Juan Gamboa

© 2016 Juan Gamboa. All rights reserved. Web & Photos :: WJP


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

The retreat experience is the heart and soul of all the programs I offer. It is deeply personal and a synthesis of all my passions - yoga, wellness, travel and, of course, my students. It's a place and a time to explore the depths of the yoga practice, reflect, and rest from the hard work.

Retreat locations are scouted out and meticulously vetted. Days are typically filled with hours of yoga (two classes a day and a workshop during the week), and options to experience other adventures (surfing, diving, hiking, scuba) depending on our location. There will be sufficient time for rest and meditation as well.

It is here where strangers become friends and friends become family - Each moment is transformed, through the power of laughter, the element of adventure and our shared yoga practices, into a lasting memory.

Jan 3 - Jan 8, 2018

reSOULutions retreat
Part 4 (the healing)


We’ve racked up a few stamps on our passports and travelled several thousand miles hopping from continent to continent.  Aside from being big yoga nerds, we’ve become equal parts adventure capitalists, global gypsies and cultural conquistadores.  We’ve never been shy about getting a little dirty or dusty (Dubai, 2016) or a little wet (Koh Samui, 2016). We will go through blazing island heat (Coiba, 2017) and extreme bitter cold (Chiang Mai, 2016) to make sure we’ve turned over every rock or anemone during our site inspections. Our location walk-through’s are solid.  We’ve been on planes, trains and automobiles searching the world not only for the best retreat locations but the most SOULful ones.   We’re equal opportunity transportation riders - tuk tuks (Sri Lanka, 2017) surfboards (Catalina Island 2017) and horses (Nicaragua, 2016) and even puddle jumpers (Osa Peninsula, 2015). We’re proud to say we’ve never ridden a single elephant cause that’s just plain inhumane (Chiang Mai, 2016) but we couldn't resist the camels in the desert (Dubai, 2016).  They had fun.  We had fun.

But we get our people to their destinations.  Up mountains and through rainforest. We take the journey with them.

This year Our Journey continues to Cartagena, Colombia (a ~ 6 hour direct flight from NYC airports)!  Join our Journey this January!  I present to you:  reSOULutions retreat, the healing.

ABOUT Cartagena/Rosario Island

We had such an exciting reaction from last year’s “2 Retreats in 1” in Panama City/Catalina, that we wanted to raise the bar this year.  We will roll out a similar program with some cool new toys (Yes, I booked us some yacht options) a few new teachers to join us and new surprises.  We will be making The Old Town (aka “The Walled City”) our home during our retreat week. The city is vibrant, alive and kaleidoscope-colored like our teaching faculty this year.  We’ll also have daily access to Rosario Island (google it - It’s an archipelago of islands surrounded by the Caribbean’s serene cerulean blue).  One can either laze around its the dreamy beaches or enjoy diving, snorkeling and swimming excursions.  Yes, of course, there are massages! (Obvi!).  Rosario island is about an hour away from Cartagena if you opt for the private yacht we can leisurely cruise around the islands at your pace.   

ABOUT Casa Pombo (Cartagena, Colombia)

We will be housed in Casa Pombo, a beautiful palatial mansion once inhabited by aristocrats.  The details and architecture exude old charm, history and beauty.  But make no mistake, it has been deftly updated to host the most sophisticated yogi-traveler-adventurer.  The two pools (rooftop and ground floor nestled in the epicenter of the Sanctuary) allow for blissed-out, relaxing opportunities.  While the two jacuzzi’s might be an excellent option to bathe after a sweaty, vigorous vinyasa class.  There will be two large rooms this year allocated for our curriculum. The waterfall downstairs is a tranquil escape from the day - one can journal, meditate or nap nearby.  Casa Pombo’s mango-colored walls outside are as brightly welcoming as our concierge and friend, Harold.  He’ll be our point person for all things Cartagena.  We will be home here during our stay.

All rooms are so beautifully and uniquely designed and chock full of charm.  Yes, there is air conditioning.  And while we don’t necessarily encourage being on the phone during the week, we know the practical need to check up on dogs, patients, your businesses and your partners (I have the Wi-FI passwords already. Yes, I got you.)  And, yes, security deposits boxes (though we’ll be staying in a fortress, feel free to use these to lock up your goodies, passports and whatnot.)  Lodging will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.  We have typically sold out and so we encourage early registration.

This Sanctuary within The Walled City (i.e., The Fortress ) is a 15 minute ride from the Cartagena airport.  This is where the healing happens.

