Ship Out and Shape Up with Via Yoga Surf Retreat

SEATTLE (March 4, 2010) – With swimsuit season just around the corner, Via Yoga is offering a special incentive for vacationers looking to shape up for summer while vacationing. On average, a “Via Yogi” will burn 1,500 calories each day on a six-night retreat while partaking in daily surf lessons and two 90-minute yoga classes in the open-air studio overlooking the ocean. In honor of this magic number, Via Yoga will offer a 15 percent discount on retreats through April 23, 2010.

“A week of great food and mindful, fun exercise is a great springboard for an ongoing health and fitness routine,” said Dr. Lauren Oktay, naturopathic physician and owner of Basic Goodness Whole Health Coaching in Seattle, Wash. “One week of awesome self-care reminds people how good it feels to have muscles that are worked and minds that are de-cluttered.”

According to Oktay, depending on the body composition of the yogi, and the intensity/depth of poses and the studio temperature, calorie burn during a 90-minute yoga class is about 450-600 calories. She goes on to say that depending on body composition, ocean conditions and the amount of time spent on a surfboard, one hour of surfing will burn about 200-300 calories for intermediate surfers and up to 400 for beginners.

Each six-night retreat provides a different instructor and focus. Morning meditation sessions are provided during every retreat. Detailed information on each session and instructors can be found on the Web site. There are two retreats remaining in the 2010 season, featured below:

* April 11-17, 2010: A week of yoga and surfing with renowned New York yoga instructors Anna Carbonell and Kirtan Smith. Guests will start each morning with a strong vinyasa flow class following a morning meditation session, taught by Kirtan in the open-air yoga studio. These classes will infuse students with fluidity and confidence in preparation for surf lessons under the expert guidance of local Via Yoga surf instructors. Evening classes taught by Anna will be a Yin + Restorative theme.

· April 17-23, 2010: Back by popular demand, Matt Pesendian returns to Sayulita for his third consecutive Via Yoga retreat. Matt offers an eclectic mix of dynamic vinyasa yoga, exhilarating surfing and gentle qigong (Chinese yoga). Vinyasa in the morning and qigong in the late afternoon will focus on awakening and strengthening the core in preparation to ride the Sayulita waves on a surf board. Matt has studied many styles of yoga for 18 years and surfed for 30+ years. As such, he is highly qualified to share why yoga and surfing are perfectly complementary activities. In addition, Matt is a licensed acupuncturist and will be available for consultations and treatments.

Guests who book a Via Yoga retreat stay at Villa Amor, an oceanfront resort nestled on a hillside with 34 spacious, open-air villas featuring expansive views of the Pacific Ocean, which is located just steps from the hotel. Each of the travel packages, offered in beautiful Sayulita, Mexico, just 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, combines yoga and surf lessons with plenty of time to enjoy nearby hiking, shopping, horseback riding and exploring the picturesque town’s charming restaurants, shops and galleries.

Retreats also include a massage, a boat trip with snorkeling or surfing, a daily breakfast buffet, three group dinners at Villa Amor and/or other local restaurants, daily maid service and roundtrip airport transfers from Puerto Vallarta International Airport to Villa Amor. Space is limited to 20 guests per retreat and dates and retreats are subject to change. Rates range from $1,995 to $4,095 per person and do not include airfare. For more details, call 800-603-YOGA or visit

About Via Yoga

Kelly Kemp, an entrepreneur and passionate yoga practitioner, and Michelle Gantz, a certified yoga instructor, Pilates instructor and licensed massage therapist, started Via Yoga in 2004 with the aim of taking yoga vacations to a new level of bliss. The pair sources world-renowned instructors from around the country to host six to twelve yoga, yoga/surfing and yoga/Pilates retreats every year at Villa Amor in Sayulita, Mexico. Each retreat also includes a massage, a boat trip with snorkeling, a daily breakfast buffet, three group dinners at Villa Amor and/or other local restaurants, daily maid service and roundtrip airport transfers from Puerto Vallarta International Airport to Villa Amor. Via Yoga is based in Seattle, Wash. For more information visit