Peace & Serenity By The Shores Of Southern California.
Things can get crazy when you’re traveling. There are always places to see, things to do and food to eat. Sometimes it’s hard to actually sit down and relax.
If you’re traveling to Southern California and looking for something relaxing to do, there’s a great place you should visit. It’s located on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Encinitas, California. It’s not a spa or a beach and the golden dome glows in the sun as you drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s also free – which is something we all love!
The Self Realization Fellowship is a must visit for anyone looking to relax and enjoy amazing views without the crowds. The fellowship is home to the meditation gardens that sit on top of a bluff and overlook the ocean. The gardens are open to everyone and they are amazingly beautiful and completely serene. Just strolling through the lush pathways are relaxing and if you want to stay and linger there are grassy knolls and benches overlooking the water just for that purpose.
The Self Realization Fellowship and the gardens were founded by the spiritual leader Paramahansa Yogananda. He was an Indian swami in his early years who came to Encinitas in the early 1900’s. He is considered by the pioneer of yoga in the west. To be honest I don’t know a lot about him but what I have learned is that he was a pretty amazing person. His yoga techniques are deeply spiritual and based on personal growth. Because it is an personal experience for each person, people of all religions and people who don’t care for religion are more than welcome. There are no religious undertones in the gardens, it really is each for their own. You can simply sit, relax & enjoy or you can meditate and practice yoga in the gardens.
There are also a lot of little ponds with Koi fish throughout the gardens. The sound from all the mini waterfalls makes the place even more relaxing.
If you want to learn more about him or the fellowship you can visit the website where there is a lot of information. If you want to join the at home, comprehensive Kriya yoga program they will send you a series of poses every two weeks for 3 years. The cost is only $1.40/mth.
What can you do after your visit to the gardens? Keep the relaxation going with a surf and a good beer of course! Directly below the cliffs is a really popular surf break & beach named after him called Swami’s. After the surf you can hit up Pizza Port which is right down the street in Solana Beach. Pizza Port is a local brewery and they make a lot of incredible beers including a tasty IPA which is also named after him and also called Swami’s. The presence of the Self Realization Fellowship and Paramhansa Yogananda are undeniable in Encinitas.
Here is a link to a map that shows you the location of the SRF & Pizza Port: View Larger Map
Notes: Dogs are not allowed in the gardens.