TAKE-OFF FOR HELIYOGA TURNING PRACTICE INTO LUXURY, ONE MAT AT A TIME
–By Stacey Gualandi
I’ve certainly had my share of unique life adventures: I bun-
gee jumped out of a hot air balloon in the Arizona desert; I piloted a small plane with only 15 minutes of instruction; I even climbed the Oakland Bridge to change light bulbs! But my most recent excursion blows all of those out of the water. It began on an early April morning. I joined about a dozen Las Vegans on the airport tarmac where we boarded a Maverick helicopter for a private round-trip charter flight. Within seconds, we were up-up-and-away, with the Las Vegas Strip to the west and our destination to the east…a mere 20 minutes away. We had just embarked on what is called the “world’s most exclusive yoga experience.” The stunning views of the red rocks—one mountain range after another—were breathtaking as we flew closer to our remote landing spot. I didn’t know if my stomach butterflies were from the flight or the anticipation of practicing yoga on one of the highest peaks in the Mohave Desert. I will never forget that 360-degree vista as we slowly lowered onto the red Aztec sandstone, located in Valley of Fire State Park and only accessible by helicopter. This would be our yoga studio for the next 75-minutes. I couldn’t wait to hit the mat. It’s called “Heliyoga-Limitless,” an exclusive luxury tour offered by Silent Savasana—a growing yoga movement with a twist—and the award-winning charter service Maverick Helicopters. The entire experience is the brainchild of renowned yoga instructor Dray Gardner and Kyle Markman, a veteran Las Vegas event planner. First, a little about Silent Savasana. Markman says he was looking for a fitness expert to partner with on a new concept: large-scale yoga events using headphones. When he and Gardner were introduced in 2015, they immediately hit it off. “We started two weeks later, in a park on Dray’s birthday,” says Markman. “We had about a dozen people [doing yoga]; a week later, 30; then 50. Now there are about 600 people at some events.” What makes Silent Savasana so unique is that not only do you hear a well-produced play-list, but you also hear Gard-
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Photos courtesy of Stacey Guandi, Ross Kyker, Kyle Markman, & Maverick Helicopters; not in any specific order pages 76-78.
ner directing your down-dogs on LED headsets provided in the class. “I think that’s part of what has made this so successful,” says Markman. “You get the energy of hundreds of people around you and a one-on-one connective-ness with Dray.” “Heliyoga-Limitless” evolved as a more intimate offshoot of the larger events, and fortunately for my small group, Gardner was our guide on the mountaintop. While I planked right alongside my fellow yogis, it did feel like he was speaking directly to me. The former DJ says his ultimate goal is to elevate our consciousness, and then return us to normal life “recharged, refreshed, rebooted and ready to reconnect.” Says Gardner, “I feel really at peace when I’m teaching. I’m really trying to tap people into their own power… and do some inside work so they leave a little lighter. We all carry
Travel 2017 | Issue Nº09 Featuring Eden Sassoon www.deluxe-version.com