Inspired Mind Matters: A Wellness Trip on Long Beach Peninsula

by Nancy Zaffaro
Nancy Zaffaro Long Beach Peninsula wellness trip

Rishikesh, India. Big Sur, California. Bali. Sedona. Bhutan. Costa Rica. Colorado. Great locales with renowned wellness centers. Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula is stunningly beautiful and one of my favorite places to visit in the world. (Truly.) But you won’t find it on any list of world-famous wellness destinations. I learned of Inspired Minds Matters, a wellness studio that had opened in the town of Long Beach. The studio was located at the oceanfront Chautauqua Resort & Conference Center. Walking to my classes sounded ideal. This was just what I needed. And before I knew it, I was on my way to my very own, most excellent wellness trip on Long Beach Peninsula.

Nancy Zaffaro Long Beach Peninsula wellness trip

Balcony view of the water and dunes from Chautauqua Resort in Long Beach, Washington (Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

Inspired Mind Matters

At Inspired Mind Matters, I took a series of classes: vinyasa yoga with a sound bath, yin yoga and meditation, an aerial yoga, and a breathwork classes. I confirmed my resort reservation and planned to enjoy the perks offered there: oceanfront views from my deck, easy beach access, a pool, spa, and sauna.

My wellness trip getaway in Long Beach Peninsula turned out to be just what I needed.

Chautauqua Resort and Conference Center (Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

Michelle Svendsen: Passion, Commitment, and Heart

Michelle Svendsen’s own wellness journey began more than ten years ago. Throughout this time, she took countless classes and earned numerous teaching certifications. The work became her passion. From the start, she knew she wanted to share what she was learning with others.

In spending time with Michelle, it quickly became apparent she has the focus to work hard and make her goals a reality. She’s got a strong sense of family and community, and a wise heart.  Along with husband Erik Svendsen, she co-owns North Jetty Brewing, one of the most popular gathering spots for residents and visitors on Long Beach Peninsula. Erik started brewing commercially in 2012 and in 2014, the duo opened their tap room. From the start, their community supported them. Coming up with creative and fun ways to make the brewpub a true gathering place is their forte.

Nancy Zaffaro Long Beach Peninsula wellness trip

Michelle Svendsen, in her studio at Inspired Mind Matters (Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

In the Studio

In her space at Chautauqua’s Conference Center, Michelle was able to create (in a very short time period) a welcoming and holistic wellness center. The decor is bright and cheerful and at the same time, calming. Michelle designed and transformed the space herself, with help from her people, of course. She’s pleased with how it turned out.

Inspired Mind Matters Wellness Center (Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

Michelle operates the studio as a collective. She’s joined by Jenelle, who first started practicing yoga at 17 years old and has been teaching since 2016.

Both women are experienced instructors and share that easy bond between people who have a history with wellness options. Also key, I was able to see their ease at guiding some first-timers to class, and watch these new folks comfortably participate.


On the Mat

Over the course of two days, I took morning and evening classes at the Inspired Minds Matters with Michelle and Jenelle.

Jenelle’s Vinyasa Flow class was expertly led; both energizing and relaxing. This kind of stretching and movement is a gift. She continued her class with a Sound Bath offering that was above par, and indeed something that isn’t always offered. It’s a treat. Sound therapy is appealing for both the tones and the vibrations. The peaceful and relaxing transitions stay with you.


In the morning, I joined Michelle for her Yin Yoga and Meditation class. The work derives from Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taoism and looks to balance and strengthen our meridians. Somewhat like hatha yoga, this style asks us to hold poses longer; often 3 to 5 minutes. The slow, relaxed pace and Michelle’s lead evokes relaxation and body awareness. Each pose, each stretch, made me conscious of my body’s breath and strength and the privilege of caring for it.


It’s great when exercise and wellness incorporates fun and Michelle’s afternoon introductory class to Aerial Yoga was just that. Cirque du Soleil won’t be calling me anytime soon to join the troupe, but it was wonderful to stand, swing, sit, stretch, lounge, and yes, flip, using the aerial silk. The movements incorporate stretching, bending, dance, joint relief, and core strength. It was freeing and again, so much flipping fun.


Expert Instruction

My final wellness trip class (and the most powerful and memorable) was again with Michelle; her one-on-one Breathwork class. I’ve done some pranayama, but this is very different. The class uses intense and accelerated breathwork. Recorded music and voiceover leads the breathing technique. At the same time, although the breathwork took intense concentration, Michelle’s spoken narration allowed my mind to consider thoughts and life stage issues I’d been working on. Meditation slows everything down again. Afterwards, we reviewed the experience. I recalled the thoughts I’d had during the class and felt calm and clarity from these thoughts. Yes, some decisions were made; it was therapeutic. I can appreciate that this class may not be for everyone, but I found it extremely valuable.

The studio also offers cold plunge therapy, Mini & Me Mindful Movement classes for kids and their adults, workshops, and personal coaching.

Both work and play happens at Inspired Mind Matters (Photos of the writer courtesy of Michelle Svendsen)

A Great Addition to the Community

Inspired Minds Wellness Studio is a great addition to all that Long Beach Peninsula has to offer. If you’re visiting, take time out from the usual vacation explorations and do something good for yourself. And locals; congrats, you’ve got a gem here.

Chautauqua Resort and Conference Center (Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

Chautauqua Resort and Conference Center

Long Beach Peninsula has many great places to stay, and for this trip, I enjoyed one of the all-oceanfront rooms at the Chautauqua Resort. It’s located less than a mile north of the downtown shops and restaurants.

