Hawaii is known for its lava hot spots, but that’s not what makes Maui a go-to place for yogis. The Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated chain of islands in the world. Traveling here is the ultimate way to get away from it all. When we turn down the noise and turn on high quality teaching, a yoga vacation can be a truly transformational experience.
1. Be One With Nature In A Tropical Paradise
Connection to ourselves and to the earth we inhabit is something all yogis seek. Maui makes it effortless. Delight in rainbows, waves, waterfalls, and volcanoes. Marvel at whales, dolphins, turtles, and…chickens? Maui is one of the most magical places in the world. Whether you find yourself swimming with sea turtles or soaking in the quiet country atmosphere (chickens and all), there’s no denying the wonders of nature are incredibly close. In the water and on land, you’ll feel an immediate intimacy with the local environment and its creatures.
2. Live Out Scenes From Iconic Yoga Videos
You’ve pictured yourself doing yoga on a beautiful beach to the music of ocean waves. Yoga videos like Gaiam’s Ashtanga Yoga with Nicki Doane have helped many visualize their dream yoga spot. Well, picture it no longer.
Maui is home to some of the most breathtaking backdrops in the world for your impromptu practice. Humpback whales, cinder cones, and distant islands create a magical setting for you to finally experience what you’ve only previously seen on your TV screen.
3. Reconnect With The Earth As You Walk Barefoot
The warm Hawaiian weather encourages visitors to kick off their shoes and walk barefoot in the sand. Bare feet also make for highly tuned instruments of yoga.
BKS Iyengar famously advocated the importance of bare feet for connection in yoga practice. “Once I told them, be in contact with Mother Earth, why are you doing Yoga with socks. Why are you creating a difference [separation] with Mother Earth, on which our lives are dependent?” source
Removing your slippahs is also a commonly followed tradition when you enter a house or a yoga studio. This sense of connection to a space instantly makes you feel welcomed and part of a community.
4. Be A Part Of A Larger Eco-conscious Community
Aloha ‘aina is a Hawaiian term for nurturing and caring for the land. When you live on a remote island, sustainability is incredibly important to preserving your paradise. Here are some ways the Maui community is going green:
- Whether you’re shopping at one of the many local wholesome food stores or the common grocer, don’t expect to be asked “Paper or Plastic.” In 2011, Maui banned plastic bags at checkout.
- A growing “off-grid” community of people get their power from the sun and their water from the rain.
- As part of a broader goal to expand renewable energy generation and to cut electricity bill costs, Hawaiian electric companies recently announced plans to triple rooftop solar capacity.
Are you willing to get your hands dirty? The resourceful budget traveler can work trade on a local farm. This hands-on experience will teach you more about Maui’s land while funding your yoga getaway.
5. Feel Naturally Fueled By Local Delights
Food is medicine. Luckily, Maui is home to a vast selection of healthy, organic, non-GMO food. In fact, one visit to Hawaii and you may never look at produce the same way. Enjoy a fresh-picked papaya for breakfast or stir up a passion-fruit lemonade with local lilikoi.
The ubiquitous coconut is the local rehydration drink of choice. Don’t be surprised if outside your morning yoga class somebody has a pile of coconuts on offer. Fresh local produce like this is so abundant. Experience a wealth of nourishment direct from the Earth like never before.
6. Train With Master Yoga Teachers In Their Temple
What happens when you combine master yoga teachers with a hidden temple in the jungles of Maui? Perhaps the most transformational and travel-worthy experience the Valley Isle has to offer.
Nicki Doane and Eddie Modestini teach at yoga conferences and events across the globe, but they’ve made their home on Maui. You’d probably recognize Nicki from her series of Vinyasa Fusion DVDs. Join the ranks of Woody Harrelson, Alanis Morrisette, Ziggy Marley, and Michael Franti when you train with these modern masters.
Their Maya Yoga Studio is a hidden gem in tropical paradise. Blessed in person by the late founder of Ashtanga Yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the studio is built of fragrant cedar wood and filled with customized props. Here, your yoga practice is accompanied by the music of birds carried on the warm trade winds. Perched on Maui’s north shore, the studio offers inspiring views of both the ocean and Haleakala.
7. Find Meditative Magic On Top Of A Volcano
Sun salutations at 10,000 feet, anyone? Haleakala is the world’s largest dormant volcano. It’s recognized by Hawaiians as a sacred site, making it the perfect culmination of your yoga vacation.
Seeing the sunrise or sunset from the summit of Haleakala is one of Maui’s most memorable experiences. Maybe it’s just the thin air up there, but the House of the Sun always delivers a sense of true bliss and wonder. It, like the rest of your time on Maui, will be meditative without even trying.
About the Author: MAYA YOGA
Maya Yoga is a profoundly powerful approach to yoga developed by master yogis Nicki Doane and Eddie Modestini. We realize not everyone can come to our Maui studio. A Maya Yoga online membership allows you to do this work from the comfort of your own home.
For the cost of just one yoga class, get unlimited access to Maya Yoga’s virtual classroom. Our extensive and ever-expanding library of videos includes full yoga courses, asana intensives, and teacher trainings. Maya Yoga online also offers the opportunities to focus on meditations, single asanas, sequences of postures, and breathing exercises.