Top 5 Mind-Body and Spiritual Pursuits on the Central Coast

Now that we are in the thick of summer, one can find countless activities that speak to your inner self. Of course, one might ask what I mean exactly by this. Well, these explorations are about discovering hidden power and a sense of tranquility and balance.

1.       Transform yourself with Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates classes, offered daily in the Yoga Dome at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. The resort’s Yoga Dome, located on a ridge overlooking Avila Valley, is the perfect space for these energizing classes. The resort’s long-time instructors, leaders in their respective disciplines, are dedicated to ensuring each student—from beginner to advanced—achieves his or her goals.  Classes are $15 per class; or one can buy a 10-visit Yoga Pass for only $100. Classes are complimentary for hotel guests.  A complete schedule is available online at sycamoresprings.com

2.       The Zen of Paddleboarding! Rent a paddleboard in Avila Beach and discover Port San Luis and the picturesque coast. What a better way to focus your mind and body than paddling out on the ocean, with the seabirds, harbor seals, sailboats and fishing boats, and the historic wharfs…You might even see whales!  Away from your cell phone and your daily hassles—you can lose yourself and find yourself in this natural wonderland. Visit avilapaddlesports.com.

3.       Discover the magical realm at the Secret Garden. Situated Creekside in downtown San Luis Obispo, you’ll find a collection of fine teas from all over the world, as well as exotic spices and herbs, in the enchanted atmosphere of the Secret Garden. Visit: organicherbshop.com

4.       The New Camaldoli Hermitage, though slightly pass the SLO County line, is an easy 90 minute drive up the coast, on the south side of Big Sur. This is the real thing: a community of Christian monks that live a life of solitude and prayer. Fortunately, you can experience this monastic life at this stunningly beautiful retreat. Situated high on a ridge overlooking the Pacific, the monastery has an utterly simple but magnificent chapel, as well as a delightful bookstore. If you are so inclined, you can also spend the night in a humble, yet lovely, abode. The rooms have a single bed, a desk, and bathroom—and extraordinary view of the coast. There is a small kitchen a few steps away and modest meals are included.  If you choose, you can participate in mass or theological discussions.  For all the details, visit the website, appropriately named: contemplation.com

5.       What could be more uplifting, ennobling, and profound that classical music? Experience the San Luis Obispo Moziac Festival, July 13-July 26. You’ll hear the most transcendental music, including Mozart, Bach, contemporary compositions, Beethoven, theatrical pieces, and so much more, performed by full orchestras, string quartets, solo instrumentalists, singers, and actors. There are also excellent culinary events and receptions.  One of the most remarkable facets of this festival are the venues, including the world-class Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly, Chapel Hill Chapel in Shandon, private haciendas, the Old Mission, just to name a few. For festival information and to buy tickets, go to: festivalmozaic.com