Those searching for “the world's most exclusive yoga experience” just might find it high atop the red sandstone peaks of Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park, a remote destination only accessible by helicopter.
HeliYoga: Limitless, a new venture from Maverick Helicopters and local Las Vegas yoga company Silent Savasana, launched last November, and has lifted off for a total of four yoga adventures so far. But this once-in-a-lifetime yoga excursion (think the heliskiing of yoga) doesn't come cheap: the chopper ride there and back, 75 minutes of yoga (leaving some time to explore the red rocks), and a glass of champagne is currently priced at $3,500 for up to six students.
What You Get for the High Price
If you find five friends who would like to take this journey with you (yoga bachelorette party in Vegas, anyone?), you can shave the cost down to about $583 per person. "It’s just under $600 for the most unique yoga experience in the world," says Kyle Markman, co-founder of Silent Savasana.
The total cost covers limousine pick-up from your hotel room or from your home (if you're within 5 miles of the Strip) to the Las Vegas helicopter terminal, where you board a top-of-the-line helicopter for a 20-minute ride to the top of the Valley of Fire, about 3,000 feet above ground. "It is stunningly beautiful ... majestic ... the closest we'll get to doing yoga on Mars in our lifetime," says Markman. (Fun fact: The outside Mars scenes from Total Recall were mostly filmed at the Valley of Fire.)
Upon arrival, students can explore for 10–15 minutes before the HeliYoga begins. The yoga class—or "yoga experience," as Silent Savasana co-founder and lead instructor Dray Gardner prefers to call it—comes complete with a Lululemon yoga mat and wireless headphones through which you listen to both the teacher and a custom playlist curated by Gardner, who is also a musician and a DJ.
The Yoga Experience
“Once you put the headphones on, it dampens all outside interference. It’s almost like a one-on-one experience,” says Gardner. The music varies from class to class, featuring artists and soundtracks as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Bill Withers, Al Green, Dean Martin, Game of Thrones, Willy Wonka, as well as homages to artists we recently lost, like George Michael, David Bowie, and Prince. “I use non-traditional music to get people to get away from thinking a little bit and help them relax,” Gardner explains. “It's fun—you never know what’s coming next.”
The music may be non-traditional, but the yoga is authentic, Gardner says. “I like to refer to it as free flow, a combination of everything I’ve been certified in: Dharma [Yoga], elements of Bikram Yoga, and Sumit's Yoga (hot yoga with music). I use yoga to help people connect to the moment and themselves."
After class, there’s about 20 minutes left for more exploring (and selfie-taking), followed by a champagne toast. The adventure concludes with a 20-minute flight back right over downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip.
Chelsey Pierce, a 32-year-old Las Vegas yogi who is currently taking a teacher training course with Z-Flow Power Yoga, participated in one of the first HeliYoga adventures in mid-November and says it was like nothing she had experienced before.
“I'm an avid yogi and I travel a lot for work. I seek out really different unique yoga experience in places like Costa Rica, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, and Maui, so I know what a unique experience feels like and this was above and beyond that,” she tells Yoga Journal. “I’m critical because I know what you should feel in yoga to begin with—connected to your mind, soul, and body—and this experience really, truly takes you to a whole other level. You do feel like you are in a completely different world ... you can’t help but connect on a spiritual level.”
HeliYoga: Limitless is on hold until the weather warms up in springtime. For more information, call (702) 405-4300.