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  • Life off the Yoga Mat

yoga retreat diaries: maui

Whether you've been on a yoga retreat, or are considering it (and I highly suggest you consider it), here is my experience, from start to finish....

Why did I go?

I completed an amazing 300 hour online yoga training course with Jason Crandell, who is based in California. After so many hours online, I decided it was time to practice in person, and connect with some of the people I have been seeing in little zoom boxes for the past year and a half.

Did I go alone?

Yes, I did. The good thing about going alone is that you are available completely to connect with everyone at the retreat. When you are with someone, you are still engaged with others, but most of your free time tends to be with that person. And my cousin happens to live in Maui (lucky girl), so we got to hang out a lot, too.

The challenge of going alone was the unknown and not being able to make set plans ahead of time. I didn't schedule a whale watching tour, or a day in Haleakala, because who knew who I was going to meet and what we would want to plan, and what day we would want to plan it for.

Of course it all worked out. There were those who wanted to whale watch (cue my hand raising) so they went whale watching together. And those who wanted a day at the beach (cue my hand raising) so they went to the beach together. And those who wanted to go hiking at by local waterfalls (cue my hand raising), and off they went. And of course there were those who wanted to get up at 5:30am to get a spot on line at a famous local donut shop (yes, my hand raises again) so they went- and ate donuts before practicing yoga for 2 hours- together.

Yoga Yoga Yoga

We had a morning (8am-10am) and afternoon (4pm-6pm) yoga practice and time in between to explore Maui. Some of us stayed behind and lingered at the pool, and some of us ventured out (cue my hand raising).

What's next?

Well, I now have a bunch of new friends from East Coast to West Coast- like Emily, Maya, Jess, Jenny & Danielle, to name a few. We've been texting and planning and plotting our next adventure. Be it a yoga retreat in Joshua Tree or an NYC meet up, we are now connected and I know our paths will cross again.

Thank you to Jason Crandell, who brought us together in this online community. From the comfort of my home to 5,000 miles away from it, we brought the online world to life.

We're back, once again, to Zoom-ing, but now, the stories behind each of the people in the little boxes are larger than life.

Lots of love, yoga and maui sunshine,


In case you go, here are my Maui faves....

Lumeria- Retreat Center/Hotel

This is where we stayed, it's 10 minutes from the beach, on the North Shore, slightly upcountry, just 20 minutes from the airport. Beautiful, tranquil, plantation style setting, 24 rooms around a large meditation lawn. Pool, jacuzzi, spa treatments & fruit trees to pick from-oranges, figs....

Paia -Town that is on the beach, 10 minute drive from Lumeria. Great shops & cafes

Choice Health Bar is a breakfast/lunch fave! I even ran into Woody Harrelson there, great vegan options. Try anything with the Tempeh! It's soy free and delicious!!

Paia Fish Market-a line out the door is always a good sign. I didn't actually get to eat here, everyone loves it and I will make it next time for sure

Makawao-This is where we stood on line for the donuts from Komoda Bakery, that is over 100 years old. Polly's Mexican restaurant is also a favorite. I realized from an old picture that I actually ate there 7 years ago....

Whale Watching Tour-Peak months are January-March, and it is so impressive to see them spray on the surface and then glide through the water. The tale flip is the best!

Booch & Coco-located in Haiku, on the Hana Highway, this new Espresso Bar & Kombucha Cafe is part of a growing, sought after roadside food truck & food stand area. They make espresso drinks & matcha lattes with fresh coconut-my matcha latte and vegan chocolate chip cookie sandwich was amazing! There was also a BBQ Food Truck and a Vegan Food Truck- I got the vegan crab cakes, made with coconut meat and pohole (a type of fern), it was ridiculously good! They are going to be adding more food and vendors to the area, too.

Hookipa Beach

Where to watch all the surfers, wind surfers and walk along looking for turtles and also spotting the seals resting on the sand. It's on Hana Highway, you'll pass it on the way to Booch & Coco. You can't really swim-it's rough, but great to watch and walk.

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