From physical health to spirituality, practitioners have sought out the benefits of yoga for thousands of years. And for Mark Oliver, who was first drawn to yoga for its roots in meditation and ability to heal physical pain, one of those benefits is reflection.
In that spirit, he and his wife Dawn Oliver started the socially and environmentally conscious lifestyle brand YOGiiZA. The company’s team of yoga instructors and wellness professionals provides an array of health and fitness classes at Acqualina Resort & Spa and in other venues around South Florida, including personal training, wellness coaching, pilates, and yoga.
Just steps from the Atlantic Ocean at Acqualina, the yoga classes are 75- or 90-minute private sessions that are completely customized to your needs. Before stepping onto the mat, a brief consultation allows YOGiiZA to set you up with the right instructor and style of yoga based on your preferences, background, and injury history.
From Iyengar yoga, a form of Hatha yoga that focuses on attention to detail and structural alignment, to Budokon yoga, also called “The Way of the Warrior,” there is a style of practice best suited to your lifestyle and desires. The versatile instructors provide Restorative Yoga for healing, Partner Yoga for finding synchronicity with another, and Yoga for the Senses combining gentle movements with aromas of lavender and sage and the sounds of crystal singing bowls.
“My favorite is probably Ashtanga yoga for myself, and that’s what I recommend to most young, healthy people,” says Mark, noting that Ashtanga practitioners are normally interested in refining the body and understanding the connection between mind and body.
“I gravitate toward that, but I’ve been practicing yoga for so long that I really adapt to my clientele. I’m able to be flexible with my teaching because I have a broad background of study.”
Other classes offered include Yoga Philosophy to discuss the core principles of yoga and apply them to everyday life, Thai Yoga Body Work to use aspects of yoga to massage the body, and Energy Cleanse, Breathing, & Meditation, which combines light exercise, breathwork, and chanting for a powerful session.
Once you have found your style, it’s time to head down to Acqualina’s white-sand shoreline.
“Acqualina is the ultimate for beachfront yoga because you don’t have to do it in the sand,” says Mark. “They have a manicured lawn right up to the edge of the sand – a flat surface so it’s really conducive for beachfront yoga compared to other places where you’re actually in the sand. [The sand] is just not practical. It’s romantic, but it’s not practical.”
To schedule a yoga class or other wellness session with YOGiiZA, please contact Acqualina Spa by ESPA at 305.918.6844.