Welcome to Exotic Yoga Retreats!
My intention for founding EYR is to inspire people, through yoga, beauty and travel, to truly see the world—and themselves differently. I believe that by stepping into the unknown, we step into new territory within ourselves. When we travel to an inspiring place, mingle with new friends, immerse ourselves in a new culture, and focus more deeply in our yoga practice, we discover inner strengths and potentials we didn’t even know existed. It is this magic of the potential to see the world differently that fuels Exotic Yoga Retreats! —Gayle Olson
OUR BRAND OF LUXURY YOGA RETREATS
We curate deep retreats in beautiful places — where simplicity and luxury meet in perfect harmony. Our villas, resorts and boutique hotels are mostly 4-5 star level with an occasional simpler venue that has that “magical something” that elevates the spirit and opens our heart. While our retreats are luxurious, and our gourmet cuisine and wines a pleasure to experience, we understand that true luxury is health in body and serenity in mind. Towards this, our teachers are highly trained and experienced to bring you into your deepest experience of body and mind opening. Exotic Yoga Retreats offer healthy holidays that are deep retreats—wrapped in a little luxury!
HEALTHY HEDONISM & MINDFUL ENJOYMENT
“Hedonism” comes from the Greek word for pleasure. On Exotic Yoga Retreats we guide and invite you to explore the art of Healthy Hedonism: savoring food, wine and beauty with mindfulness and gratitude! Using the tools of yoga and meditation we believe you can enjoy a healthy dose of indulgence, while respecting your body’s balance and your mind’s presence.
WHO WE INVITE ON AN EXOTIC YOGA RETREAT
Our retreats are open to people with all levels of yoga experience and physical ability. We welcome solo travelers, couples and friends from all walks of life and from around the world. What we ask of our participants—what we value—is that you bring an open mind and an earnest intention to be real, present, compassionate to yourself and kind to others—an overall willingness to be authentic and open.
WHO LEADS EXOTIC YOGA RETREATS?
Exotic Yoga Retreats hand-picks a small and select team of highly experienced teachers and inspirational leaders from a range of disciplines: Yoga instructors, artists, musicians, physicians, chefs and winemakers—offering you new ways to see the world differently!
A SAMPLE DAY
Mornings begin with fresh juice, an Italian cappuccino or a healing Ayurvedic tea depending on where we are in the world. Step into the tranquility and rejuvenating power of nature on a serenity walk in Tuscan hills, a stroll in the lavender fields or a meditation to waves on a tropical beach. After mid-morning yoga enjoy a well-earned farm-to-table brunch on a beautiful terrace.
Afternoons begin with a mouth-watering gourmet salad followed by free time to lounge by the beach or pool, relax with a massage, read or siesta. Depending on location, we offer cooking classes and wine tastings, tours to discover an insider’s glimpse of local culture, or physical adventures such as hiking, surfing and horse backing riding. At sunset each day we re-convene for a rejuvenating yoga, meditation and pranayama.
Evenings are pure magic, as we savor the sumptuous tastes and simple pleasures of good food, good wine and wonderful company!
HEALTHY GOURMET CUISINE
Our meals are gourmet: beautifully presented, healthy, local and whenever possible organic. There are always vegan and gluten-free options and, on most retreats, there are also meat and fish options. At mealtimes we emphasize moderation and “mindful savoring,” and while our retreats are not specifically geared toward losing weight, you may find that you return home a few pounds lighter.
WHO COMES ON AN EXOTIC YOGA RETREAT?
We have couples, sisters, mother-daughter/son duos and friends, but a majority of our guests are solo travelers seeking like-minded people in a healthy, rejuvenating holiday in an exotic setting. If you are coming by yourself, you will not be alone!
COMING WITH SOMEONE WHO’S NOT A YOGI?
All of our activities, including yoga, are optional. We aspire to offer each guest a peak experience of health, relaxation and inner and outer exploration. Yoga can be a wonderful means of self-discovery, but we understand it’s not for everyone. We welcome you to enjoy a bike ride, a jog or a walk instead. What’s most important is to balance good health and good living, enjoy nature, meet new people, spend quality time with those you love and ultimately, to see the world differently.
SEE OUR 1-MINUTE YOGA VIDEO:
Yoga holidays inspiring you to see the world differently!
OUR BRAND PROMISE
Exotic Yoga Retreats blend yoga and inner discovery with sensory experiences of visual beauty, healthy sumptuous cuisine, cultural enrichment and outdoor adventure. Each destination is carefully selected for its serene beauty, gourmet food and that “magical something” in the atmosphere that opens hearts and minds to see the world differently.
