AYURVEDA & TUSCANY YOGA RETREAT • TUSCANY, ITALY
Imagine an enchanting ancient villa perched on a hilltop in Tuscany, surrounded by 750-acres of rolling hills, bio-dynamic fields and vineyards — nourishing your way to health through this Ayurvedic health and Tuscany Yoga Retreat with California author and Ayurveda expert, Talya Lutzker and yoga teacher, Gayle Olson. Come prepared to be inspired and to have your relationship to food and health changed forever!
Our Mediterranean-Style Yoga Retreats blend good health —with good living! We design healthy holidays that promote physical health and well-being, while immersing you in an old-world appreciation of culture, slow-food cuisine, connection to the land, and the value of a good siesta! We at Exotic Yoga Retreats hope to remind you how truly important it is to. . . slow down, unplug and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
FLOW OF THE DAY. . .
Purify and nourish your way to health as Talya Lutzker leads you through an exotic exploration of Ayurvedic cooking and Ayurveda as a foundational, do-it-yourself medicinal path you can incorporate into your everyday life. Gayle Olson adds the yoga and relaxation piece, leading you through two daily practices aimed at toning your organs, stimulating your nervous system and building overall strength and flexibility.
MORNINGS in these Tuscany rolling hills will be glorious, beginning with a special wake-up snack and Ayurvedic hot tea (a healthy substitute for morning coffee; however you are allowed your morning coffee if you choose!) We will enjoy a 30-minute nature walk through forests and fields, followed by a 9–11 am yoga practice in the beautiful Tuscan stone shala. After yoga, you have an hour to swim, shower, relax and freshen before lunch!
LUNCHES will be nourishing, delicious and fascinating as you taste recipes from Talya’s newest Ayurvedic cook book, Talya’s kitchen. Experience, taste and feel the health-giving ingredients that make up Ayurvedic cuisine!
AFTERNOONS will include hands-on Ayurvedic cooking classes and educational workshops with Talya. Two afternoons will be free for exploring and sight-seeing in the famous nearby medieval towns of San Gimignano and Volterra. Every day will include time for relaxing, reading and swimming. At sunset we re-convene in the yoga shala for a relaxing and rejuvenating yoga practice before dinner.
EVENINGS are pure magic, as we share our meal family style under the stars—appreciating the simple and profound life-giving sustenance of Ayurveda. After dinner Talya will offer a guided meditation session focused on presence, opening your heart and developing a natural state of balance and equanimity in the daily life.
AYURVEDA WITH TALYA LUTZKER
California based Ayurvedic author and expert, Talya Lutzker, is a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, certified massage practitioner, yoga teacher, professional chef and author of two Ayurvedic cookbooks, including the newly released, Talya’s Kitchen. Talya founded and runs a nutrition and Ayurvedic catering company in Santa Cruz, California, called Talya’s Kitchen. Talya’s passion for holistic medicine and innovative, healthful cooking sparkles in her lively and entertaining teaching style, and shines through everything she does.
YOGA CLASSES WITH GAYLE OLSON
Join Exotic Yoga Retreats founder Gayle Olson for sunrise and sunset yoga inspired by Hatha, Iyengar and Vinyasa traditions. Whether fiery and energetic or soft and receptive, the practice will include Gayle’s trademark hands-on massage adjustments and encourage you to maintain a strong, meditative focus on your breath — and on the joy of yoga.
OUR ECO-RETREAT VILLA
Located in the heart of Tuscany, between Florence and Siena near the famous medieval towns of Volterra and San Gimignano, this beautiful venue could not be more perfectly situated for privacy and nature, while granting access to charming villages for shopping, wine-tasting and sight-seeing. Built as an eco-retreat house in association with a beautiful borgo hotel (little neighborhood), there are solar panels for heating and hot water, a salt water pool with minimal chemicals, natural paints and renders, and a constant eye to managing consumption and recycling make this a particularly unique eco-villa in this part of the world.
The produce and grains are grown on bio-dynamic land or sourced from neighboring organic farms. Bread, honey, jams, wine, olive oil, soaps, toiletries, and other herbal products are all made from natural sources from the estate and the surrounding areas. The Yoga shala is a room in the ancient borgo with classic Tuscan architecture of stone arches and windows, overlooking the gardens.
INCLUDED ON YOUR AYURVEDA & TUSCANY YOGA RETREAT
- Five nights at a beautiful eco-retreat villa surrounded by rolling hills, forests & bio-dynamic vineyards
- All meals, organic, vegetarian and Ayurvedic, farm-to-table (sourced on site or in local farms)
- An introduction to the Ayurvedic healing system through workshops and cooking classes with Talya Lutzker
- 1–2 yoga classes daily with Gayle Olson focused on toning organs, stimulating the nervous system and building overall strength and flexibility
- Morning serenity walks in nature
- Evening meditations
- Two optional add-on excursions to the famous medieval towns of San Gimignano & Volterra
- Swimming and hiking
- On-farm store with bio-dynamically grown edibles, drinkables (wine!) and body-care products
- One free group transfer to and from the Florence airport and train station.
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