Yoga Oasis: Hawaii


By Debra Bokur  |  

The Basics: With its diverse and fragrant rainforests, dramatic lava fields and volcanoes, and peaceful beaches, Hawaii’s Big Island is in a state of constant transformation and renewal. It’s natural then, that the goal at Yoga Oasis is personal transformation. On the lush 26-acre property, just a 20-minute walk from the beach, yoga retreats with various themes—from the environment to relationships to raw foods—are offered throughout the year.

All classes are taught by cofounders Star Townshend and Hayward Coleman, along with a staff of dedicated yogis and health professionals, including a chiropractor, an astrologer, and a certified herbalist.

The Schedule: Though programs may differ, a typical day begins with a nature walk to the main building, where a two-hour yoga class starts at 8 a.m. Breakfast follows the class, then there’s free time for dozing in hammocks, hiking around the waterfalls, or swimming in the warm waters of the nearby lagoon. Most retreats also include an afternoon yoga therapy class, during which teachers answer questions about injuries and personal issues. In the early evening, resident yogis and visiting instructors lead chanting sessions designed to promote self-healing and balance the energy flow in the chakras.

Getting There: Yoga Oasis is on the easternmost tip of the island, about 45 minutes from the Hilo airport. Transportation to and from the airport is provided as part of retreat packages. Guests are encouraged to bring their bicycles for getting around the island.

Where You’ll Sleep: The center offers a range of accommodations—you can stay in a cabin with a private bath, a room with a shared bath, or a camp with access to showers and bathroom facilities. There are no TVs or in-room telephones, but there are two lines on the property that allow guests to make calls and access the Internet. Yoga Oasis is committed to sustainability; it relies on solar power and uses only ecofriendly cleaning products.

What You’ll Eat: Three sumptuous vegetarian and vegan meals, made from the island’s organic crops and the property’s own fruit trees, are served daily.

Why You Should Go: This truly is an oasis—you’ll feel renewed by the songs of birds and the sound of the sea. As Coleman explains, “It’s isolated here, which forces you to become aware of your own inner voice. This often brings about a paradigm shift, and you realize you don’t need all the things that accumulate in your life—what you need are the life forces offered by pure food and clear air. Our community at Yoga Oasis nurtures that need, and in the process cultivates spiritual growth.”

For info on individual retreat themes and schedules, visit www.yogaoasis.org.