Rambling Yogi: Episode 8 ~ Yoga Elements at Panama City Beach, Florida

Yoga Elements
108 Carillon Market St.
Ste 1
Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Styles of Yoga Offered:
Class(es) I Took:
Although our visit in Panama City was unseasonably cold it was still beautiful. We stayed at St. Andrews State Park and had a fantastic view of the bay. A short bicycle ride away, bundled up against the crisp morning air, and I had parts of the beach all to myself. This is where I practiced yoga most during our stay...but I also managed to make two forays into Panama City Beach proper to take two very different yoga classes. The first was at Yoga Elements.

Practicing some handstand variations on the secluded beach.
Yoga Elements is situated inside the Carillon Resort at Carillon Beach, a very posh community on the outskirts of town. Their website describes it like this:
Carillon Beach Resort Community was designed to provide a luxurious modern retreat with the entire creature comforts one would expect in an exclusive resort community. CARILLON is a true haven for the discerning short-term traveler or second home weekly experiences. It is truly a special safe environment for those who make Carillon their home away from home.
It reminded me of some of the upscale ski resorts we've been to...like Squaw Valley. Once you enter the grounds everything you could need is within the "compound"; restaurants, yoga studios, retail shops, art galleries, wine bars, tennis courts, condos. And, of course, a private (gorgeous) beach and (man-made) lake. It's really stunning, especially with the gas lights flickering throughout the resort.

I took a Kripalu class that started at 4pm...so it was already getting to be sunset. That meant I was unable to get any good photos of the area (but you can check out their website to see just how pretty it is). The studio itself was also dark...partly because the huge windows, which overlooked the lake they use for their SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) classes, were now only reflecting the dark skies and partly due to the mood lighting (a very calming effect in the room). But this also interfered with my ability to get any usable interior shots of the studio. Poop.

Yea...you might want to just check out the website to see what the studio looks like...
The dark wood floors and galvanized metal accent wall, combined with strings of white lights throughout the space, really set this studio apart from most that I've seen (so far). It was industrial yet welcoming. The actual floor space for class seemed quite small. There were only 3 students (including myself) and the instructor so it didn't feel crowded but I imagine it can get a little tricky with larger classes. The hardware for the aerial classes hang overhead, but well out of the way for regular floor classes.

Dawn, our teacher, was wonderful at giving cues and demonstrating poses and she walked around and made alignment corrections. As I stated in another Rambling Yogi post I feel that corrections (or at least acknowledgement from the instructor that you're doing things right) are vital when taking studio classes...it's part of the reason students pay for classes. Dawn was interactive with all 3 students dividing her time amongst all of us. The class flowed seamlessly and was quite satisfactory.

If I were to return I would probably go back to try one of the aerial or SUP classes rather than a traditional yoga class. I had intended to take one of those while we were in the area but our timing was off (no SUP due to the cold and the aerial classes didn't work with the dates I had available). It seemed to be nicely priced for such a posh area. If you attend an earlier class strolling around the grounds would be a nice added benefit.

Here's a bonus photo...proof that yoga isn't about being perfect. I set my timer and captured this face plant. Thankfully, I wasn't injured and ended up laughing uncontrollably for a few minutes. Also, there was no one else around, whew.

The ever graceful Rambling Yogi...

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