STAFF PHOTO Jamie Zazzara leads a meditation as she plays the crystal chakra bowls.

This summer, a little sun therapy, water therapy or wind therapy may be exactly what you need – I know it’s what I needed as I took a sunrise yoga/meditation sail along the Barnegat Bay.

Captain Dave Basile of the boat Wind Therapy, part of Jersey Coastal Adventures, and Jaime Zazzara, a sound healer and life coach, have teamed up to offer sunrise and sunset sails out of Lacey Twp./Forked River in Ocean County. These yoga and meditation cruises foster relaxation, increase energy and overall can be an uplifting, cathartic adventure on the sea. It’s a great bonding experience for parents and their teens, couples or even singles – I went by myself since many of my friends were worried about getting seasick (definitely not an issue here) and I met a group of incredible people I spent the morning with.

The 41-foot sailboat leaves the dock at 7 am Saturdays for the sunrise cruise, so I arrived at Wilbert’s Marina by 6:30 am to make sure I found a parking spot. There are many boats in the marina, but there are also enough parking spaces in the small lot to accommodate the sailors since it is early in the morning.

STAFF PHOTO Wind Therapy sailboat

For purposes of this sail, the boat can accommodate six guests, who should be age 12 or older, preferably 16 or older, since the yoga and meditation is done on the deck of the boat; it wouldn’t be safe for younger members of your family to participate or they may not be interested.

The highlight, though, is just that: the yoga and meditation. After sailing out into the bay, Captain Dave drops anchor and each member of your party can (carefully) climb out onto the deck. Sitting on a blanket or towel, Jaime leads some seated yoga, mostly twists and light stretches. Then, she invites you to get comfortable, lie down if you prefer, and indulge in the rhythms of crystal bowls, which tap into the energy of the chakras. I found it very peaceful and relaxing, while some others aboard were very moved by the energy healing. If you’ve never experienced sound healing before, it’s a beautiful process. I love listening to crystal bowls, but the experience of it on the water was completely new and invigorating, and something everyone should try. What was interesting is that as the playing of the crystal bowls became more intense, so did the rocking of the boat – but it was a gentle rock, nothing scary or off-putting for those nervous about being on the open water.

STAFF PHOTO

Although for me and the other women in the group the yoga and meditation were what drew us to the cruise, anyone not interested in the yoga portion can stay in the cockpit area of the boat on a cushioned bench. It is very calming to just take in the sights of the sun and fellow boaters and the sounds of the waves and birds flying overhead even if you are unsure about climbing toward the front of the sailboat.

Anyone participating definitely needs to have sunblock, sunglasses and a towel to sit on. You can try for a hat, depending on the wind. You can bring your own snacks and drinks. Depending on the weather, you could wear a bathing suit and cover up, or even a sweatshirt and sweatpants if it’s windy. The direct sunlight feels amazing, but the cool breeze could quickly give you goosebumps (I had to borrow a blanket from one of the other women). In the event it’s warm enough, there are some water activities you can take part in as well, such as swimming or floating in a tube.

STAFF PHOTO

We were back ashore by 10 am. The sail each way is about a half hour, so we had two beautiful hours to enjoy the yoga, meditation and chit chatting out in the beauty of nature. Emerging from the pandemic, it was a lovely experience to talk to strangers who are now friends and be able to socialize in such a healing environment.

The sunset sail on Thursdays is a bit longer, since the boat departs at 5 pm and sunset right now is around 8:30 pm, so prepare for a longer sail – but that’s actually a good thing! You’ll get to watch the sun move down toward the horizon and see the majestic colors paint the sky.

Plus, some sails feature a Pound Fitness class with Lisa Pepper on the dock prior, a 20-minute massage from Carrie Villanueva while onboard, or Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) yoga with Dana Mitchell after you anchor!

This year, Captain Dave and Jaime are also offering full-day sails, teen wellness sails, full moon wellness retreats and teen camp.

This is an awesome experience for families with older children, couples, a group of girlfriends or even singles to take part in. The sails start on June 16 and are booking through September. Note there are bathrooms on board and weather may cause your voyage to be rescheduled. It’s definitely an experience you’ll want to take advantage of this summer.

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