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When: Jan 3 - Jan 8, 2018
Where: Casa Pombo in Cartagena, Colombia
Your Retreat Experience Includes:
- 6 days/5 nights accommodations 
- 3 daily meals (with vegan and vegetarian options)
- Access to the hotel's rooftop pool and 2 jacuzzi's
- Complimentary cocktails upon arrival to Casa Pombo
- 2 Open Level yoga classes daily (All levels welcome. BYOM -Bring your own mat) 
- Lodging includes AC-equipped rooms, wi-fi access, security boxes
- Check in at 3:00 p.m on Jan 3
- Check out at: 12:00 p.m.on Jan. 8

Pricing Information:
- Early bird discount: $200OFF - (before October 31) 
- $500 registration deposit secures your spot 
- After October 31, $2399 based on double occupancy 
- Limited single occupancy rooms also available ($650 additional cost)
- A Referral reward ($200) if you refer a friend to join us

What's NOT Included:
- flights to Cartagena (Airport Code: CTG) 
- ride from Cartagena Airport to Casa Pombo (Uber is estimated to be $6-8)
- Adventures/Excursions (scuba diving, snorkel, kayaking are available at Rosario Island.  Yacht options will range from $149-199 per person per day to Rosario Island) 
- In-house massages available upon request
- While meals are covered during the retreat week, we recommend experimenting with food outside of Casa Pombo - I have some recs - from street food treats to sexy, chic hotel rooftop pool venues. Oh you know how I roll :)
- The investment of travel insurance is recommended to ensure coverage of any of unexpected travel circumstances . Check with your travel insurance policy to see which coverage is appropriate for you.

Spots are limited on this amazing experience and will fill quickly. Contact Juan and discuss how you can join this amazing adventure.

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ABOUT The Curriculum:

We’ll be enjoying a rich curriculum this year led by a stellar teaching faculty (Esco Wilson, Mary Aranas, Bryan Winston and myself).  As in previous years, all classes are optional. If you decide to laze by the rooftop pool or spoil yourself with massages on the daily; you have my fullest, utmost support as I will most likely join you!

Vigorous Vinyasa: (twice a day).  All asana classes are open level class. "Beginner" and "advanced" practitioners are welcome to participate.  These are excellent opportunities to hone your practice - breath, asana, meditation, etc.  The morning practice will tend to be more vigorous, energizing.  The evening practice will be engineered to be a Strong Slow Flow - more down regulating with respect to morning classes.  Props are welcome. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN MAT

Mellow Flow Vinyasa: We have 2 yoga salons this year . While vigorous Vinyasa flows in one studio, Mellow Flow rolls out in the other studio, so you can take the pace that suits you. .Mellow Flow: Go slower, quieter, deeper, with a focus on the inner teacher guiding us. For those days when your body craves less speed and a more mindful meditative mode, even as you move, stretch, and strengthen. Emphasis is on honoring your body’s needs. Yogi’s choice is encouraged throughout class.

S P A C E: is a new retreat offering this year and draws from my teachers’ lineage and my journey with different kinds of meditation techniques - breath, mantra, metta, etc. This meditation class will be 30 minutes and will be done in the mornings of the retreat.  After a 15 minute break,   S P A C E will be typically followed by asana practice. The healing benefits of meditation include enhanced immunity, sleep improvement and reduction of stress.  We will explore these facets.

Restorative Yoga:  A class with restorative yoga means giving yourself permission to rest.  Led by Mary Aranas, Esco Wilson and Juan Gamboa these classes will be guided during the evenings after asana. These are "retreat treats," or a long, delicious savasana.  One can expect lots of nestling into blankets, fluffy towels and use of eye masks or eye pillows so that we can unfurl the body from a long day of island hopping, diving or other excursions.

Nidra: This is yogic sleep. A state of consciousness between waking and sleeping. The goal (should there need to have one) is deep relaxation, physical and mental refreshment.  After a day of travel this is like a massage for your tired mind. A yogic brain spa.

AcroYoga:  A new offering this year and will be led by Mary Aranas, our mystic of flight.  Juan Gamboa and Esco Wilson will be assisting and ensuring people enjoy flight.  My favorite part of teaching is lifting others - physically and energetically.  In AcroYoga, everyone lifts.  And everyone flies. Everyone laughs, connects, empowers and celebrates.

