I’m absolutely over the moon today to be announcing my next Wander Women Retreat!
If you’ve been following me on social media lately, you know that in the last six months, I’ve developed an obsession with all things aerial arts. The path that led me there was a windy one!
When I moved back to Albany in the fall, I started checking out local yoga and fitness studios, trying to find somewhere that clicked. It wasn’t long before I found a second home at Good Karma Studios, where the owner, Jess Lubin, encouraged me to branch out from the aerial yoga and fitness classes I had become a regular at, and try some of the aerial arts classes as well — things like aerial dance, cirque hammocks, lyra, and silks. (If you want to see a few examples, check the “aerial arts” highlight on my Instagram to watch some of my journey!)
I soon fell in love with the community, the creativity and the physical challenge of the aerial arts — not to mention the feeling of literally flying! Over many long hours in the studio bonding over our bucket lists and past world travels, Jess and I started daydreaming about creating a retreat incorporating the aerial arts with our shared passion for travel.
My mind went straight to St. Pete, Florida. I honestly believe it’s the coolest city in the Sunshine State (don’t tell Miami!) — and started dreaming of aerial adventures set to a backdrop of white sand beaches, world class museums, colorful street art, and cool breweries.
And so the next Wander Women Retreats was born: a four night yoga + aerial arts retreat in St. Pete from July 24-28, 2019. We’ve created an itinerary with workshops in aerial hammocks, lyra, and silks, plus yoga in a museum, at a brewery, by a pool, on a paddleboard, in an ocean-front park known for dolphin spotting. Let’s just say, it’s going to be hard to imagine more scenic places to practice.
This isn’t a hardcore aerial retreat or a strict yoga immersion (the brewery probably gave us away on that one, right?) Rather, it’s an opportunity to explore one of America’s hidden gem cities with an incredible crew of women, exploring ways that movement can bring us joy. This retreat is open to all level of yogis and aerialists, from fresh beginner to long-time enthusiast. We’ll split into aerial groups as needed and make sure every skill level is addressed. If you’re a beginner, consider this a taster menu of our favorite aerial apparatuses — Jess will help you feel like an aerial goddess right away! The cool thing about these practices is you can find a lot of success on literally your first day. And if you’re a seasoned practitioner, take advantage of this time to hone your craft with a true aerial artist.
You guys are just going to love Jess. She too returned to her Albany, also her hometown, after her life path took her around the globe, living and studying yoga in Guatemala and India. (Not hard to see how we’d end up as friends, right?!) She opened Good Karma Studio, the first and only aerial yoga studio in Albany, New York in 2011. Jess’s yoga resume reads like an ecyclopedia — she has studied and trained under Tribe Yoga, Gravotonics, Rolf Gates, Janet Stone, Shiva Rea, Yoga Works NYC, Kula Yoga’s Schuyler Grant, and Sadie Nardini. She’s developed a cult following in Upstate New York is an inspiring performer, teacher, and friend.
When we aren’t on the mat or in the air, we’ll be tasting Florida fruit wine, watching the sunset from the beach, eating delicious meals, and even taking a day trip to the Ringling Circus Arts Museum. I’ll be behind the lens every step of the way, ensuring everyone leaves with profile-picture worthy shots of themselves in the air, in their favorite asanas, and smiling in the sun.
And yes, that sun will be fierce! July is the low season in Florida, allowing us to take advantage of smaller crowds and summer vibes. St. Pete stole my heart from my very first visit, and I’m just thrilled to show you why.
The dates of this retreat are July 24-28, 2019. Pricing starts at $1,450 and includes, well, basically everything — accommodation, activities, two meals a day, eight classes, several bubbly toasts, and more.
• Four nights accommodation in chic, downtown St. Pete boutique hotel
• Four breakfasts, three lunches, and two dinners, plus plenty of snacks and surprises
• A daily happy hour with free-flowing wine
• Three aerial workshops and two yoga classes with our private instructor
• Three special yoga sessions in poolside, museum + SUP yoga with local instructors
• Museum admission
• An album of professional, edited photos of all retreat activities
• A lush welcome bag
• All local transportation (minus airport transfers)
• 5% profit donation to local charities
What’s Not Included
• Meals not included in the itinerary
• Transport to and from St. Pete, or to and from the airport
• Travel insurance
Oh, The Places We’ll Go
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea of the dream trip we’ve planned for y’all.
Day 1: Arrivals and a fun partner yoga class and dolphin spotting session in Vinoy Park. Welcome dinner and drinks at an ocean-view rooftop restaurant.
Day 2: A morning silk hammock aerial workshop followed by a wine tasting (or a regular ‘ol juice tasting) at the Florida Orange Groves Winery and a picnic at an uninhabited beach via the Shell Key Shuttle. Close out the day with a lighthearted sip n’ stretch yoga class at a local brewery.
Day 3: A morning aerial lyra workshop before departing for The Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota. Enjoy the sunset with an evening of stand up paddling, SUP yoga, and a dockside dinner.
Day 4: Start the day with a poolside yoga class before jumping in to cool off! Enjoy some free time to hit museums, beaches, or extra aerial classes before meeting back up for an afternoon silks workshop and a festive farewell dinner.
Day 5: Say farewell to St. Pete with yoga and a spin through the galleries at the world-famous Dalí Museum, followed by a healthy send-off lunch at a local juice bar.
Where We’ll Stay
We’ll be staying at the chic Avalon Hotel in the heart of Downtown St. Pete. This retro hotel is just waiting to be your future Instagram backdrop! We’ll also have full access to the sister hotel The Hollander’s pool and other amenities.
Shared rooms have one king-sized bed. Of course you can room with a friend but if you’re traveling solo, fear not, so are most of our Wander Women guests! We’ll do our best to pair you with someone we think you’ll click with based on your intake forms — and we’ll all be besties by the end anyway. If you prefer to have your own bed, book a private room with a single queen sized bed.
Read my full review of The Avalon here.
What We’ll Eat
Guys, the food in St. Pete is so good! It’s basically one of the reasons I fell in love with the city in the first place.
Every morning we’ll have delicious smoothie bowls delivered from Karma Juice Bar. Lunch and dinner will be at various local restaurants. For meals that are not included, we’ll dine as a group at some of my favorite local spots, though of course you are welcome to go elsewhere as you please. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and other diets can easily be accommodated, and we’d be happy to provide you with menus ahead of time if you have any concerns.
How to Get to St. Pete
The retreat hotel is a twenty minute, $15 car share ride from St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport (PIE) or a thirty minute, $25 car share ride from Tampa International Airport (TPA). Get a free ride of up to $20 with Uber here, and up to $25 with Lyft here!
If you’re driving, parking at the hotel is included.
This retreat has limited space and is likely to sell out. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot, and payment plans are available. For further information, including an extensive FAQ and a little more background on me if you don’t already know my story, check out the retreat landing page.
Remember, don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. I’d love to chat!
Divers, fear not. You’re next! I’m working on two dive retreats — one in Thailand and one in Egypt — for 2020. Stay tuned to my Wander Women Retreats page to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats.
Any questions? Fire away in the comments — and start packing your bags for Florida!