Founder's Story

Chris Nelson is a yoga teacher, writer, speaker and entrepreneur. Before founding Ashiyana, he had been creating businesses around yoga and natural healthcare for over fifteen years. Whilst running yoga retreats around the world, he was always on the lookout for an idyllic spot where he could realise his long-held dream of creating a deeply relaxing, tropical retreat centre by the sea. 

In the winter of 2004, he discovered the magical little village of Mandrem in the north of Goa, which was off the beaten path for travelers and yet was serene and beautiful. It was during an early morning fishing trip with the local fishermen that he first heard about the palm grove across the river from the dunes. It only took a few seconds for him to decide that this was where he would create his dream, and what was to become Ashiyana. 

Ashiyana opened its bridge entrance to the world in December 2006, and year upon year it has grown and evolved into what is now one of the most acclaimed yoga and healing retreat centres in India and the world. Our new associate centre, Ashiyana Brazil, will be opening in the equally enchanting location of Alto Paraiso, Brazil in summer 2019. Read more about the Brazil Project here

Chris' first book, "Wake Up and SOAR" was published in May 2016, and in the summer of 2019, the SOAR App launches in London. The book and the App have both arisen from Chris' experience of observing and speaking with thousands of guests from all around the world. This has led to a growing desire to understand what could be done to ease the stress and chronic issues which are so prevalent in the world today. His vision is to create a "global wellbeing support system", on- and off-line.