Retreat. Relax. Refresh. Renew.

GYPSET retreat guests reap the benefits of our experience and attention to detail. Here’s some of the feedback we’ve received.

The Gypset Yoga Retreat at Shambala Petit in Tulum was everything I’d hoped for and more. Melissa and Laurel handled details in a very professional manner leaving all the enjoyment to us. The food was far above my expectations as well … I’m picky about coffee. Not at Shambala, though. Excellent ! The hotel has the elusive quality of being casual and chic at the same time. I was lucky to have an outdoor bath: showering while standing on limestone pavers had me even closer to a tropical reverie. Classes varied from yin to vinyasa to a barre fitness class- which I am adding to my weekly routine at home. Don’t get me started! It was fantastic.

Phil D.

Minneapolis, MN

Amazing people Melissa and Laurel are each others ying to their yangs. They work cohesively, collectively, and profoundly well together. The level of communication before, during, and after their retreats is perfect. They are thoughtful and kind. Loving and compassionate. I would consider both to masters of their craft and life long learners. Should you choose Gypset for your next yoga retreat I promise you that your life will be impacted in such a tremendously positive way. Can’t wait for my next adventure with them.

Heather M.

Woodland, MN

I did a week retreat in Tulum with Melissa. I loved the variety of classes. We practiced vinyasa in morning did a fun barre class midday and ended the day with an amazing yin class. Melissa was fun and took time to go over anything I had questions about. The back drop was beautiful and food was fresh and healthy. The perfect retreat I came home feeling rejuvenated!

Francene B.


In January 2017 I went to Shambala Petit’s yoga retreat with Melissa Joy Schoeller in Tulum Mexico. It was the best experience I’ve ever had! Melissa is an experienced yoga teacher that gave us three mindful, flowing, challenging, and restful yoga classes each day in a space that was incredibly beautiful and practically right on the beach with the calming breeze entering the space to add that tropical element to our stay. And I can’t rave enough about the chef, the grounds staff, and the owner of Shambala! I wanted to stay forever!

Doreen A.
St. Paul, MN

I’ve been on four yoga retreats in Mexico led by Melissa. She is a skilled yoga instructor and goes out of her way to ensure her yogis have an excellent experience. Her warm and inviting attitude creates a real sense of community among retreat goers. I’ve met some wonderful people on these retreats. I plan to continue as many of her retreats as I can in the future. Highly recommend!!

Madison, WI

I met Melissa online when I was looking for a yoga retreat, now two retreats later with Melissa and one I’m looking forward to in 2019, I’m hooked! Melissa is always present and checks in with everyone individually, she enjoys the silent moments as well as the active moments, she thinks outside the box and is open to suggestions, and she is an experienced and skilled yoga instructor. Her warmth and inviting personality makes each retreat special and brings people together to create community. I’m looking forward to Nicaragua with Gypset!

Denise N.
Los Angeles, CA

Going to Tulum for a week with Gypset Retreats was the best self-care decision I have ever made in my life. It was beyond transformative for the mind body and soul. It was such a blessing to wake up every morning to watch the sunrise on the beach, eat fresh yummy food, take 3 yoga/barre classes, explore Tulum, bask in the sun, meet the most wonderful people and to fall asleep each night listening to the waves crash outside. I will forever cherish the time spent on this retreat and am waiting with great anticipation to book my next retreat with Melissa!

Tori B.
Minnetonka, MN

I had the best week at our yoga retreat in Puerto Morelos. The ocean was a block away. Sunrise meditations were beautiful! Thanks to Melissa, there were several choices for daily yoga and exercise, not to mention the bead necklace and cooking classes. The atmosphere was inviting and warm. I feel I’ve made lifelong friends with everyone who was there!

Diane B.
Madison, WI

I only recently started practicing at YOGA Garden, but the moment that I experienced Laurel’s teaching I knew I was in the right place. Her unique teaching style and attention to detail, alignment, and the “nuancey” aspects of asana is incredible. Laurel’s classes are made even more powerful by the way she incorporates interesting and thought provoking themes into each practice. Although I already teach yoga, I believe that teachers have an unwavering duty to continue to learn, grow, and expand in every way that they possibly can. I am totally fascinated by all aspects of yoga, and I simply want to learn more. I cannot wait to start the Yoga Garden TT and be surrounded by great community, thoughtful learning, and good yoga.

