The accommodations are very basic but comfortable, with an occasional gecko paying a visit. Meals are a community affair, with a mingling of volunteers and guests heralded with the call of a horn. The fare is delicious, organic, and artfully prepared, with themes for the evening meal.
Before breakfast, a few of us would walk a quarter-mile and watch the sun rise gloriously over the Pacific. At night after yoga, we were in awe of stars so vivid it was almost as though they were gazing at the Earth.
The black lava beach was very small but quite scenic. My daughter, Megan, who island-hopped from Kauai, where she was working as a nurse, coaxed me into scaling down the steep cliff to the beach and back up again. I managed to do it with little problem, but it was not for the faint of heart.
The yoga was profound. We practiced twice per day with Maureen and Tom from my studio. I found that the struggle with my body to perfect the poses was gone, replaced with a newfound respect and appreciation for the gifts the body provides.
And I realized the power of my yoga practice in daily life when we went snorkeling. I hadn't snorkeled in years and found it a little overwhelming, until I remembered my yoga breathing. The steady and controlled breath overcame the anxiety, and I snorkeled for an hour in wonder of the seascape.
Our guide said the tide pools where we snorkeled are the easternmost part of Hawaii. Because of this geographic position, the locals boast that the air there is some of the cleanest in the world, as the trade winds blow southwesterly across the Pacific Ocean, unimpeded by any land mass.
We also took some other afternoon excursions. The Hawaiian Botanical Gardens were stunning, with dramatic waterfalls, foliage, and coastline. At Mount Kilauea, an active volcano about an hour's drive from Kalani, the contrast between total destruction and the whisper of new life was breathtaking.
As yoga students, we were invited to "Find Your 'Ono (delicious)." I found the delicious meaning of purposeful living through self-nurturing, inner reflection, and the joy of newfound friends. I found that peace and contentment can be achieved and sustained in the hectic environment that is reality.
As we say at the end of yoga class: Namaste - the light in me honors the light in you.
Karen Strawhacker lives in Blue Bell, Montgomery County.