About 2019-03-02T15:37:27+00:00

Meet the Exotic Yoga Retreats Family!

At Exotic Yoga Retreats we care deeply about living our company Values in service of our vision and mission. You can expect, when you are exploring our offerings, or joining us on retreat, that your experience reflects these Values. We take these to heart and strives to practice them every day. 


We celebrate the journey, not the achievement; build an EYR family of curious, discovery-minded and worldly clients and friends.

We are inviting, approachable and accessible to clients, potential clients, and our community partners.

We foster a come as you are, be yourself, authentic community.

We offer elevated escapes focused on wellness, care, and abundance.

We create cultural connections, local and personal exchanges, and leave a positive footprint in the communities we visit.

We cultivate invigorating sensory journeys and immersive experiences that bring joy to those who participate in them.

We act with the utmost integrity and respect in all of our interactions. 


Exotic Yoga Retreats creates experiences that help people explore, discover, and feel more connected with themselves, one another and the world


Exotic Yoga Retreats curates authentic, empowering, welcoming journeys for those who seek to broaden their world.

Danielle Brown, co-owner

Danielle joined her first Exotic Yoga Retreat to Bhutan in August 2018, at a time where she and her longtime friend Erika were brainstorming about a next chapter beyond the corporate world for their future.  A combination of fate and opportunity led Danielle and Erika to Gayle- and from there, our Exotic Yoga Retreats partnership was born! Being a partner in Exotic Yoga Retreats combines Danielle’s passion for world travel and adventure, delicious food and wine and wellness and yoga.  Danielle also brings a wealth of experience to the EYR organization as a longtime Silicon Valley executive in human resources and business operations. Danielle, her husband Justin, and their two rescue dogs Brody and Bernadette split their time between Scottsdale, AZ and San Francisco, CA.  Outside of work, you can find Danielle travelling the world (41 countries and counting!), practicing yoga, cooking delicious vegetarian food, reading books and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Erika Honerkamp, co-owner

With a passion for Travel and Fitness, Erika has explored the world looking for a blend of culture and adventure.  She set a goal in 2004 to visit 1-2 new countries each year which has taken her all over the world. In August 2018, Erika attended her first Exotic Yoga Retreat in beautiful Bhutan.  While hiking up to the iconic Tiger’s Nest monastery, Erika chatted with longtime friend Danielle about their shared desire to pursue a career in Travel and Fitness. What started as a dream swiftly led to reality and a new partnership was born.  Erika is thrilled to join the Exotic Yoga Retreats family and looks forward to helping others pursue a healthy lifestyle while discovering the world! She looks forward to applying over 20 years of Sales & Marketing experience to help drive awareness and invite others to join the Exotic Yoga Retreats family.  When she’s not traveling the world in search of adventure, you can find Erika skiing the slopes of Tahoe, practicing yoga, hiking or training for her upcoming triathlon.

Gayle Olson, co-owner

From biodynamic farmer and music promoter to yoga teacher, Gayle has always been in the business of bringing health and joy to as many people’s lives as she can touch. Gayle offered her first retreat in 2008 while living in an old stone villa in Tuscany — and there was no going back! In 2012, Exotic Yoga Retreats was born from a vision to develop life-changing retreats in packages of exquisite and exotic holidays. Since then, EYR has expanded worldwide with a portfolio of personally curated luxury yoga holidays led by an intimate team of world-class leaders, teachers and coaches. Gayle joins guests on retreats only on occasion these days, but is always present in the day-to-day shaping and direction of EYR!

Lauren Duker, Client Relationships

Based in Northern California, Lauren has over a decade of yoga teaching and yoga business experience. Managing client relations and sales, Lauren strives to help the administrative aspects of Exotic Yoga Retreats stay in a calm and centered flow. Not confined to the mat, Lauren aspires to a yoga that is woven into every aspect of life.  

Nina Butler, Yoga Instructor

Nina Butler is our full-time Exotic Yoga Retreats instructor and group leader. Coming from South Africa, Nina has a mission: to bring the healing, joyous and empowering energy of yoga into our daily lives. While her practice is strong, her teaching is sensitive and heart-oriented, supporting students to practice within their personal pace and rhythm. She has great facility teaching a range of yoga styles and levels with a strong focus on dynamic vinyasa as well as yin yoga. Nina is a writer and blogger on the topics of yoga and social change, and the founder of YOGICOMM, an app for connecting students with teachers worldwide.

Josie Sykes, Yoga Instructor

Deep into yoga philosophy and with harmonium in hand, Europe-based yoga teacher Josie Sykes teaches classic hatha yoga, pranayama, chanting, alignment and slow flow vinyasa yoga. Breathing practices and healthy postural alignment figure strongly in Josie’s yoga classes. Her bright spirit and devotion to yoga as a way of life shines through in her buoyant presence and engaging teaching.

Sylvia Ferguson, Yoga Instructor

Ireland-based yoga and meditation teacher Sylvia Ferguson has been featured in RTE Nationwide as a yoga teacher who “exudes the calmness she aims to instill in her students.” Her classes gracefully blend hatha yoga, ashtanga vinyasa, yin yoga and mindfulness meditation. Sylvia is certified as a Mindfulness meditation teacher and has developed and leads corporate Mindfulness programs for Facebook. She writes articles for Yoga Therapy Ireland magazine and has launched an active array of Hatha Yoga, Yoga Nidra and Mindfulness Online courses. 

Read bit more about our philosophy and what sets us apart from others in our Blog post: Why Choose an EYR Retreat