spanish yoga team

The Spanish Yoga Retreat was founded in 2004 by yoga teacher & osteopath José Manuel Ponce & designer Brandon Everett

full-time team

portrait of spanish-yoga-retreat co-directors


José Manuel Ponce-Aguilar is a yoga teacher / trainer and osteopath with a special interest in the therapeutic potential of yoga to manage and heal specific ailments and help you enjoy optimum health

Manuel trained in 1980 with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta School where he was resident under the tutelage of the late Swami Vishnu Devananda until until embarking on a career in osteopathy in 1985

He took further yoga-teacher-training with Sunra Yoga in 1997 and has post-graduate qualifications in medical acupuncture, cranial-osteopathy and facilitating adult learning

Manuel is a practising osteopath registered with UK General Osteopathic Council

more info

portrait of permanent staff


Artist, designer, vegetarian cook: Brandon's artistic career has spanned four decades. He graduated in fashion and textile design from the Bradford College of Arts, taught art in Mexico City, then settled on a career in costume for stage, film and TV

Brandon is a dedicated life-long vegetarian and pours his boundless inventiveness and imagination into creating dishes that never fail to delight

Brandon brings his own brand of stillness, the Quaker way of sitting quietly and opening to the "inner light"

visiting teachers

visiting teachers

Martine Charalambou

Artist, teacher, yogini and mum

Martine graduated in fine art and photography from Camberwell College Of Arts

She brings passion and a wealth of experience to teaching creative expression alongside yoga

Alberto San Milán

An IT graduate, Alberto holds Spanish teaching qualifications validated by the Instituto Cervantes. He founded Academia Decode in Trujillo in 2004 where he teaches Spanish and English together with his wife Guadalupe

Alberto has been involved in developing educational software and specializes in creating scenarios for learning

a brief history of place

"home is where one starts from" (T S Eliot)

2003: we embark on a series of adventures from the UK to find a second home in Spain. We explored coast-lines, great plains and mountains, cities and villages from Andalusia to the Cantabrian coast. Shangri-La nonetheless was proving elusive

Crossing the mountains from Castille into the wild country that is Extremadura something stirred. Were we getting close?

Approaching ancient Trujillo across the Great Cáceres Plain the city appeared in the distance, alone in a vast wilderness, a great stone fortress of towers and graceful buildings, cypresses softening the stone. We drove to the town square...all thoughts and feelings converging: I'm home

A year on, watching the sun set from the edge of the old city, I glanced up above the castle's Moorish arch to the stone Virgin and reverting to my catholic upbringing ... "Show me a way of doing something creative in this place. I'll recognize the sign"

On the way home we stopped at a shop for refreshments. Mari-Jose, the shopkeeper, owned the place next to ours which was for sale. "Take the keys. Have a look around. Maybe a friend of yours will be interested". Opening the door to number 22 we entered a deep vaulted room

"It's the sign!"

wellness yoga holidays and retreats in Spain