Hannah S.

I recently attended a yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico and had an amazing week. The accommodations, food, yoga classes etc. were all perfect!! I got to relax and enjoy myself for a whole week on the beach!! Thank you so much Melissa and Laurel. I cant wait to plan my next adventure with you ladies.

Amy O.

Farmington, MN

I came to Laurel and Yoga Garden on a recommendation to support my health and well-being. This was after spending over 10 days in incredible pain, on muscle relaxers, Prednisone, pain killers and unable to walk let alone put my own socks on. I have for over 2/3 of my life dealt with daily pain and lower back issues. In my first 10 minutes under Laurel’s instruction I felt relief, It was magical. Soon thereafter I started coming to class regularly. A few of the benefits of the minutes I spend on my mat are that I do not live in daily pain, I have not had an episode of incapacitation, I have run my first ½ Marathon, a killer of a trail run and I smiled the whole way. I have expanded my inner peace, my outer strength, balance on all facets of my being. I breathe everyday – with thought & intent. I gained control by letting go. I support and am supported in a room full of humans practicing, improving, becoming. Aligning. Magical.

Stacey K.

As the world embraces more and more of yoga into our culture and teams of wellness providers, yoga is being assessed, organized, and certified like many other healing modalities. The first step for many in this journey to teaching yoga is a 200-Hour Teacher Training through Yoga Alliance called “RYT-200.” As I chose my very own RYT-200 school, and in a world where these trainings are a dime-a-dozen, Laurel Van Matre is a teacher of teachers, and a fanatic to the details that make the difference between generic and personal. As one of the Twin Cities most seasoned yogis, she has a direct approach to help each student on an individual basis, whether its overcoming injuries, working through mental stresses and ailments, or working deeper into strength and enhanced states of health and general wellness. She has the tools, and she tailors her classes to meet the needs of her students. The information is out there – anyone can get the books, learn the knowledge base, and get on their mat to try things out. But we all know its not just what you know. It’s what you do with what you know. And what Laurel Van Matre does is some good shit.

Calley B.

A January yoga retreat with Gypset Retreats at Shambala Petit Hotel in Tulum nourishes your body and soul. The white sand, the simple, comfortable cabanas, the yoga shala with expansive Caribbean views provide a place in time to rest, be with friends, revitalize your yoga practice, and rejuvenate. The elegant food is lovingly and deliciously prepared for each meal. Melissa’s yoga balances you with vinyasa, yin, and nidra opportunities. You will feel strong, blessed, and rested at the end of your retreat. Exactly what this Minnesotan needed in January!

Ruth P.

Minneapolis, MN

Going to Tulum with Melissa for a yoga retreat was a divine experience. Wonderful healthy food, white sand beaches and Yoga three times a day! Staying in a cabana close to the beach and going to sleep to the sound of the waves.

Patricia S.

Minneapolis, MN

The four of us teach a community yoga class in Highland Utah. I picked Melissa for our teacher/friend retreat because I had been to Melissa’s retreat a few years ago and I was anxious to share the fun I had with my friends. We absolutely loved everything about our trip this year. Melissa is very gifted in teaching. She is smart, has a great voice and soothing mannerisms as she leads the class. Her instructions are easy to follow and each class is unique. She did a traditional vinyasa yoga class then a barre class and then a yin or meditation class in the evenings. I would and will return to another yoga retreat by Melissa in the future.

Lynette L.

Highland, UT

When I first learned about Melissa’s yoga retreat in Tulum of course I thought it sounded and looked amazing but I wasn’t sure if I could justify the indulgence. Well I know now it is worth every penny! In the one week I felt stronger, relaxed and more in balance that I had in years. The yoga is amazing – it doesn’t get better than working out surrounded by jewel toned water, powder soft sand, and blue skies. The food is unbelievable – healthy, delicious, fresh, and beautifully presented. And fresh juices with every meal! When I wasn’t working out I was reading a book in a hammock, exploring the ruins or the cute shops that were right outside our resort, or walking along the beach. There’s something about spending a week surrounded by beauty and by lovely, regular, down to earth people, with zero demands or distractions. I can’t wait to to do it again – now I just have to decide which retreat to go on next year – this will definitely be an annual tradition!

Kelly H.

