Early morning—when your energy is high and the sun is low—is the ideal time to do yoga on Hilton Head Island’s beaches. I like to get up with the sun, but most folks are not contending with 3 children (under the age of 4) and 2 really active dogs. So, I recommend beginning your beach practice between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and then following up with a yummy post-yoga breakfast. Depending on which beach you practice on, there are several great places.
Yummy Post-Yoga Spots:
- Black Marlin (Favorite Dish: Lump crab and avocado omelette made with egg whites)
- Harbour Town Bakery and Cafe (Favorite Dish: Smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, tomatoes and diced onion on a toasted whole grain bagel)
- Palmetto Bay Sunrise Cafe (Favorite Dish: Eggs benedict with hollandaise on the side)
- The Original Pancake House (Favorite Dish: Fruit Crepe)
- Signes Heaven Bound Bakery and Cafe (Favorite Dish: Signe’s signature low-fat apple bran muffin and fruit)
- Skillets Grill and Cafe (Favorite Dish: Egg white omelette with tomatoes, spinach, onions, mushrooms, salsa and guacamole)
Now that you are nice and hungry let’s make sure to conclude your yoga practice. After completing Part 1, 2, and 3, you are ready for an inversion and the cool down.
Please don’t let the word “inversion” intimidate you—I know I did when I first started yoga, but I have since come to really enjoy the various poses and their benefits.
How to do Legs up the Wall (Beginner):
- Since we are at the beach, you can use a beach chair. Just place it at the back of your mat.
- Recline on your back and rest your calves on the seat.
- Be mindful of your back, making sure it is in neutral position with the tailbone laying flat.
- Rest your arms by your side.
- Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet
- Gently stretches the back legs, front torso, and the back of the neck
- Relieves mild backache
- Calms the mind
How to do Tripod (Intermediate):
- Kneel on your mat.
- Bring your hands down to the mat with your palms under your shoulders.
- Place the crown of your head centered and 1 foot away from your hands to form a triangle. (Note: Arms should make a 90 degree angle.)
- Place your knees on your triceps.
- Use your core to lift the legs up.
- Improved circulation
- Beneficial for the pituitary and thyroid
- Relieves moodiness and depression
(Note: Check out Tripod Headstand)
Now you are ready to Zen-out with your cool down. I alternate between 2 options.
Option 1: Savasana (Sanskrit for Corpse Pose)
- Lay down on your mat with your arms 1 foot from your sides.
- Extend your legs long and turn your feet out.
- Maintain a flat, neutral spine.
- Release your breath, letting it flow naturally.
- Focus on the gentle rise and fall of your chest.
- Remain here for at least 5 minutes.
Option 2: Seated Meditation
- Find a comfortable seated position like Sukhasana (Easy Pose).
- Close your eyes and let your hands rest on your knee caps.
- Inhale through your nose.
- Exhale, open the mouth a say “haaa” as if you are fogging up a mirror for a few rounds before attempting to create the same sound and sensation by exhaling from the nose.
- Notice the length of your inhales and exhales and try to even them out counting inwardly to 3, 4 or 5.
- Once you fall into a steady breath rhythm, try to focus on one sound like the waves washing on the beach, the shorebirds, or the wind.