taste for celebrity life in the "run from the paparazzi" jogging tour. Parents are of course encouraged to join in on the fun too, but the bulk of the activities are geared towards keeping kids fit and healthy.
As the hotel puts it, "Muscle Beach’s newest body builders are four-feet tall and weigh in at 46 lbs," which is probably true ever since word got out that one of the Jonas brothers likes to work out here too.
Though there are certainly other fun ways to exercise and enjoy Thompston Toronto's beautiful spaces, yoga is becoming practically an institution here. Guests can take their pick from over 30 classes per week offered at the hotel's sunlit, third-floor yoga studio, 889 Yoga.
Having launched in another neighborhood in Toronto in 2007, 889 Yoga opened inside the hotel last September as a way to "bring yoga, wellness and connection to people, inspiring happier and healthier living from the inside out."
Not only has membership increased ($18.50 for a single class; $80 for five classes), but the need for even more of a wellness community is tangible: this year, 889 Yoga is scheduled to open a new spa in the hotel featuring massages, facials, and special treatments for soon-to-be moms.
We've heard of htoels hosting a doggie "yappy hour" before but when we were checking out the W Scottsdale on Friday, we did a double take when our host told us the hotel's courtyard space was open for doggie yoga every first Tuesday of the month.
Yes, doggie yoga.
The event starts off at 7pm and owners and their dogs get to socialize for the first half-hour or so (There's an open bar available for humans too) Then it's time to get stretching. The yoga poses aren't that difficult (indeed downward-facing dog is one of the "doga" poses), although they are modified so that your pup can do them too.
The event is free but if you want to spend the night, the W Scottsdale, of course, takes pets thanks to their P.A.W.S. program.
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When we first learned that The Mirage was offering yoga classes inside their underwater dolphin viewing area, we wondered just how productive those classes would actually be. Isn't yoga supposed to be about focus and self-discipline? Last time we visited an aquarium, we were so excited we literally ran from tank to tank.
The unconventional yoga space has multiple windows looking into the "habitat," so students will be more likely to be spying on the dolphin families than fine-tuning their poses. As for the dolphins? They see people every day—whether sitting in rows on the bleachers, or twisted into a pretzel on the floor, an audience is an audience. This is nothing new for them.
If you can't head to India for a yoga retreat this summer, an alternative could be waiting for you in South Carolina. The Inn at Palmetto Bluff may be more known for its golf course, but it's offering a Lotus on the River wellness weekend that will get yogis all twisted—in a good way—outdoors. The hotel claims that South Carolina's naturally warm air and moisture will detoxify you as you strike a pose alongside the May River.
The three-day yoga getaway will include plenty of time for you to practice your flying crow pose. But the weekend will also include meditation, lectures from guest speakers and a full-moon kayak expedition.
Last week, a small sign planted on a sidewalk called our attention to a new health-centric eatery located inside a boutique hotel. No, there was no hipster scene-y appeal, nor did the eatery have some hot celebrity chef's name attached to it. But we like to think of the Juicy Naam—a popular Long Island-based raw food and juice bar that quietly opened inside the Upper East Side's Hotel Wales last month—as Madison Avenue's answer to The Donut Plant.
Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving company's dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway; at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.
Everyone's sick of snow right about now whether you're actually living in it or just watching the news reports. Which is why we're dreaming of a sunny getaway to Mexico right now. And we've got the place all picked out--Rancho Pescadero.
Located an hour north of Cabo San Lucas on the beach in Todos Santos, Rancho Pescadero boldly declares its "got a spanking new approach to what a luxury boutique hotel experience can be." But in looking at these website pictures, we don't think this spot should mention the term boutique hotel, which in our minds means tiny rooms with arty decor in a slim building in a big city.
Instead, Rancho Pescadero, which has doubled in size just a year after opening to add 15 new suites to the original 12, seems more like a private estate on the beach, except it has two pools and poolside bars, cabana beds, a spa, a seasonal organic restaurant and a brand-new 2,000-sq.ft. yoga and Pilates pavilion.
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We already gave you the lowdown on some top spots for hotels with om-inducing yoga offerings. But yoga is becoming such a popular amenity that we had to scope our some more places where you can do your lotus pose. We found five additional hotel yoga sessions that will infuse you with prana, or life force.
Check out our top five picks for hotel yoga after the jump.
Can’t join the 10,000 people expected to turn out for Yoga at the Great Lawn in Central Park on June 22 to help yogi-to-the-stars Elena Brower set the U.S. record for the largest yoga class ever? You can opt instead to team up with yoga enthusiasts on both coasts at the Standard Spa, Miami Beach, and at the Standard, Hollywood to participate simultaneously in free yoga classes that will stream live from the main event in New York.
Looking for more than just one day of yoga? You're in luck as hotels have been implementing yoga into their spa and fitness offerings for quite some time now. Here are our five picks for alternative places to get a good yoga workout.
If you want a vacation that's good for your body and soul (and probably doesn't involve too many fancy cocktails), the yoga packages that the COMO Hotels are putting on might be the thing. With four more week-long retreats scheduled for 2009, it's just a matter of picking which corner of the world you want to jet to in order to practice yoga for five hours a day with experts, of course, in a romantically relaxing setting.
The exact details of the yoga retreats depend on which destination you choose, but they all include six nights' accommodation, the yoga training, various meals and airport transfers, plus several include some cultural excursions as well. You can choose from the Parrot Cay on Turks and Caicos (an October course), Uma Paro in Bhutan (July 12-18) or COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali (mid-December).
Package prices range from $3,515 in Bali to $5, 681 at Parrot Cay. And while the yoga idea does sound like a great getaway vacation, we are a little concerned that there may be a bit too much emphasis on the whole health thing they even want you to eat healthy organic food the whole time. That's fine for some, but we still think a proper beachside vacation should include a few indulgences.