Those who like the idea of practicing peaceful morning yoga to the sound of waves crashing and the ocean breeze blowing will find the Pier’s newest event series simply divine.

Dubbed Wellness & Waves, the program launches this Saturday and will run for six consecutive weekends through the end of April. Every Saturday at 8 a.m. a free hour-long yoga class will take place at the West End of the Pier and feature a different teacher.

The event has been adapted from the popular pre-pandemic ROGA series, which consisted of a morning run followed by a short yoga class on the Pier. 

“We did find out that a lot of people weren’t really up to waking up at 8 a.m. and going for a run. Most people really were more interested in the yoga portion of it, so we are not bringing back ROGA per se, but we’re bringing a vein of ROGA and we’re focusing more on wellness, so anything that has to do with self care,” said Julieta Giner, Brand Manager of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation.

This Saturday’s class will be taught by Dr. Eden Goldman, who is Director of the Yoga and Healing Sciences Program at Loyola Marymount University. People interested in attending the series can visit santamonicapier.org/wellnessandwaves to learn more about each of the instructors. 

While the initial six week run will consist entirely of yoga classes, Giner said the Pier team went with the broad theme of wellness with the idea of expanding offerings in the future to include experiences such as sound baths, meditation classes and possibly even spa treatments.

“We want to give people a safe space to come out and practice their yoga and have it with the waves crashing behind you and the sun coming up,” said Giner. “We really wanted to bring it back to the actual yoga roots… ROGA became a little bit more about the selfies and more about the swag and we really hope that this iteration will actually be focused on that self care.”

For ROGA fans who miss the running element, Giner said the Pier Corp would be open to exploring the idea of a Pier run club.

The emphasis of this event series and other programming currently running on the Pier is to make the historic landmark a welcome space for locals. Although the Pier is chock full of activities, many residents rarely visit as it is often swamped with tourists. In addition to Wellness & Waves, the Pier Corporation is also running a Locals’ Night series once a month on Thursday evenings.  

The first event took place on March 10 and the following will take place on April 21 and May 19. Locals’ Night brings together a range of community organizations for musical performances, DJ sets, youth activities, art installations and special deals at Pier businesses. The series will take a summer hiatus before returning on Sept. 15 and running through the end of the year. 

“We want to bring back these Pier-produced programmings that promote this iconic destination not only for tourists, but really make it about locals,” said Giner.

Another exciting upcoming event is the return of the beach sports and summer festival Pier 360 on June 25 and 26. The action packed weekend will include paddleboard and stand up paddle racing, beach volleyball, beach running, a skate park, an ocean swim, lifeguard competitions and youth activities. There will also be a beer and spirits garden, food vendors, all day music and a pop up Museum of Beach Life. 

Clara@smdp.com