Finding Zen on the 7th Continent: Yoga Onboard the Ocean Endeavour

August 25, 2015

You could say Sarah Hrdlicka is living the good life.

Back home in LaHave, Nova Scotia, the soft-spoken and sprightly yoga instructor runs an adventure company with her partner Scott McCormack. In summer, they offer sea kayaking, yoga, and outdoor education to locals and tourists from around the globe. 

Each winter, Sarah and Scott join Quark in Antarctica -- he as a wilderness and sea kayaking guide, and she as a wellness and yoga instructor. 

This Antarctic season, the pair will join us aboard Ocean Endeavour, fresh from its multi-million dollar makeover, where Sarah will offer yoga classes for health and wellness-conscientious passengers. 

Seal yoga in Antarctica

Yoga in Antarctica 

As part of the Quark Wellness Program onboard Endeavour, passengers can participate in a variety of yoga classes and stretching classes throughout their Antarctic expedition

Yoga provides a variety of health benefits, including improved flexibility, muscle strength and better posture. Improved heart rate, lower blood pressure and better balance are also listed as benefits of regular practice. 

Classes onboard Endeavour are tailored for participants of varying skill and fitness levels. 

“It’s pretty cool to say you’ve tried yoga on the Drake Passage,” Hrdlicka laughs. “I often hear, ‘...but I’m not flexible enough to do yoga!’ but I’m telling you, everyone can do yoga. Don’t be deterred -- you might try it and love it. I had a client in his mid-70s a few years ago who enjoyed onboard yoga so much he decided to go home and continue with it.”

 Yoga in Antarctica

Digital Detox aboard the Ocean Endeavour 

Hrdlicka teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, restorative and yin yoga. 

Hatha yoga is a series of exercises to align the skin, muscle and bones, with postures designed to open channels within the body, especially the spine, so that energy can flow freely. 

Vinyasa yoga is a synchronization of movement and breath that is more like a dance, due to the smooth flow of continuous movement between poses. 

Restorative yoga aims to align the physical and mental through the practice of stillness or gentle movements over longer periods of time, and is particularly helpful for those who may be experiencing some discomfort. 

Yin yoga goes deep, targeting the connective tissues of the body. 

While each style has its own character, improved health and wellness for the practitioner is the goal of each. Quark provides yoga mats, blocks, and other equipment, so travelers needn’t worry about packing those.

“More experienced practitioners get to continue to develop and grow their yoga practice while inspired by the incredible scenery and wildlife. A yoga practice can also help ease sore muscles and the effects of travel and being out in the elements, while helping you digest new experiences and surroundings,” Hrdlicka explains. “Being in Antarctica is inspiring - it's a great opportunity to unplug and reconnect with the natural world and yourself!”

 A Quark passenger at Neko Harbour

What to wear for yoga in Antarctica 

Participants can rest assured that yoga in Antarctica is not a fashion contest. 

“Of course, you’re welcome to bring your own yoga clothes,” Hrdlicka laughs. “But don’t be surprised when people show up in their long underwear base layers! The main objective is to be as comfortable as possible, and those are really ideal for practicing yoga on the ship.”

To learn more about the Wellness Program on the Ocean Endeavour and living the good life with yoga practitioner Sarah Hrdlicka on your Antarctic vacation, contact one of our experienced Polar Travel Advisers.

 

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