What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with beach yoga? Area Director Claire from southern California has been hosting a “yoga at the beach” day for au pairs for a decade, and it continues to be one of her most popular monthly cultural connections.
Area Director Claire’s Beach Yoga Day began ten years ago to commemorate Earth Day (April 22nd) with her au pairs. Earth Day, celebrated around the globe, encourages citizens of the world to respect and protect the environment. To observe Earth Day, AD Claire thought she would put her yoga skills to good use by teaching au pairs a healthy activity that is also typical of southern California culture. By experiencing yoga out in nature, au pairs practice mindfulness, recharge from the busyness of day-to-day-life, and build community connections. Along with an afternoon of yoga, the au pairs also fundraise for local charities.
Beach Yoga Day eventually became so popular that other local Area Directors joined in to grow the event. Now, yoga on the beach is hosted twice a year – once in the spring and once in the autumn. Multiple au pair clusters attend and have the chance to meet the many au pairs from the greater Los Angeles region. This event has been so successful that Area Director Claire decided to extend the invitation to host moms. What a better bonding experience for program participants than yoga on the beach! South African au pair Oreesa says:
Yoga on the beach was an incredible experience! It [was] a great environment to socialize with other au pairs and Claire made it both enlightening and educational.
As a physical reminder of Beach Yoga Day, each au pair receives a glass vial after class in which to collect seashells and sand as a souvenir of their time in southern California. They love this keepsake! After the class, au pairs will stay and chat for a while and share light refreshments before they disband for home, a sunbath, or a stroll down Venice beach. The au pairs say they feel a little more relaxed and ready for their ensuing week ahead. Au pair Ruben from the Czech Republic reminisces about experiencing his first cultural connection:
I [had just] moved to Los Angeles and my first ever meeting with my au pair group was coming up. The meeting took place in Venice and we did beach yoga! It was awesome to relax and hear the sound of the waves. I really enjoyed that. I found new friends as well.