Minneapolis, MN

From the moment I arrived at Shambala resort I was overcome with a sense of calm, as Melissa and staff greeted me with an abundance of kindness. This was my second retreat with Melissa and the yoga, cabanas, beach, food, and extras surpassed my previous five-star experience. It was not only one of the most beautiful and tranquil settings, but it also embraced the vision of wellness through yoga and camaraderie. Melissa crafted her instruction to fit the needs of each student with a unique blend of experience and delivery. Stepping into white sand every morning for Vinyasa class, and sleeping every night to the lull of the ocean waves after Yin class left me feeling truly refreshed. I left feeling healthier, peaceful and equipped with new goals to continue on the path of wellness.

Katherine R.

Minneapolis, MN

I was once told, “if it’s a maybe, it’s a YES!” and this is one of those times. I was in need of more than an vacation. I needed to escape, a chance to catch my breath and remember that it is okay to take care of my needs. So simply saying yes to one of Melissa Joy Schoeller’s retreats was the first step. I knew no one and only talked with Melissa via email. She instantly made me feel less anxious and more excited. Then it was finally time to travel. I was met with a smile that put me at ease. Practicing yoga and barre was of course great. I left feeling physically strong. The food couldn’t have been better and my tummy never felt better. Leaving mentally strong was what I needed to make decisions about my life’s direction and even weeks later am still relishing these gifts. The structure is free and easy with a side of “do it for yourself”. This attracted people that were there for Love. Love of self and of kindness. Love of the gifts we all have to share and a release of Love to give and someday get back. Honestly, I can’t believe I said, “yes”, but my life will never be the same because I did.

Rachel S.

Denver, CO

In January 2017 I went to Shambala Petit’s yoga retreat with Melissa Joy Schoeller in Tulum Mexico. It was the best experience I’ve ever had! Melissa is an experienced yoga teacher that gave us three mindful, flowing, challenging, and restful yoga classes each day in a space that was incredibly beautiful and practically right on the beach with the calming breeze entering the space to add that tropical element to our stay. And I can’t rave enough about the chef, the grounds staff, and the owner of Shambala! I wanted to stay forever!

Doreen A.

St. Paul, MN

I have found a haven at YOGA Garden for a variety of reasons. Every time I walk into YOGA Garden, I feel a huge sense of relief wash over me and I am able to take the most nourishing exhale. The combination of the verdant environment, close-knit community and Laurel Van Matre’s ability to make everyone feel like a friend is truly unique and I cherish this sweet studio.

Laurel fosters a supportive, welcoming environment and leaves space in her classes for personal growth and introspection. I have studied many different lineages of yoga and what I appreciate so much about Laurel’s teaching is that she pulls gems from so many different teachings to create an incredibly unique and complex practice that always has me walking away with a greater understanding of the power of subtleties. The space and the community feel almost magical at times and I could not be more grateful to be a part of this studio and all that it stands for.

Meghan F.

Everything in Tulum and at the retreat was amazing! Melissa Joy’s attention to detail and meticulous planning made for an incredibly relaxed trip! The accomodations were super eco-chique and the food was incredible! Oh and the yoga – three offerings a day for yoga on retreat – you couldn’t ask for anything more. I am so excited for my next yoga retreat with Melissa!

Pattie A.
Excelsior, MN

I had a wonderful time in Tulum thanks to Melissa’s excellent teaching skills and her ability to make everyone feel welcome and valued. The beach was beautiful but it was the yoga classes that brought the group together. Melissa provided individual attention to each class member and modified the class to include all skill levels. The food was fantastic. Who knew gluten and dairy free could taste so good? Overall the week in Tulum was amazing. My only regret is that I live in Arizona and am unable to take weekly classes from Melissa.

Joyce R.

I attended a yoga retreat that was led by Melissa Schoeller in January at Shambala Petit Hotel in Tulum, Mexico. It was a very cathartic and rejuvenating experience for me! The different types of yoga classes (vinyasa, barre, yin, and nidra) were fantastic and the food was absolutely delicious and so healthy! I really appreciated the ayurvedic portions of the retreat, and I can’t wait to go again next year!

Kim C.
Minneapolis, MN

The weeklong yoga retreat was sunny, peaceful, invigorating, and healthy. I enjoyed time with old friends, made new friends, learned lots of new yoga poses. Can’t wait for next year – I’m already signed up.

