Wholehearted Retreats are led by
Ollie Ellis & Lucy Ellis-Howell
We are both 500hr Yoga Alliance Registered Teachers and come from a background in dance, with our journey into yoga happening gradually since around 2005
We started practicing more yoga around 2010 and Ollie undertook his 200hr teacher training with Bath yoga studio Yoga Bodhi in 2011. Our practice started to be become important to us when we began to understand more about yoga philosophy, so much so that in 2013 we decided to put our lives in the UK on hold to study yoga for six months in India.
We had a truly transformational time at The Paramanand Institute in Indore under the guidance of our teacher Dr Omanand and even got married with his encouragement and blessings in a vedic ceremony in December 2013.
We also spent time at Amrita Yoga at Amritapuri, the ashram of spiritual leader Amma in Kerala and in Nepal Ollie learned traditional Tibetan Singing Bowl therapies under Santa Ratna Shakya of the Himalayan Singing Bowl Centre.
In March 2016 we started another new chapter by selling our houseboat home in the UK to move to our woodland cottage in France and start work on building Wholehearted Retreats. We returned to India in Autumn 2016, studying again at Paramanand with Dr Omanand and then spent time at Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai deepening our practice through the study of Antaranga Sadhana.
The road to get here has been bumpy in places, but we love the life we have in France, embracing a slower lifestyle, close to nature and in tune with the seasons. We especially love sharing the peace and tranquillity of this very special place with our retreat guests.
We share our home with two faithful hounds, Otis & Douglas who are always keen to make friends with our retreat guests! Six inquisitive hens live in an enclosure near the vegetable patch but they often escape to see what’s happening elsewhere!