An experience I will never forget! Perfection—the best hotel and hospitality I’ve ever received anywhere in the world. I would recommend an Exotic Yoga Retreat to anyone who asks! My heart is overflowing as a result of the warmth, connection and spirit of all the wonderful people involved! —Simon Jarvis, Australia
Hands down, the best retreat I've ever been to (and I have been to many)! Perfect combination of leisure, relaxation, cultural immersion, and exceptional food! Gayle's yoga has an incredible depth of knowledge, from her anatomical references, to her deep teachings of asana and pranayama. The best is her acceptance of all levels of practice, respecting each individual's body and level of practice. Can't wait to join another Exotic Yoga Retreat! —Tricia Desvarieux, Haiti
There aren’t really words to describe how fantastic this week has been. I had no expectations, and yet you exceeded every one of them! —Michelle Rasmussen, Australia
This retreat met every expectation, and more! It has opened my heart and given me great joy and strength. I am not exaggerating when I say it was simply PERFECT! —Enrica Dal Santo , France
That was the best week of my life! Thank you all for making this trip more than I could have expected. I miss you all and expect we can keep in touch—better yet, reunite at a future Exotic Yoga Retreat!—Scott Scaggs, USA
Gayle is an outstanding teacher and inspirational leader. her knowledge is vast and she includes everyone equally, from beginner to super yogis. Her spiritual side is beautiful… and her classes are a lot of fun! —Tania de Jong, Australia
Gayle is an amazing yoga instructor with an incredible depth of knowledge in a wide range of practices. She is a skillful teacher- I truly cannot imagine a better yoga teacher. I loved the restorative yoga sessions and Gayle’s very gentle, kind way of making all of us feel that we were doing a good job. I liked how she managed to find the time to check in with each individual to make sure they were comfortable, or challenged or whatever was needed. —Donna Brecht, USA
I'm leaving the retreat feeling the happiest and freest I've ever felt!— Naseem Nikoo, Iran
Life changing, eye-opening and deeply inspiring! This retreat 'reset' my life. It was beyond what I envisioned was possible in one week! —Saige Rutherford, USA
My mom and I enjoyed the trip very much...every day was perfect!—Jane Srivastava, Russia
This is, without a doubt, one of the best experiences of my life. I have made connections with people and myself that I never would have expected. Those connections will be in my heart and help me be a better version of myself for the rest of my life.—Brent Vanlyke, Canada
This was my first yoga retreat and I didn't know what to expect... and it blew my mind! I would recommend this experience it to anyone!—Ale de Rienzo, Mexico
Absolutely amazing boat and crew, and food and cleanliness were excellent. I had so much fun! I will definitely do another retreat with you and your company. —Lana Ferguson, USA
This retreat was exactly what I needed... a week long oasis focused on self-care. Gayle did an awesome job of breaking down the poses and focusing on alignment. She built intensity and also relaxation in the practice. I loved her teaching tips for the few teachers on the retreat!—Alia Allison, Yoga Teacher
Thank you for bringing together wonderful people from all walks of life and from around the world! The connection and friendship that we shared has inspired and changed my life.—Chinwe Nwazota
Gayle is an extraordinary teacher who makes everyone feel empowered, strong and special!—Christine Costello, USA
Gayle is everything I needed in a yoga instructor. Someone to push me try new things (headstand, arm balances) while making me feel completely safe. I did old poses with completely new eyes due to her instruction. She was warm and inviting and made me able to have the most amazing experience of my life. I loved the program. I’d do it ten times over! I feel the best I have in my life. Refreshed and ready to take on whatever I have to deal with at home.—Kara Ellis, Canada
Thank you and Gayle for such a life changing experience. I feel so open in my body and mind. I became more devoted to my yoga practice experiencing the various styles of yoga you teach so effortlessly. The amount of hands-on guidance and adjustments helped me develop new appreciation for the postures and new appreciation for my body! —Nicole Hernandez, USA
Everything about this retreat was special. I have the most beautiful memories, new friends and experiences that I will cherish! The retreat combined the perfect blend of yoga, meditation and fun excursions. I also enjoyed the flexibility in our daily schedule... I had time for myself, to re-align and reflect on my life; as well as meet great like-minded people. Meeting Gayle has been a true delight. Her loving and positive energy was very present and made this retreat a real joy for me. I recommend this retreat to anyone looking to 'switch-off', re-balance and have a lot of fun!—Hala Darwazeh, Jordan
Healthy hedonism" set the tone for a playful week of yoga and mindfulness, laughter and connection. Each morning, Gayle guided us through blissful meditation, followed by a combination of vinyasa flow and stretch sequences. She really took the time to tailor the class to each of our needs so it felt more like one-on-one tuition a lot of the time. I'll never forget the energy we created as a group or the peace, joy and friendships which blossom there.— Joanne Joseph, Australia
Hands down, the best retreat I've ever been to (and I have been to many)! Perfect combination of leisure, relaxation, cultural immersion, and exceptional food! Gayle's yoga has an incredible depth of knowledge, from her anatomical references, to her deep teachings of asana and pranayama. The best is her acceptance of all levels of practice, respecting each individual's body and level of practice. Can't wait to join another Exotic Yoga Retreat!—Tricia Desvarieux, Haiti
I love the personal attention Gayle gave to her students, providing not only awesome instruction, but reminding us to be ever present and mindful.—Chrissy Coleman, USA
The perfect healing at the right moment! I feel another person since this week... a more comfortable one! I hope to do another retreat soon to feed my curiosity!—Maria Paula, France
Gayle inspired me to try new things and gave me confidence in incorporating touch and adjustments in my classes. It feels great to give and receive authentic touch to connect.—Ina Yeijnen, Yoga Teacher in Holland
Gayle has the unique ability to be kind and caring while pushing your yoga practice to the next level. She creates a flow that is beautiful, feels amazing and challenges you to become stronger. This program will forever be life changing. The experiences I have had this week will be cherished forever.—Julie Cameron, Canada
Gayle very clearly is a remarkable teacher because she transmits the essences of mindfulness and balance in enough dimensions so you actually get it!—Jerry, USA
I love Gayle’s loving style of teaching. I appreciated the emphasis on various breathing techniques and the balance between physical intensity, relaxation and meditation.—Michael Neria, Israel