Thai Massage Partner:  These classes are excellent ways to relax, rejuvenate and restore using simple techniques drawing from Thai massage tradition, some acupuncture and reflexology.

Journaling:  There will be several opportunities to journal this year - either individually or through a guided practice led by Bryna Winston.  He will provide an opportunity and environment that allows for creation and discovery of practitioner's Truest Self through the visualization.The visualization uses the practitioners imagination as a tool for self actualization.

A proposed, more detailed retreat prospectus will be published shortly.  In order to maintain a logical, sensible flow to the week, the class schedule may change.  We would give adequate notice in such an event.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

All fees and deposit towards the retreat are non-transferable and non-refundable.

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Jan 1 - Jan 7, 2017

Panama City/Catalina - reSOULutions retreat,
Part 3 (City, Surf, Savasana).


We are raising the bar on our January retreat this year. We are going to Panama - City, Surf and Savasana! We’ll spend the first day in Panama City at Hotel Casa Panama doing yoga on the hotel's rooftop pool bar overlooking the city’s charming streets and impressive skyline. After our sweaty, soulful yoga classes, we can cool down with a cocktail or take a dip in the pool. Located in Casco Viejo - Panama City’s “west village,” as I like to call it - this boutique hotel is surrounded by a warren of charming streets, wine bars and cafes. You can sip rose all day at the hotel's rooftop pool or hop in an UBER to explore the town’s sites. Ask me for wine bar recommendations - The one downstairs is a favorite of mine, and where we’lll be having our welcome retreat dinner together!

We’ll venture to Santa Catalina the next day (I’ve splurged and got a van for the group equipped with Wi-FI, water, snacks and A/C, of course!!) for an unplugged, deep dive, soul-searching experience at Santa Catalina Retreats - We'll get a chance to disconnect from all the noise, our routines and distractions. While more off-the-grid, accommodations are still quite modern - each room equipped with A/C, fan, hot water, security deposit boxes, a mini-fridge and coffee-maker. Wi-fi is available at the restaurant bar where you can sip a cocktail or a refreshing smoothie while you lounge. We won’t be getting in an Uber here, but we’ll hop on our mats and get to practice, play and rest. There will be opportunities for many outward explorations: a scuba dive or snorkel expedition at Coiba Island, surfing, SUP boarding, kayaking, or go island hopping. Of if you prefer, you can stay on site for quieter inward journeys (meditation, hikes, rest, sleep or sip cocktails by the infinity pool overlooking the serene Pacific Ocean). We will spend five days here in Paradise before heading back to Hotel Casa Panama in Panama City where we will spend our final night enjoying the hotel’s urban oasis.

Let’s soak our souls in the sun and bathe our tired bodies on this retreat. DIVE deep into your practice. Rest some. Play some. Paradise awaits. - Join the Journey this January!

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When: Jan 1 - Jan 7, 2017 (7 days/6 nights)
Where: Hotel Casa Panama & Santa Catalina Retreats, Panama
Your Retreat Experience Includes:
- 7 days/6 nights accommodations
- 3 daily meals (with vegan and vegetarian options) are served family style and a complimentary wine or cocktail is offered for lunch and dinner
- Access to the hotel's rooftop pool in Hotel Casa Panama
- Complimentary cocktails upon arrival and return to Hotel Casa Panama
- Kayaks, paddle boards, and use of infinity pool are available at Catalina
- 2 Open Level yoga classes daily (open to beginners and advanced students)
- Lodging includes AC-equipped rooms, wi-fi access, security boxes
- One complimentary massage at our Catalina Resort location!!!

Pricing Information:
- Early bird discount: $200OFF - (before October 31)
- A $500 non-refundable registration deposit secures your spot
- After October 31, $2399 based on double occupancy (2 bedroom)
- Limited single occupancy rooms also available ($500 additional cost)
- A Referral reward ($200) if you refer a friend to join us

What's NOT Included:
- flights to Panama City (Airport Code: PTY)
- Van ride to Catalina from Panama City (estimated to be $120 USD per person)
- Adventures/Excursions (island hopping, bonfire ceremony, scuba diving, snorkel, surfing lessons, waterfall hikes)
- additional in-house massages available upon

Spots are limited on this amazing experience and will fill quickly. Contact Juan and discuss how you can join this amazing adventure.

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Jan 3 - Jan 10, 2016

Thailand - reSOULutions retreat,
part 2.


We all work hard during the year and deserve a break, a chance to unplug. This year, leave your work cube, put the out of office message on and get off the grid - We are getting on our mats and heading to Thailand the first week of January!

