Imagine how amazing you'd feel if you made yoga, breathwork, meditation and other harmonious practices a part of your Sonoma County vacation. You’ll greet the dawn on a coastal bluff with a Sun Salutation pose, slow down and meditate in the stillness of a redwood forest, practice being present on a walk through a flower garden...
According to numerous articles in the New York Times, yoga offers a bounty of benefits. Aside from a general feeling of peace and well-being, it may also keep your brain young, strengthen your bones, improves your balance, prevent inflammation, and relieve back pain.
The following organizations can help you plan a memorable Zen experience with a special Sonoma County twist—one that includes wine tasting, for example, or yoga at the beach.
Enjoy a day of yoga and wine tasting against the backdrop of beautiful Sonoma County landscape. Each Atmani experience—available on one or more days of your choice, from Thursday through Sunday—starts with morning Hatha Flow yoga and breathwork at a sustainable winery in the heart of Wine County (the yoga sessions can be tailored to a wide range of ages and fitness). The yoga energy continues throughout the day, as guests go off the beaten path to visit sustainable boutique wineries for a behind-the-scenes tour, tasting, and a paired gourmet lunch.
If you want to create and host a retreat, this is the place for you. This rustic outdoor retreat center, situated on 108 bucolic, forested acres at Taylor Maid Farms in Occidental, features an outdoor yoga deck overlooking the coastline, an indoor Bindu yoga yurt/gathering space, an 80 foot communal dining table, a pond, and gardens. When you book here (with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 people), you’re booking the entire retreat center; you bring your own teachers and leaders, too. Accommodations vary—from teepees and bell tents to luxury private yurts—depending upon relative luxe and privacy. Retreat cost includes two organic farm-to-table meals daily; coffee, tea, wellness shots and smoothies upon waking; and all retreat spaces.
Located in Bodega Bay, Karma Tales allows you to customize a holistic experience for yourself, a friend or couples getaway, bridal shower, family reunion, corporate retreat, or other interested groups—in your home, vacation rental, at one of its associating locations, and even at the beach. Activities include yoga, massage, meditation, Art, Ayurveda, dance, archery and more (you might even want to hike around a spectacular outdoor labyrinth). Karma Tales also offers planning services for your retreats and events; although it’s not a facility, it can help you choose beautiful destinations within Sonoma County and then customize a unique retreat to exceed your expectations.
Founder Sally Mitchell organizes and leads day or weekend yoga, mindfulness and wellness events that can include wine tasting and retreat centers such as Westerbeke Ranch, Wildwood Retreat Center, Mayacamas Ranch, and Lotus Feed Farm. With a theme of "Connect, Collaborate and Create,” corporate retreats help participants to connect more deeply with themselves, nature, and colleagues; collaborate more effectively; and tap into creativity to create goals, visions and action plans. Day-long or multi-day corporate retreats and team building events can be customized to include any combination of outdoor yoga, meditation or mindfulness breathing, hiking in nature, natural walking or running (ChiWalking and ChiRunning). Delicious local meals, wine tasting, massage, chair massage and custom team building activities can also be included.
Rebecca Heartfly offers a variety of profound and transformational practices—including hands-on healing, flow yoga, restorative yoga, pilates, guided meditation, classes and much more. Hands-on therapy sessions and verbal processing sessions can be scheduled in the healing room at Sebastopol’s Theta Wave Float Spa. Heartfly Healing is also available for corporate wellness consulting, presentations to your staff and clients, and for company events. Sessions balance the brain, provide the body with more natural energy, and calm the central nervous system, leaving you, your staff and/or clients feeling lighter, happier and more spacious.
Families wanting a bonding reunion, gal pals looking for a unique getaway, bridal parties in search of something super-special before the big day—these and other small groups can have it all in Glen Ellen’s historic Hotel Chauvet. Built in 1906 and on the National Register of Historic Places, the yellow-brick Chauvet offers six elegant, high-ceilinged condominium rentals 2,000 square feet in size; each contains three big bedrooms, two baths (jetted tub, showers with six massage jets), an eat-in kitchen and a spacious living room. Bring in local services like Magical Massage; indulge in private yoga sessions by the pool or in front of the warm cozy fireplace; hike in Jack London State Historic Park; delve into the town’s fantastic restaurants and wineries.
Based in Cazadero, a tiny hamlet tucked into redwood forested hills in western Sonoma County, Ratna Long Retreat Center offers meditation and/or yoga classes that make it easy to connect with the natural peace and beauty of nature at its best. Come on your own for a private retreat, or join one of the many wonderful organized retreats that take place throughout the year (for example, “Gratitude and Intention: A New Year’s Bhakti Yoga Retreat” or “Healing the Body, Freeing the Mind”). You’ll stay in a private or shared luxury cottage, take meditation and/or yoga classes, enjoy three organic farm-to-table vegetarian meals daily and chill out in the peace and calm beauty surrounding you.
Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez.
Find more outdoor activities to take part of in Sonoma County.