Mary Paterson

Author / Teacher / Adventurer

Website for: Mary Paterson, author of the spiritual memoir, The Monks and Me: How 40 Days in Thich Nhat Hanh’s French Monastery Guided Me Home; yoga/meditation instructor; Buddhist practitioner; adventurer.

Radical Restoration Retreat
12th Magnificent Year ~ Up-coming in the South of Spain August 1st - 8th, 2020

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Set in a secluded location, Santillan is an Andalusian paradise. It’s located in the countryside, surrounded by the silence of the mountain and with wonderful sea views. A farm of 30,000 sq meters, it is located in the peace of the Spanish countryside, and yet is conveniently only 20 minutes from Malaga airport. The family atmosphere, the delicacy of service, gardens, small corners and interior spaces make it an ideal venue for yoga and meditation retreats, deepening silence and stillness in space.

Santillan is located in Rincon de la Victoria, 20 kilometers from the center of the capital of the Costa del Sol, Malaga, Spain. It is nestled in a Malaga hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.



Santillan has numerous paths for hiking and enjoying in a typical native place around the property, with the sea as the first view. There are two walks accessible from Santillan: Route 1: Around the hotel, about 30–40 minutes. Walk down the mountain to the water basin, climb round the other side of the hotel. Route 2: Through the mountains with beautiful sea views, can be as long as you want.



Mediterranean, vegetarian and vegan meals are based on organic produce grown under the Spanish sun, from the resort gardens, local farmers, a chicken coop, fruit trees and herb garden. The cooks at Santillan Retreat enjoy sharing their popular Spanish-influenced healthy Mediterranean cuisine, yet are also able to cater for vegetarian, vegan and raw diets and for genuine food allergies and intolerances, such as gluten-free and dairy-free. Chickens are free range, and fresh eggs are available daily.

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Santillan has 20 rooms, each individually styled, paying special attention to color, harmony and balance with the environment. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with magnifying mirror, hair dryer and welcome products, air-conditioning, heating and each comes with a private outdoor space, either verandah or terrace, with lovely views of the gardens, surrounding hills or down the valley to the sea


  • 7 days of yoga and meditation each morning for 2 1/2 hours, breathing pristine country air under the Spanish sun by the Mediterranean Sea with like-minded yogis.

  • After yoga and breakfast mid-morning hike in the Andalusian mountains (your choice of 40 minutes or 2 hours)

  • A 1 hour guided meditation each evening following the themes of restoring energy, beauty, health and vibrancy.

  • Exquisitely prepared, delicious and healthy gourmet meals (full breakfast, lunch and dinner with coffee/tea/fresh juices and pure water available throughout the day) enjoyed in a glorious dining hall.

  • salt water swimming pool on the property, access to yoga studio, tennis court, and all props

  • Your room for 7 nights: A lovely room with a terrace on the mountains with a view of either the valley toward the sea, gardens or mountains


Our class begins with a flowing series of unique and powerful yoga postures to warm-up followed by a Kundalini yoga set for deep restoration, beauty and vitality, that includes transformative breath techniques and meditations designed to give you a strong, flexible body, and brilliant mind, enhancing youth and energy. These ancient practices have many benefits including: relieving depression and anxiety, balancing weight, increasing vitality, strength, and flexibility, restoring youthfulness, and improving crucial organ function - specifically heart health. Spiritually, the techniques cause a deepening of compassion, both for the self and others, a feeling of connectedness, a deeper understanding of how to 'let go and let be', enhanced intuition and decision-making, along with  improved energy to fulfill your destiny.




"Thank you deeply, Mary.   The retreat, sharing time together, your guidance and new acquaintance has been life altering for me.  The ripples of impact will continue for some time and I will most certainly continue my spiritual learning and practice.  I am excited to continue in my growth. I have become curious again, in new ways.  I am figuring out what's next to stay true to me!"
~ Anna Duva, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

"Mary Paterson's retreat in Costa Rica was deeply wonderful in every sense. Mary's teaching is full of wonders: open, challenging, and healing, with a place for students from every level and background. Her teaching is built from years of deep experience in kundalini and vinyasa yoga, professional dance, chanting in many traditions, and buddhist meditation. Every student seemed to find just what they needed; physically, mentally, and spiritually, and the atmosphere was open and fun-loving, with plenty of time for relaxation and adventure built into every day. Ylang Ylang Resort, where the retreat took place, is one of the most special places on Earth, combining natural beauty with environmentally and ethically conscious ownership--plus, the food is amazing! I returned transformed and eager to return to my city life and practice, buoyed by new tools and a renewed sense of joy in my own practice and being."
~ Ellen Scordato, New York, New York, USA

"I attended an incredible yoga retreat that Mary led in Costa Rica. She created a deeply nourishing 9 days set in one of the most exquisite places I’ve been to. The days were  perfectly paced, and offered everything I needed - energetic yet mindful yoga classes, soulful meditations, and time to relax as well as play and explore. I felt as though I could truly exhale and was restored in the process. I came away with new friends and inspiration to continue and sustain my daily practices at home. I truly loved every minute of it and would certainly join her again." 
~ Ainslie Cyopik, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

"Being on a yoga retreat with Mary is a life altering experience.  She competently and powerfully guides you through your yoga practice every morning and leads beautiful meditations in the evening.  I  have been on 4 retreats with this wonderful teacher and each time I have been able to work deeper, relax faster and trust that all logistical details are taken care of (and many spiritual ones as well).  Every retreat has had a profoundly positive and long lasting effect on my life, and I continue to build on the work I have done while away enjoying sun, sand and surf yoga, delicious food and great people.  I am an ever-grateful participant.  Thank you Mary!"
~ Alison Robinette, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

”I was blessed to attend a yoga retreat at the wonderful Ylang Ylang Beach Resort. It is honestly difficult for me to put into words this experience of a lifetime. Mary is an exceptionally gifted Kundalini yoga instructor. She is also an extraordinary & kind person. I do have to add that the food was some of the best & healthiest I have ever eaten. I pray that I am fortunate enough to attend another yoga retreat with Mary at any place.” My Gratitude.

~ J. Reichenbacher, Toronto, Canada