Why “OM-Cinitas,” California, Is Quickly Becoming a Magical Destination for Yogis

Photo: Stocksy/Briana Morrison

In all of my travels, I've found just a few pockets of the world that I, a cynic, would earnestly describe as "magical." Joshua Tree and Ubud, Bali both come to mind, as they're the kinds of places where there's a certain energy you feel that you just can't describe. And Encinitas, California as it turns out, is another one of those places.

"This land is very magical," agrees Letha Sandison, co-founder of the local Four Moons Spa. "It has a peaceful atmosphere that really supports the healing and relaxation work we do here on the property, and it's also so physically beautiful."

That high-vibe atmosphere is why the SoCal spot—and nearby Carlsbad—are sometimes referred to as "OM-cinitas," a nickname I'm later told was coined by local yogi Jack Greene. The reason? The area features a high concentration of healers and healing spaces, prominent wellness influencers, action-sports stars and, of course, yogis. "I thought of [OM-cinitas] as a way to celebrate the thriving yoga culture and spiritual community here in Encinitas and to acknowledge the peaceful vibration that radiates from our beautiful coastal town," says Greene. He's currently using the hashtag #omcinitas and plans to launch a directory of all things holistic at omcinitas.com soon—no doubt Deepak Chopra's The Chopra Center, which is located here, will be included.

Encinatas, California is also referred to as OM-cinitas.

And here's some more wellness cred: Paramahansa Yogananda, the founder of a spiritual organization called the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), wrote his book Autobiography of a Yogi at the local SRF hermitage back in the 1940s. That property now includes an ashram, a retreat center, and two temples. The Ashtanga Yoga Center also has its home in Carlsbad, and its founder, Tim Miller, is responsible for bringing Ashtanga Yoga to the US.

Skateboarding king Tony Hawk, pro-snowboarder Shaun White, pro-surfer Rob Machado, and former pro-snowboarder Katie Brauer are all from here, too, as is wellness guru—and Well+Good Council member—Candice Kumai.

When I ask Kumai for her thoughts on her hometown's reputation, she gushes: "This is the place where I learned to cook, heal my heart, surf, and cry on my yoga mat," she says. "I think I get my good energy and positivity from Encinitas and Carlsbad."

Keep reading to find out where to get your wellness fix next time you're in Encinitas.

Four Moons Spa
Photo: Four Moons Spa

Where to...

Practice yoga: GatherSoul of Yoga (try Friday night's restorative, which involves a crystal bowl sound bath), Evolve Yoga and MovementYoga TropicsVinyasa Arts, The Ashtanga Yoga Center

Meditate: The Meditation Gardens at the Self Realization Fellowship, The Chopra Center, Transcendental Meditation Encinitas, Breathflow Wellness, San Diego Botanic Garden

Heal: Dr. Amy Chadwick (naturopath), Julie Lawrence Chippendale (mindfulness teacher), Dr. Gabrielle Lyon (muscle-centric medicine), Shannon Aganza (astrologist), Jaia and Devaki (energy healers), Arden Reece, (color reader), Gale Wulff (intuit), Sanctuary Z (sleep healing), Tibetan Healing Center (reiki, eastern/holistic medicine), Heather Lindemenn (breath work)

Swim, surf, and sun (in SPF): Beacon's Beach, Swami's Beach (especially great for surfing), Pipes Beach, Moonlight Beach

Eat healthy: Eve Encinitas, Peace Pies, GoodOnYa, Oh! Juice, Lotus Cafe, Haggo's Organic Taco, Nectarine Grove, Fully Loaded, Ajito, Birdseye KitchenFish101Jimbo's Market

Shop for crystals, spiritual books, swimwear, globally-sourced home goods: Four Moons boutique, SoulScape, Design 4 Corners, Salt, Sea and Wander

Have you heard that we're leading our first ever Well+Good Retreat in Palm Springs this March? Email experiences@www.wellandgood.com to book your spot, ASAP.

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