While spas and yoga have long gone together, those looking for a bit of variety with their downward-facing dog needn’t go far. Today’s spas are getting creative with their fitness offerings, and yoga is getting its own adjustments. From aerial to barre to stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga, enthusiasts of the ancient practice have a bevy of progressive options from which to choose.
This past summer, spa-goers who like to namaste to music were able to rock out to Poolside Rock ‘n’ Roll Yoga at The Verb Hotel (Boston). The Vinyasa class incorporated a soundtrack to get guests grooving to the beat. Incorporating music—not your traditional Zen tunes—is becoming especially popular. In fact, CorePower Yoga, the growing Denver-based studio brand, features energizing music in all of its classes. “Music is an absolute key part of every CorePower Yoga class,” says chief marketing officer Tess Roering. “We work hard to pair the right music to each part of class—music that builds on the energy created during the most active postures in class and helps students find that unique moving meditation and lets them sink into savasana.”
Music isn’t the only way yoga is being reinvented. There are myriad ways to practice these days. One of the most inventive is with a four-legged friend, such as a horse or elephant. Yoga on Horseback at Salamander Resort & Spa (Middleburg, VA) helps guests push beyond their comfort zones. Those who aren’t yet comfortable getting in the saddle can opt for Yoga in the Stable, which takes place at sunrise. At Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort (Chiang Rai, Thailand), guests can take part in Elephant Yoga, which includes a variety of poses atop a gentle giant followed by a full yoga session at the Baby Elephant Camp.
Aqua lovers will also appreciate the variety of classes that now take advantage of the healing power of water and those who call it home. For instance, guests at The Mirage Spa & Salon at The Mirage (Las Vegas) can find balance and harmony while striking a pose among dolphins. The class, geared for all skill levels, is located in the hotel’s underwater dolphin-viewing area. For those who want to go deeper, Spa Solage at Solage Calistoga (CA) offers complimentary Aqua Yoga. Set in the spa’s mineral pool, it takes advantage of the famed mineral waters for which the region is known. The spa is just one of many offering water-based yoga, which continues to grow in popularity. It’s no surprise when you consider the many benefits it provides, such as increased flexibility and relaxation. Taking advantage of the SUP trend, SUP yoga blends the two activities to create the ultimate core workout. Available at Eau Spa at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa (Manalapan, FL), The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (HI), and more, SUP yoga capitalizes on the meditative aspect of water.
Fortunately, yogis needn’t take the plunge to reap yoga’s healthy benefits. Those who prefer to take flight can opt for aerial or anti-gravity yoga, which uses specially designed hammocks to help participants deepen their practices. Spas of all kinds have jumped on the bandwagon and now offer a twist on traditional yoga. These days, yoga is limited only by the imagination.