Yoga is more than a trendy exercise regime. Ideally, physical poses are practiced with the control of breathing and meditation to create a union between the body and the mind, and ultimately between oneself and the divine.
So what better place to practice yoga than in balmy Hawaii, the land of the aloha spirit? Yoga helps focus the mind to learn English and to calm the spirit to prepare for language exams, such as the IELTS test. As you will see, you can actually do all three at Global Village Hawaii, the premier English language school, test center, and activities hub in Honolulu.
What are the best places to practice yoga in Hawaii? The obvious thing to do is to take advantage of Hawaii’s abundant supply of sunshine, fresh air, and sea breezes and do it in parks and beaches.
1. Ala Moana Beach Park
Locals and tourists alike enjoy doing all sorts of sports, including yoga, or simply relaxing and having fun in Ala Moana Beach Park, only a stone’s throw away from our school.
The sport yoga classes offered by Global Village Hawaii take place there after school. These classes are led by Global Village Hawaii’s English teacher and sports fan Rick. They are a mix of various yoga styles, Pilates, and core related exercises.
You can even get adventurous and try doing yoga poses on a stand-up paddle board off the Magic Island, a small man-made peninsula jutting out from the Ala Moana Beach Park. If you want more guidance on that, Yoga Floats offers stand-up paddle board yoga classes there.
2. Sans Souci/Kaimana Beach
Another popular spot to practice yoga outdoors is of course in Waikiki, or to be precise, by Sans Souci/Kaimana Beach.
Individuals and groups alike practice yoga there under the sway of coconut trees. Simply take a break from your shopping or surfing, do a few downward dogs or warrior poses to re-center yourself and to stretch out on the beach.
Or if you want to take longer practice sessions guided by a teacher, Beach Sunset Yoga Hawaii offers daily yoga classes there both in the morning and at sunset.
3. Kapiolani Park
To the mountain side of Sans Souci/Kaimana Beach across Kalakaua Avenue is the large green expanse of the Kapiolani Park, also an excellent outdoor yoga spot in Hawaii. The park offers the same convenience as the beach, but has a more relaxed vibe.
You can easily put your mat under a shade tree or find a quiet corner on the grass (depending on how badly you want a deep tan) to practice on your own, with your friends, or follow a teacher. How can you beat doing yoga with the iconic Diamond Head as the background?
If you’re shy about practicing in public, or simply prefer staying away from the sun or enjoying the comfort of air-conditioning, there are many affordable and outstanding indoor yoga classes and studios to choose from.
4. Global Village Hawaii
You can also incorporate your yoga classes with English language study at our language center. Register for the English plus yoga course offered by Global Village Hawaii. Your yoga classes will be led by a qualified yoga teacher in one of the cool rooms in school with a breathtaking view of the Pacific. You may practice before your English classes to improve your focus or afterwards to enhance the absorption of your newly acquired English skills!
5. Yogaloha Hawaii, Wakiki Shopping Plaza
Yogaloha Hawaii is a boutique and friendly yoga studio conveniently located at the Wakiki Shopping Plaza. It offers yoga classes of various styles and levels of difficulty, including a $10 “Happy Hour” community yoga class on Sunday afternoons.
The studio provides free yoga mats and props for the class so you don’t have to bring your own or rent them like in many other studios. They even provide spray bottles of mat cleaner so everyone can clean the mat after using it to keep everything nice and clean.
For Japanese speakers who are more comfortable reading about yoga and class details in Japanese, simply scroll to the bottom of the homepage of the studio’s website and click on the Japanese link.
6. Ohana Space Hawaii
Ohana Space Hawaii is a yoga and wellness center only 10 minutes’ walk from Global Village Hawaii.
Ohana means ‘family’ in the Hawaiian language and, indeed, it is part of the Global Village Hawaii extended ohana as they sometimes supply teachers to the classes for the English plus yoga course at school.
In addition to classes at the center, OSH also offers scheduled morning and sunset yoga classes held at the beach between Fort DeRussy and the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel in Waikiki. So you can actually be guided by OSH to try practicing yoga in a few different settings in Hawaii! Its website is also bilingual in Japanese.
If you already have some yoga experience and want to take your practice to a more specialized or serious level, or if you just love to try a particular style of yoga, the following studios are perfect for you.
7. The Silent Dance Center, Kaimuki
Don’t be fooled by the name The Silent Dance Center. It is in fact a non-profit, community-based Iyengar yoga studio in Hawaii since 1977. Currently, the center’s studio is located in the Kaimuki neighborhood in Honolulu, with plenty of local cultural and culinary favor.
Classes are taught by Iyengar Yoga certified teachers, many of whom had taken classes directly from the late B.K.S. Iyengar, founder of this style of yoga, who passed away in 2014 as an active 95-year-old. Iyengar yoga emphasizes precision, body alignment, and use of props to enhance the practice and to adapt to the needs of each student.
If you want a strong foundation in your yoga practice with lots of individual attention and hands-on adjustments, this is the place for you.
8. The Hang Out, Kakaako and Waikiki
Have you ever thought of practicing yoga and defying gravity at the same time? Apart from being a lot of fun, aerial yoga makes use of one’s body weight to facilitate stretching and decompressing the spine.
While doing yoga poses by suspending from the silk hammock can be challenging, mediating and relaxing inside the hammock is very soothing and triggers pleasant tactile and visual sensations.
Ready to “take the plunge” into aerial yoga? The Hang Out aerial yoga is the place to go. Its studio in the hip Kakaako neighborhood is nice and chilled while its Waikiki location may be more convenient to some.
9. Purple Yoga Hawaii, Waikiki
Asthanga yoga is physically demanding, but students can practice their sequences of poses at their own pace once they master the primary series. These sequences match poses with breath in a dynamic flow “to build stamina and focus the mind,” according to Purple Yoga Hawaii.
This studio is also located in Waikiki. You can commit to learning the primary series through a number of weeks or just join individual practice classes guided by a teacher with flexible start and end times.
10. At home
If you want to explore yoga at your own pace in private, the best place to practice is in the comfort of your own home by following online classes.
There has been an explosion of yoga streaming services in recent years. Some are short and specific, such as step-by-step instructions on how to master the crow pose on YouTube, while others are full-length classes of any imaginable styles and levels.
Many of the former are free, but most of the latter type are not. But don’t worry. They are mostly quite affordable, starting from as low as 10 to 20 U.S. dollars for the first year of subscription. Many sites also have a short free trial period so you can test out the classes before committing.
Here’s one list to shop for online yoga classes in the new year: https://www.verywellfit.com/best-online-yoga-classes-3567242. All you need is good internet access and you’re set to go.
Now you’ve discovered the best places to practice yoga in our lovely state, truly put the spirits of the yogic greeting of Namaste and the Hawaiian greeting of Aloha into practice. It’s easy to leave your heart in Hawaii. Namaste, Aloha, and see you soon!