Unobstructed views of the dunes and water are beautiful. After classes, I hit the beach and took advantage of the resort’s amenities. Catch the dune trails leading out to the 8.2 mile paved Discovery Trail, which commemorates the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail. Enjoy the trail by foot or by bike. (Bring your own or do what I did and borrow one of the Chautauqua’s bikes free of charge.) The Trail leads you along the dunes with views and beach access throughout. Enjoy the outdoors and soak up those water views.

(Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

Resort Amenities

Chautauqua provides all the old-fashioned fun I grew up with at Midwest resorts with my immediate and extended family. From my balcony and down on the ground, I watched couples, groups of kids and multi-generation families playing horseshoes, corn hole, sand volleyball, and other lawn games. Folks were using one of the nine grills and gathering at the picnic tables. All of this makes the resort a great place for families.


(Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

After class, I enjoyed the indoor swimming pool, the spa, and the sauna.

(Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

A Place to Gather

Don’t miss the newly installed fire pit. Clearly, it’s the place to be. Open to the sky, but protected by wind, it seems just about everyone staying at the resort enjoyed a stint here sipping a coffee or a cocktail, snacking, reading, chatting, or making S’mores.

A place to gather is a goal Chester Trabucco has worked hard to achieve. Chester is an experienced hotel proprietor. He was born in the area and is happy to continue his involvement by being tasked with upgrading the property.

The fire pit at Chautauqua Resort (Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

Yes, there’s high-speed internet and flat-panel TV’s and something I don’t often see at top hotels; you can watch movies from some of the top streaming services or watch just about anything from their cable system. Or, go retro-cool and borrow books, board games, puzzles, or DVDs.

Both hotel rooms and condos are available for rent in the 120 room, 10-acre complex. While some rooms are still being renovated, and furnishing might be simple, rooms are clean and spacious. The staff were all great. There were plenty of towels, toiletries, hangers, power and USB outlets, an alarm clock, and a nightlight in the bathroom. I left my screen door open at night, enjoying the sounds of the ocean and a cool sea breeze.

(Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

The amenities add up. Breakfast is included, with both light and hearty, hot and cold options. The coffee is a local favorite, Thundermuck, from Astoria’s Columbia Coffee Roasters. Fishing, crabbing, clamming, or oyster harvesting? (Yes, please.) There are two cleaning stations available. There’s a laundry room for extended stays. The resort is dog-friendly.

Get Outdoors: The Sea, the Forests, the Marshes

Finally, no wellness trip is complete with outdoor time. In addition to the Discovery Trail, enjoy the popular Cape Disappointment Park. Take a hike at Leadbetter Park. Stroll the towns of Oysterville and Ilwaco. Visit Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and stroll along marshes on the boardwalk, including a lovely Art Walk. and There’s great birding and other wildlife. Hike and you’ll see some old growth trees in the forest. Like this beauty.

Old growth tree at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge (Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

Wellness Trip on Long Beach Peninsula

My wellness trip to Long Beach, Washington was well-needed and rejuvenating.  On any visit here, you’ll enjoy the beaches, the parks, the food, and the festivals, museums, and shops. Whether you head out for a solo trip, a romantic getaway, or a family foray, this welcoming part of the Pacific Northwest has much to offer everyone. A wellness trip of your own at Inspired Wellness Matter and Chautauqua Resort is just another great reason to visit.

Long Beach Peninsula (Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

For More:

Where to Eat and Drink:

More on Long Beach Peninsula on our Site:
Elsewhere in Pacific County on our Site:

-All photos by Nancy Zaffaro

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Gail September 22, 2023 - 4:21 pm

I love ❤️ the classes and plan my visits to when Michelle is teaching. Get to the lodge Friday. Take the Saturday class and two classes on Tuesday. She just glows when she teaching. I usually leave Wednesday.

Nancy Zaffaro September 23, 2023 - 1:29 pm

Hi Gail,

So happy you shared your experience with both Michelle and Chautauqua Resort! We obviously think alike. Yes, I agree; Michelle’s great energy is wonderful, and I know it benefits all of us in class! 🙂

Susannah September 24, 2023 - 5:04 pm

Wow! Your beautifully written and photographed article really makes me want to visit the Long Beach Peninsula! Haven’t been there for years but when I do decide to go back, I’ll definitely take your advice about where to stay and where to get rejuvenated. Thanks, Nancy!!

Nancy Zaffaro September 24, 2023 - 5:13 pm

Thanks for your kind words about the article, Susannah! I hope you’ll visit soon; if you know Long Beach, you know it’s great in summer, and also great in a very different way in the cooler, rainy months. You’ll love what both Inspired Mind Matters and Chautauqua Resort are doing.

Kristin W October 9, 2023 - 9:03 pm

We love Michelle! I started taking my three-year-old to Mini and Me Mindful Movement this summer, where we have great fun together, as well as making new friends – both the kids and the moms. I have gone on to take several Aerial Yoga classes- it is challenging and exciting, and I always feel fantastic after a class! Next my husband and I attended a breathwork session, and I did the cold plunge- now I practice both daily, and am managing chronic illness with a significantly higher quality of life than previously.

Michelle has introduced my whole family to wonderful new adventures, and started me on a wellness journey of my own.

Nancy Zaffaro October 17, 2023 - 3:23 pm

Hi Kristen, I’m not at all surprised to read this, although I love it so much. Immediately saw how special Michelle is. I love too how well you’ve articulated the difference working with her has made to your whole family.

As I said, I agree that her breathwork session was truly strong and therapeutic! Thanks again for sharing.


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