Gayle Olson • Founder

Exotic Yoga Retreat founder Gayle Olson has taught and practiced Vinyasa, Iyengar and Hatha yoga around the world for over 25 years. Gayle has developed a unique method, Adjustment-Massage for Vinyasa Practice, giving students hands-on adjustments during class — it’s like receiving a full-body massage during a vinyasa practice! Whether a practice is fiery and energetic, or soft and receptive, Gayle guides students to maintain a strong meditative focus on breath — and on the joy of yoga!

Attracted to the internal world that yoga opened up for her at 17, Gayle began what has become her life’s path. She’s lived and traveled everywhere from Thailand and Tuscany, to Burma and Bombay, and now splits her time between San Francisco and Nice, France. Gayle blends the best of both worlds—a Gallic sense of joie de vivre with a can-do creative American spirit—into her transformative yoga retreats at exotic destinations around the globe.

Exotic Yoga Retreats’ variety of holidays and adventures reflects Gayle’s unique brand of mindful enjoyment. Rather than teaching traditional yoga philosophy, Gayle guides students to appreciate the “spiritual within the simple”. Through yoga, life coaching and a variety of meditative and reflective activities on retreats, Gayle encourages people to integrate simple practices that bring a visceral sense of joy, balance and health into the daily life. “The touch of sun against skin, a hand placed on the sacrum during yoga class, the taste of an Italian grown tomato drizzled with fresh olive oil— these small sensory experiences, combined with awareness and gratitude—greatly enhance our emotional and physical well-being.” says Gayle.

Gayle has devoted her life to helping people discover their unique paths to health and happiness. In 2007, Gayle trained as a life coach (CTI) to better serve people in living their fullest potential. She brings coaching work into her retreats through specially designed exercises to help people stretch—in both body and mind. In addition to offering yoga retreats and health holidays, Gayle trains other yoga teachers in her unique method of hands-on Adjustment-Massage For Vinyasa Practice.



  • Iyengar Yoga (B.K.S. Iyengar & teachers in the US and India)
  • Ashtanga (Richard Freeman)
  • Slow Vinyasa (Barbara Benagh, Eric Schiffman)
  • Anusara Yoga (John Friend)
  • Vipassana Meditation (as taught by S.N.Goenka)
  • Life Coach training (CTI)