The Yoga Physician

Ashtanga Yoga Ecuador Retreat

February 17 - 23, 2019


This winter, join Ashtanga Yoga Instructor Laura Gorham on a yoga adventure to refresh and renew with The Shala! There will be plenty of fresh, delicious food, lots of pool and (inexpensive) spa time and plenty of time to relax or explore the mountains of Ecuador. We will practice Mysore style 5 days a week and have 3 afternoon yoga workshops.

The Madre Tierra Eco-Resort is located a mile north of the center of Vilcabamba, Ecuador, the Andean village made famous for the longevity of its citizens. Visitors come from all over the world for the relaxed atmosphere, the family environment, the deliciously healthy food, the fresh, clean air and to spend time among Ecuador's very gentle people. Vilcabamba (meaning "Sacred Valley") is known for its equable climate, its tranquil lifestyle, and its steadily growing international community of visionary artists, writers, healers and entrepreneurs who have chosen to lead changed lives here.


What’s Included

  • 6 nights Accommodations, 5 Blissful Days of Yoga Classes

  • 3 freshly prepared vegan meals a day

  • 5 days of morning Mysore class led by Laura Gorham and assisted by Lori Brandt

  • 3 two-hour afternoon yoga workshops

  • One horseback riding adventure

  • Transportation to and from the resort/airport in Loja, Ecuador.

What Else to Do?

  • Hiking

  • Swimming/Relaxing at The Resort Pool

  • Downtown/Nightlife

  • Village Tours

  • Wildlife Tours

  • Spa Time

Accommodation & Rates

Accommodations range standard single and double occupancy to superior single and double occupancy rooms. All prices include gratuity and tax, 3 vegan meals a day, a horseback riding adventure, and transportation to and from the airport in Loja, Ecuador.

Room Selections:

Please email us to ensure the room of your choice is still available!. Room photos below may not be accurate representation of the room you will get — every room is completely different!


Single Superior Rooms generally will have private balconies with beautiful views of the mountain range or gardens of the resort.

Single Standard Rooms are set a bit further away from the main area of the resort, but they still have great mountain or garden views and patios.

Double Superior Rooms generally will have private balconies with beautiful views of the mountain range or gardens of the resort.


Double Standard Rooms generally are set a bit further away from the main area of the resort, but still have great resort or mountain views and patios.

reservation/Cancellation Policy

Registration/room reservation requires minimum $600 non-refundable deposit. Students must be pain in full by January 17, 2019. This retreat is non-refundable, non-transferable.

Check out photos of this amazing eco resort and spa!

Prepare for your retreat

How do I get there?

Your international flight should arrive in either Quito or Guayaquil. There are several daily nonstop flights from cities in the U.S., South America and Europe. You’d then connect on a domestic flight to our closest city Loja (LOH), sometimes overnighting in Quito or Guayaquil. All other things being about equal, we prefer Quito: the road and flight connections are better, and it’s generally safer downtown. Quito has an interesting historic area and is nestled in a scenic green Andean valley. The altitude is 9200 ft. (2,800 meters), so we suggest taking it easy if you’re sensitive to altitude (see travel tips at #6 below). It’s a bit cooler in Quito than here, with no indoor heating – so we recommend you bring a sweater, jacket and long pants, which will be useful at the resort as well.

Prices for hotels and taxis are reasonable. The flights from Quito are on comfortable jets operated by Tame airlines. Reservations can be made on

On weekdays, Tame has two flights from Quito or Guayaquil to Loja: one in the early morning and the other around 4:00pm. Holidays and weekends have a variable schedule.

When you’ve purchased your domestic air tickets, let us at The Shala know and we will arrange for your transportation to and from the airport/resort. It is about a 90 minute scenic ride to Madre Tierra through the Andean foothills. The driver will be holding a Madre Tierra sign, probably with your name on it.

You do not need a Visa or any vaccinations to enter Ecuador, simply a passport. Entering Ecuador is easy, and immigration andcustoms are typically a rapid welcome. They will issue a 90-­‐day visitor visa and stamp your passport.

Dress is casual for almost everyone in Vilcabamba. We recommend you bring lightweight, long pants and walking shoes for during the day; a sweater, jacket, flashlight and warmer pants for evenings. You will need the usual toiletries, health products, and any snacks you may wish to enjoy after our restaurant is closed.

Life is simple here, so it is not necessary to bring an exhaustive wardrobe. There is a laundry service provided at the resort.

Suggested packing list:

Light sweater, jacket or sweatshirt for cooler evenings/mornings

Shoes suitable for walking/hiking


Insect repellent.

Flashlights & cameras. Flashlights for walking at night are a great idea. (The sun sets every evening at around 7pm)

Battery rechargers

Umbrella or rain poncho

Binoculars (you can consider these mandatory if you’re excited about bird watching and spotting wildlife)

A refillable water bottle with some type of carbon filtration is ideal. However, inexpensive bottled water is readily available.

Yoga clothes and mat of course!

Money: You will need cash for souvenir shopping and any spa therapies you might wish to have. Ecuador's official currency is the US dollar. ATMs are available in the cities, and there are four in Vilcabamba itself (though these sometimes run out of cash). Bring bills of $20 and under for use throughout Ecuador as $50 and $100 bills are sometimes not accepted, or the vendor will not have change. Large bills are accepted at Madre Tierra. (If you bring with you a bunch of $5s we’ll gladly buy these from you at the hotel front desk)