Valerie B.
Minneapolis, MN

Shambala Petit Resort is “Serenity on the Beach”, Absolutely one of the best vacations my husband and I have ever taken. Yoga with Melissa in a breathtakingly beautiful setting. Amazing food served with health and wellness in mind. Take your shoes off for the week and relax your mind. You are only a few barefoot steps from the ocean! Will definitely be going again…

Rachel & Paul D.

Woodbury, MN

I attended my first ever yoga retreat with Melissa this year and would recommend Gypset Yoga Retreats to anyone interested in a retreat that makes one feel welcome, strong and nourished. Melissa put together a retreat that allowed everyone to participate in what worked best for them, with healthy, delicious food options, in a community setting in which I made new, lifelong, friends. Whether this may be your first retreat or you are looking for something new, give Gypset a try – you won’t regret it!

Amber V.

Minneapolis, MN

This was my second time at Melissa’s yoga retreat in Tulum and I can’t say enough good things about it. The location was beautiful, the resort was comfortable and accommodating, and my time there was life changing. I appreciate Melissa so much for helping me take care of myself and learn new things every time.

April A.

Minneapolis, MN

Cannot say enough good things about Melissa’s yoga retreat at Casa Om. I went with my mom and was immediately brought into a wonderful loving community, many of which have become friends beyond Mexico. I had been nervous before going, since I’m not much of a yogi, but Melissa’s classes have something for everyone, and she challenged me in such positive ways. We spent our days lounging on the beach between classes, and eating wonderful home cooked meals by Chef Jajo. Anyone considering the retreat should absolutely go.

Maureen O.

New York, NY

My time in Mexico was indeed inspiring. The yoga, the environment, the friendships formed and the food were beyond my expectations. Melissa made magic happen. From meditating on the beach at sunrise to enjoying the local music festival in town, I feel like I lived a lifetime. I am a happier, stronger & healthier person and this week will serve as a catalyst for a great future.

Suzanne T.

St.Paul, MN

I had a wonderful week in Mexico on the yoga retreat. The days were well planned to include lots of yoga, good food, free time, and group activities. The group came together like magic. No one knew everyone, not even Melissa, most of us knew only one person when we started the week, but we the week ended with a true feeling of friendship and love for one another. I returned with a “yogic state of mind” that hasn’t dissipated yet. It was a truly amazing retreat.

Robin M.

Minneapolis, MN

As a lifelong student of yoga, I’ve had many instructors—some good, some great. Laurel is amazing. Although I have a gym membership, Laurel’s classes are so good that I prefer to take her classes during the workday. She keeps things fresh and challenging, and somehow finds a way to teach to every imaginable level at the same time. She seems to really understand that yoga in the middle of the week requires different “rules of engagement” than a class taken in a yoga studio. She accommodates our high-strung office demeanors with a gentleness that is impressive and necessary, given that we’ve all just come from meetings and have to go right back to them when we’re finished with class. It can’t be easy, but Laurel manages to be one of the best instructors in the city, and we are fortunate to have her.

Julie R.

I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for about 10 years now. I’ve taken classes with various teachers and in various studios around the country, from LA to NYC, and across the globe, from Italy to Nicaragua—none of them even remotely compare to what I’ve found in Laurel Van Matre’s classes at YOGA Garden.

The magic of Laurel’s teaching stems from the deep knowledge she’s amassed in her 20 years of practice. She is not only able to explain how poses should look or work, but how they shouldn’t look or work as well, which makes self-correcting outside of the studio much easier and effective.

Besides Laurel’s unparalleled teaching, the other thing I love about YOGA Garden is the community and the energy that fills the room during every class. The students that come to YOGA Garden are dedicated practitioners who have been attending for years, but as a newer student myself, I couldn’t have felt more welcomed. And as seriously as everyone takes their process and growth, the classes aren’t taken too seriously. Laurel will push us into tackling crazy poses and sometimes the class just erupts in laughter—we try, fall, and joke together about it.

This is what true yoga is and is meant to be, all tucked away in a beautiful, artfully decorated and plant-filled studio in one of the best parts of NE Minneapolis.

Cinnamon J.

What are you waiting for?

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What are you waiting for?

Practice in paradise. Contact us to book your retreat.

Your Name
Which retreat can we help you book?
Your message

or pay my deposit

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