TUSCANY YOGA RETREAT
AUGUST 24—30, 2014
YOGA, CULTURE & CUISINE
Imagine an enchanting ancient villa perched on a hilltop in Tuscany, surrounded by 750-acres of rolling hills, bio-dynamic fields and vineyards with endless fields to walk, towns to explore and tastes to treasure! Experience the flavors and fun of Tuscany on this spirited vinyasa Tuscany Yoga Retreat with the beloved San Francisco teacher, Pete Guinosso!
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. . .
A week in Italy eating home-grown Italian tomatoes drizzled with organic olive oil grown a stone’s throw away from our beautiful stone villa. Hike, swim and explore the Tuscan countryside and medieval villages — as you open to the bliss and beauty of vinyasa yoga with Pete Guinosso — a talented and spirited teacher who creates a spiritual yet light-hearted environment for his students to uncover the deeper benefits of yoga. Imagine. . .
MORNINGS begin with a cappuccino (of course) and a serenity walk through endless rolling fields, followed by a dynamic vinaysa practice in the beautiful ancient stone shalla with Pete and his lovely assistant – and wife – Stephanie. Following yoga we will enjoy an Italian accented healthy farm-to-table brunch outside on the terrace overlooking the lake.
AFTERNOONS Afternoons can be spent relaxing, reading, swimming, hiking or exploring the famous nearby medieval towns of San Gimignano and Volterra. At sunset we will re-convene in the yoga shala for a relaxing and rejuvenating yoga and meditation practice together.
EVENINGS are pure magic, as we share our meal and family style under the stars—appreciating the simple life of sumptuous tastes, good food and great company!
INCLUDED IN THE TUSCANY YOGA RETREAT
- One free group transfer to and from Florence airport day of arrival and departure
- Six nights at a beautiful eco-retreat villa surrounded by rolling hills, forests & bio-dynamic vineyards
- All meals, organic, bio-dynamic and vegetarian farm-to-table (even the wheat is grown on-site!)
- 2 yoga classes daily with Pete Guinosso
- Morning serenity walks through 700 acres of Tuscan nature
- Assists during yoga classes with Stephanie Guinosso
- Two pptional add-on excursions to sight-see in the famous medieval towns of San Gimignano & Volterra
- Founder of Exotic Yoga Retreats, Gayle Olson, on-site as your host
YOGA WITH PETE GUINOSSO
Known for his joyful energy, skilled touch and sense of humor, Pete Guinosso creates a spiritual yet light-hearted environment for his students to uncover the deeper benefits of yoga. Pete’s teaching style is best described as a Forrest Yoga Inspired Vinyasa Flow. If you’re new to yoga and not quite sure what that means, the best way to explain his classes is they are designed to help you journey toward connecting your mind, body and spirit through breath work and awareness. Powerful sequences are designed to create a fluid practice of meditative movement, while also cultivating an awareness of alignment. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry, but no matter what, we always work on building strength and flexibility. And we always sweat! Pete believes that vigorous asanas (poses) are a pathway to helping us overcome our self-imposed limitations; through a challenging yoga practice, we can see our potential to overcome any difficulty.
BASIC PACKAGE – YOGA HOUSE
A great option for the budget traveler, stay in the newly constructed Yoga House situated on a small lake about a 3-minute walk to the main villa. While accommodation in the Yoga House is simpler than in the luxury villa, it is a beautifully constructed stone house with original Tuscan materials and characteristics. The Yoga House contains seven bedrooms, 2-3 people per room, with shared bathrooms. There is a large kitchen where meals are prepared by an Italian cook with all organic and local ingredients. (There is not access to the swimming pool at the villa, but there is a wonderful pond to swim in!)
Your meals will be served at the Yoga House, a short 3-minute walk from the villa. There is also a restaurant in the main villa with a terrace and views of the valley below. Prices for the luxury package are based on double accommodation. Single accommodation is available as well. Please inquire with Exotic Yoga Retreats.Staying Stay in the ancient luxury villa and savor the style, luxury, and charm of a perfectly restored 15th-century Tuscan villa. Rooms are exquisitely restored with original materials and charm, while being fully equipped with modern amenities and beautiful en-suite bathrooms. You will have access to all of the villa’s parlors, library, music room, and the lovely swimming pool set into the cliffs below the 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.
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OUR GUESTS SAY:
Naseem Nikoo, Iran
I'm leaving the retreat feeling the happiest and freest I've ever felt!
Saige Rutherford, USA
Life changing, eye-opening and deeply inspiring! This retreat 'reset' my life. It was beyond what I envisioned was possible in one week!
Jane Srivastava, Russia
My mom and I enjoyed the trip very much...every day was perfect!
Brent Vanlyke, Canada
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.
Ale de Rienzo, Mexico
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!
Alia Allison, Yoga Teacher
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!
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.
Christine Costello, USA
Gayle is an extraordinary teacher who makes everyone feel empowered, strong and special!
Kara Ellis, Canada
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.
Hala Darwazeh, Jordan
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!
Joanne Joseph, Australia
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.
John Tierney, Ph.D., USA
I came to Gayle Olson seven years ago after a traumatic back injury. She shepherded me though those painful days with care, compassion and kindness and an astounding ability to teach on old dog new tricks. Today I can keep up with my two year old grandson pain free and still taking classes and still practicing yoga. Thanks, Gayle!
Chrissy Coleman, USA
I love the personal attention Gayle gave to her students, providing not only awesome instruction, but reminding us to be ever present and mindful.
Maria Paula, France
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!
Ina Yeijnen, Yoga Teacher in Holland
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.
Julie Cameron, Canada
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.
Gayle very clearly is a remarkable teacher because she transmits the essences of mindfulness and balance in enough dimensions so you actually get it!
Michael Neria, Israel
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.
Nicole Hernandez, USA
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!