Full moon yoga: Posing and stretching as celestial splendor unfolds

Lance Shearer

For creating an oasis of peace and tranquility, full moon yoga is hard to beat.

These days, we could all use some calm centeredness and Friday morning about 70 Islanders found theirs. As the moon dropped into the Gulf of Mexico to the west of South Beach, women and a few men carrying mats walked up the beach access in the predawn cool.

Once a month when there is a full moon, Marco Island Yoga holds a 6:30 a.m. yoga session, in addition to their regular daytime beach yoga classes held every morning or evening. On Friday, the class began at 6:30, the moon set at 6:37, and the sun rose at 6:52.

While this celestial splendor unfolded, instructor Debby Amicucci led the class through a series of poses and stretches. Marco Island Yoga’s practice is grounded in the Hatha Yoga discipline, but Amicucci said all the attendees bring their own practice with them.

“We have many experienced yogis, including instructors, coming to the class, but a brand new person, someone who barely knows what yoga is, can do it too.”

Amicucci encouraged each participant to stay within their comfort level and cautioned them before going into a challenging pose. “It’s early – be gentle with yourself,” she said.

“Feel the sense of peace and calm that the tree pose affords us. Think of letting go of whatever no longer serves me.”

Without being overbearing, she emphasized mindfulness and mindset, leading the class to be conscious of their breathing, and at one point going through an inventory of body parts, focusing on each one by one.

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“People really need this, and even more so during the pandemic,” said Joe Klein, who rode his bicycle 12 miles from where he was camping at Collier-Seminole State Park. “I haven’t been to an in-person yoga class since March.”

“I love full moon yoga. It’s very motivational,” said Cheryl Wilson. “Yoga is good for you, period.”

Adding to the sense of peace, the sky was a symphony of pastels, the air wafted into your lungs like nectar, and the smooth lap of wavelets caressing the beach mingled with the cries of seagulls, one of whom came and walked among the reclining and socially distanced yogis as though inspecting their poses. It was a quietly invigorating time to be at the water’s edge.

Marco Island Yoga instructor Laurie Kasperbauer, Amicucci’s partner in the business, was among the yogis taking in the class, and held the regular 8:30 a.m. class an hour after the full moon yoga ended. Those classes will continue, but full moon yoga has only two more outings, in March and April, before going on hiatus so as not to disturb turtle nesting season.

Regular classes take place at 5:30 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, and 8:30 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. The classes are offered without charge, although there is a tip jar and a $10 suggested donation.

For more information, search for Marco-Island-Yoga on Facebook or call 201-214-1360 or 712-210-3853.

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