Wake up your senses, experience the benefits of mindful movement, and see the sunrise over the ocean with the First Light Club. Complimentary for guests staying at Elements of Byron, this therapeutic yoga class is held daily on the beachfront overlooking the pristine Pacific Ocean.
“As we are located on a grassy knoll that sits right in front of Belongil Beach, not far from mainland Australia’s most easterly point, we get to see the sun come up before anyone else,” says Elements of Byron’s spa manager and yoga instructor, Marie Baker. “The sun is usually peeking out over the horizon as our guests arrive, which at this time of the year is just north of Julian Rocks. It really is quite spectacular.”
Catering to all ages and levels of fitness, the First Light Club is led by a team of qualified teacher-trainer yogis who believe early morning – especially outdoors in nature – is a powerful time to practice yoga. This is when our senses are fresh and fully engaged, enabling us to absorb nature at its purest, be it the sounds of the waves crashing on the nearby shore, or the sight of a humpback whale breaching out at sea.
“Upon arriving, we start with a meet-and-greet and discuss any injuries or conditions, which can range from knee ailments and back problems to pregnancy. We then begin to move the body and adopt a lot of the classical yoga positions in a very safe and supportive way,” Marie explains.
Kick-starting your day with the First Light Club is not only a great way to experience the beauty of Byron Bay but also helps align your mind and body. Yoga involves simple stretching poses – known as asanas, which include some of the following:
Twisting – Gentle twisting exercises help massage internal organs and add more flexibility into your muscles.
Full body stretching – A full body stretch targets all the basic muscle groups, which improves your range of motion, increases circulation, and calms the mind.
Upper back stretching – Helps improve upper back posture, relives back pain, increases strength, and can helps prevent neck and shoulder tension.
Chest opener – Also called heart openers, these exercises help lengthen the front and back of your body, decrease back pain and shoulder tightness, and increases breathing capacity of the lungs.
“Our particular yoga style is to move the energy, bring balance to all systems of the body, and give our guests the opportunity to experience mindful movement and mindful breathing,” Marie explains. “We normally finish the class with a simple sitting meditation that helps people set heartfelt intentions for the day by turning their focus to what’s important to them.”
Elements of Byron also offer private yoga sessions tailored to for individuals, couples and groups, along with personalised pranayama and meditation sessions.
First Light Club
When: Early morning classes start 7:30am-8:30am (winter) and 7:00-8:00am (summer).
Where: Heart of the Bay
What to wear: Comfortable clothes, bottle of water, and perhaps a jumper and pair of socks in case it’s chilly
What to bring: Just yourself (yoga equipment provided)
Who can attend: Anyone – classes are tailored to your individual needs
Cost: Complimentary for guests staying at Elements of Byron
Want more inspiration for things to do in Byron Bay? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Byron Bay.