We will be packing our bags and hitting the reset button in Koh Samui this time around. Two yoga classes daily (a vigorous, powerful practice in the morning facing the island-dotted beach, and a deeper, restorative evening class) will keep us energized and balanced throughout the week. We will have time to explore Koh Samui's uniques offerings - elephant sanctuary visits, snorkeling trips, island excursions, and much more keeping our days filled with fun and adventure. But there will also be opportunity for rest, meditate by the pool and soak up some healthy Vitamin D at the beach outside our villa. This is our time to recharge after a year of hard work, set our intentions and reconnect to the soul.

The retreat group will be limited in size this year to provide a private retreat-like experience with lots of hands-on teaching/adjustments. If this experience resonates with you, email Juan to reserve your spot on this amazing journey to Thailand.



When: Jan 3 - Jan 10, 2016
Where: Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui

The Retreat Package Includes:
- 8 days/7 nights accommodations
- two daily yoga classes (both open level)
- one inversion workshop
- AC-equipped rooms with wi-fi access, security boxes and private balcony
- access to salt water swimming pool and herbal steam room
- breakfast/lunch/dinner farm-to-table buffet meals will be served daily

Pricing Information:
- Extended early bird discount: $200OFF - $1999 (before October 31)
- A $500 registration deposit secures your spot
- After October 31, $2199 based on double occupancy (roomy 2 bedroom lofts)
- Limited single occupancy rooms also available ($400 additional cost)

What's NOT Included:
- flights to Thailand
- connecting transportation to Koh Samui from Bangkok
- snorkeling, island explorations, waterfall hikes and visits to elephant sanctuaries are all optional but at very reasonable prices.

Spots are limited on this amazing experience and will fill quickly. Check Thailand off your bucket list. Contact Juan and discuss how you can be part of this adventure.

- You are seeking an adventure with like-minded yoga/wellness enthusiasts
- You want to advance and refine your yoga practice in a safe and supportive atmosphere
- You’ve always dreamed of exploring the beauty of Thailand
- You love food, travel,yoga and wellness
- You appreciate rest and opportunities to reflect and meditate
- You want to shift your perspectives in life and commit to your resolutions

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Frequently asked questions

What if I don’t have yoga experience? What level of yoga is being taught?

All classes are open level with significant opportunities for adjustment and one-on-one coaching. Prior experience of yoga is good but not required. This experience is designed to advance your practice whether you are new to yoga, or intermediate/advanced. All students are welcome.

What should I pack?

1. Pack lightly and be comfortable! The boutique resort is modern with superb facilities, but there will be opportunities to get off the grid and explore: snorkel, swim, kayak, island hopping, waterfall adventures and much more.

2. Bring a sense of adventure - this is not just a yoga retreat. It's an opportunity to have a deep, life-enriching experience - the people, food and culture of Thailand are unique and inspiring and it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

What will a typical day be like?

A sample itinerary includes the following (but may be modified to adapt to the group's schedule):

  • 6:30 am – 8:00 am Early light breakfast and quiet time
  • 8:00 am – 9:00 am Individual Morning Meditation
  • 9:30 am – 10:30 am Yoga Asana (Open level)
  • 10:30 am – 11:00 am Break, Beach or Rest
  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Brunch Buffet
  • 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm Rest/Relax or Afternoon Adventures
  • 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Evening Practice (Open Level)
  • 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Dinner buffet

What will the weather be like in January?

In January, Ko Samui has an average daily high temperature of 28°C (~82 °C), while daily lows range around 24°C (75 °C).

What are all the extras I should consider for this trip?
- Airfare to Koh Samui
- Transportation costs to the retreat center (coordinated upon retreat registration).
- Travel insurance is always recommended
- Tips for services
- Spa treatment available
Cancellation and Refund Policy

All fees and deposit towards the retreat are non-transferable and non-refundable.

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JANUARY / 2015

Costa Rica - reSOULutions retreat,
Part 1.


On the first week of January, 20 students were brought together to a boutique resort on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. Yoga done twice a day, healthy farm to table meals and time to reflect energized the body, cleared the mind and nourished the soul. The reSOULutions retreat was born from this unique experience and will continue to be an annual tradition for students, fellow teachers and travelers. We welcome any other like-minded practitioners who want to join us on this transformational annual journey. Watch this space for information on the next reSOULutions retreat.

photos from Google Images