Imagine yoga on the beach, white sand, warm water, tropical fruit, fragrant flowers, Thai yoga massage, catered dinners and you.  

Maui is what I was waiting for.  I had never been. I had traveled around the world including Costa Rica, Fiji, Australia, India, Greece, Italy, England, Spain and the Caribbean, but I’d never been to Maui.  Okay, I admit that it was a mistake.  But I’ve seen it now and I’m going right back next month and you should come too.

I was sent as an emissary, an ambassador, an advance team.  I was on a mission, driving 13 miles north of the airport and turning right, into upcountry Maui.  It wasn’t what I’d planned.  But sometimes a change in plans leads to unexpected and delightful adventures.

Paia.  Haiku.  The names of the towns I found were poetic.  The windows down, warm winds buffeted me.  I passed a roadside flower stand, a spectacular array of blooms and made a mental note to stop there on the way back, my wife might forgive me for not taking her.  Buckets full of long green, reed-like stalks bursting with large pink ginger blossoms and orange heliconia (like the beaks of five toucans, stacked one atop the other, a multi-tiered bird of paradise).  No one was around.  Payment was on the honor system.  I slid some money into the slot and rolled on down the Hana highway.

First I checked out where we’ll stay.  I found two places to remember with lovely locations, private grounds, melodic names and each a snapshot of Maui: verdant, lush, welcoming and warm.  Large old banyan, monkeypod and jacaranda trees create a shady oasis amidst the fruit trees, flowers and wide-open lawns.  Then I whisked over to another wonderful discovery: the beautiful, spacious yoga studio with skylights filtering the clear warm days and hardwood floors gleaming throughout.  
Done.  Mission accomplished.  Confirmed the setting for a memorable, wonderful, healthful, pleasurable, rejuvenating, tropical vacation.  This is how life should be lived.  Now it’s your turn.  You’re invited.  Come and enjoy. And if you’re a first-timer and have been meaning to try yoga, here’s your chance.  Our last retreat sold out and it spawned beautiful memories.  Live well.  Enjoy yoga in paradise.

The Yoga Retreat in Maui is July 9 to 15.  For more information or to register, call 661-257-9955.  Hot Yoga Valencia offers yoga daily and is located at 25520 Avenue Stanford, Valencia, 91355.  Beginners are always welcome.  Schedule available at www.hotyogavalencia.com .