Mindful Turtle, well-known yoga & wellness center in Stonybrook is summering in Montauk this season, offering regular yoga classes and a unique service for wedding parties. This past Saturday, I got to witness their special wedding yoga as Danielle and Diane of Mindful Turtle gave Rachel, Andrew, and their loved ones quite a gift on their special day.
Taking place in the farmhouse at the Montauk Yacht club, wedding guests gathered in a morning yoga class by the fire, overlooking the foggy Montauk waters. Even on a cloudy day, this classic Montauk view is captivating, the gray waters serene. Danielle began the class with simple breathing and focusing on the here and now; “there are not many places more beautiful than where we are right now.” These simple words clearly hit close to my heart, as I believe that this beautiful place we’re surrounded by is definitely a key to happiness. As Rachel, the beaming bride explained, Montauk was chosen because the setting is similar to California, but close for New York relatives, the best of both worlds.
Have you ever done yoga by the fire with floating candles, a water view, surrounded by family and friends? As one wedding guest stated on her way out, “all weddings should start with yoga!” Excitement and enthusiasm for the day was awakened and nerves were calmed through an hour of deep breathing, stretching, meditation, and the energy of each others company. I was so happy to be able to witness this once-in-a-lifetime experience…if you’re a bride-to-be, read carefully!
Before the class, the room was full of family chatting, hugging, and embracing one another for the joyous occasion. As soon as everyone hit the mats, serenity instantly spread about the farmhouse. The simple gift of slowing down and breathing, taking the day moment by moment, must have been invaluable for the couple, not allowing a second of their special day pass by unappreciated.
Diane led the group through sun salutations, one after another after another, aligning the movement with the breath until the whole group was in sync. And then something amazing happened, Diane was silent. The breath and connection of a family lead the group through the movements in silence.
The class continued with a range of poses, simple movements allowing the muscles to stretch and relax without challenging the mind, keeping the focus on the special occasion. Danielle and Diane are a perfect team; Danielle calms the group with her soft voice while Diane’s dynamic approach fosters focus. Together, the two create a unique class geared for all levels: stretching, breathing, decompressing, appreciation, smiles, and even a little laughter.
Diane wrapped up with a love poem, mentioning love that is soft and strong, lost and found with each other’s love, much like the experience of being in this unfamiliar place, but together, needing only love. The look on Rachel’s face after class, the look on all of their friends and family, the gift of peace and relaxation to start a hectic day, was invaluable. Rachel commented that the rest of her day will be crazy, but thankfully, she can embrace it with ease and enjoy it fully after the hour of yoga. Rachel and mother of the bride Katherine would definitely attest to the fact that this was a most worthwhile experience on a much-anticipated day.
In addition to Mindful Turtle’s (South Erie Ave, Montauk) regular classes, Danielle and Diane offer an abundance of wedding options, enabling Hamptons’ brides to experience the gift of yoga, uniquely customized for them. Options range from an intimate couples “We Do” class, a bridal party core yoga, relaxation, and aromatherapy, a private Stand-Up Paddleboarding “Montauk Mermaid” class, and endless other possibilities. Mindful Turtle is “dedicated to helping each bride unify all aspects of herself – physical, emotional and spiritual – in honor of the miraculous bridal experience.”
One Healthy Breakdown: a calm bride is a happy bride; a happy bride is a yogi bride.