A dream come true

I have dreamed of visiting Cuba for over twenty years, since long before it was legal for me to do so as an American Citizen!  So when my friend Beth of the Women’s Room in Vermont mentioned she was looking for a photographer to travel to Cuba with her and do Travel and Branding Photography for her studio I was thrilled to take the job!

Beth is an amazing yoga instructor, but beyond that, she has a definite skill in leading Yoga Retreats.  She managed so many varying needs in a country where “go with the flow” is an understatement.  And she handled it all with grace and a beautiful smile!

All the Photo Sessions!

We did several photo sessions, including an Underwater Yoga Session and a Fashion Session in Havana, and of course I captured photos all along the way.  But the one I want to share today is from our Sunrise Yoga Session on the beach.

The Beach!

Our Retreat Center, Mhai Yoga, is located just a few minutes walk from Playa de Guanabo.  A beautiful beach that was used primarily by local Cubans.  Beth and I had scouted out a structure a little further down the beach and decided it was worth the walk to get beyond it to see the sunrise from the other side.  And oh was it worth it.

Shelter or Ruin?

Part of the structure looks to have been damaged by the ocean, possibly by the last hurricane?  Or maybe by the changing tides.  The back half of the structure is still being used as a home, something we didn’t realize until we got there that morning and saw lights and heard dogs waking up behind the gates.

Sunrise Beach Yoga

Have you visited the beach at sunrise? It is my favorite time to walk the sands of the ocean.  The solitude and peace, the magnificent beauty of the sun rising, the quiet.  I love the beach any time any where – you all know that.  A famous quote from my twenties that friends always laughed about was “I am not a Fair Weather Friend to the Sea!”.

Sunset on the beach often gets the most attention.  And perhaps that is exactly why Sunrise is my favorite.  It takes effort and commitment to get up and get out there pre dawn.  To walk down to the beach when others are still sleeping.  When you might even need a flashlight to light your path and find your way…. But oh the reward that Mother Nature gives in return…

Something New

Doing a session at sunrise was actually something new for me.  I typically head to the beach alone at that time of day, to walk, read, or practice yoga.  Or at times I have gone to meet up with others for something like Sunrise Beach Yoga, Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga, or to go Paddle Boarding on the quiet ocean.

7 on 7

It’s May 7th!  You know what that means.  It is my monthly Blog Circle Day.  The Day where 7 photographers share 7 photos and we each link to the next.  A chance for you to explore 7 very different styles from around the country and see our adventures in travel, creativity, motherhood, artistry, and business.  So head to my friend Tara’s blog to see what she has created this month.  I always love peeking into her creative mind!!

I Wish You Peace

As I was photographing Beth, as I edited these photos, and even as I reflect on the session now, there was just a peace.  As she practiced yoga and I captured it, I felt myself breathing with her, relaxing my shoulders, soaking it all in.  I hope I can share just a bit of that with you as you look through these images today.

Om Shanti…

 

RENEE STENGEL Photography | Charlotte Underwater and Portrait Photographer |

 

 

Sunrise Beach Yoga in silhouette as dawn breaks outside Havana Cuba RENEE STENGEL Photography | Charlotte Underwater and International Travel Photographer |

It was amazing to watch the light change from blues to oranges as dawn broke over the horizon…

Golden Beach Sunrise outside Havana Cuba RENEE STENGEL Photography | Charlotte Underwater and International Travel Photographer |

Sunrise Beach Yoga with crashing waves in beautiful golden morning light outside Havana Cuba RENEE STENGEL Photography | Charlotte Underwater and International Travel Photographer |

Sunrise Beach Yoga Sea Wall with Ocean Waves Crashing outside Havana Cuba RENEE STENGEL Photography | Charlotte Underwater and International Travel Photographer |

“A photographer gets people to pose for him. A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves.” – T. Guillemets

Sunrise Beach Yoga Sea Wall with Ocean Waves Crashing in Havana Cuba RENEE STENGEL Photography | Charlotte Underwater and International Travel Photographer |

Sunrise Beach Yoga Sea Wall with Ocean Waves Crashing outside Havana Cuba RENEE STENGEL Photography | Charlotte Underwater and International Travel Photographer |

Beth was rather amazing during our session. To hold her poses with such grace while the waves crashed angrily against the sea wall was incredible. But, of course, I loved catching her just after the ocean dumped gallons of sea water over her head and literally soaked her Harem Pants completely through!

Sunrise Beach Yoga in crumbling old building beaten down by crashing sea waves outside Havana Cuba RENEE STENGEL Photography | Charlotte Underwater and International Travel Photographer |

This crumbling old structure, beaten down by crashing sea waves and storms, provided a rather dramatic backrop for morning yoga against the crashing waves of the ocean and gorgeous pink and blue morning sky…

share:

  1. Escape to Carmel | May 7 on 7 - Kristina Rust Photography

    May 7th, 2019 at 10:13 am

    […] below, please click through my 7 on 7 Blog Circle staring with the beautiful photos from my friend Renee.  She went to a yoga retreat in CUBA which looked […]

  2. Cristy Cross

    May 7th, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    These are absolutely amazing. That sky is gorgeous.

  3. Kristina Rust

    May 8th, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    These are so fantastic! What an amazing trip you had!

  4. Tara

    May 10th, 2019 at 11:37 am

    This looks beyond amazing! I’m inviting myself next time!

  5. Renee Stengel

    May 12th, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Please do!!! She just announced retreats for Cuba in Jan 2020 and Morocco in May 2020! They both look amazing!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *