Most mornings, not long after first light, Susan Halladay sets out on a paddle board, leading a dozen or so people through the glassy morning waters of Peconic Bay.
As the sun continues to rise, they glide atop the water at a gentle pace, headed for a secluded inlet where they’ll stretch and meditate before paddling back to Jamesport Bay Suites, a 15-room hotel Halladay manages on a quiet waterfront street in South Jamesport.
The early-bird 7 a.m. classes are geared to women looking for a peaceful yet active way to start their busy days, though all ages and abilities are welcome to join the sessions, affectionately dubbed by Halladay as “Broads on Boards — And the men that love us.”
Earlier this year, Halladay’s daughter, Erin Occhiogrosso, launched Sunray Bay yoga at the property, offering yoga classes held both on paddle boards in the water and on their beautiful waterfront lawn.
Many of the classes also include meditation practices and sound bath therapy, a tranquil experience that involves breathing and meditation while being soothed by sound waves created by sound bowls at 432 Hz, a frequency believed to promote a sense of clarity, peace and well being.
Occhiogrosso has been teaching yoga, including SUP yoga, for nearly a decade and said she was drawn to the practice as she left a career in the U.S. Navy. “I found yoga after that because I needed to heal,” she said.
Sessions are held both in the mornings and evenings at sunset and combine the simple serenity of paddleboarding with the strength, balance and endurance of yoga.
The classes are also beginner-friendly, inspired by Kundalini yoga, which focuses heavily on breath work, meditation, chanting and singing. That means you won’t be asked to find crow pose or do a headstand while balancing on your fiberglass board.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a master yogi or not, it’s really for everyone,” Occhiogrosso said. “It’s about balance and connecting with the water.”
It may officially be fall now, but there are plenty of warm, sunshine-filled days to take advantage of. So take your next savasana lying on a paddle board, feeling the water swirl around you and the sun on your shoulders in a most North Fork way.
In addition to the fitness and yoga paddles, private lessons and hourly rentals are available. To book, call 631-722-3458.