About Us

The Slowdown Retreat: Cartagena event has been hand crafted to give you an extraordinary 5 day tropical experience unlike anything else on the planet.

Your leaders will be Phillip Van Nostrand, award winning and published photographer, and Michelle Buysse, yogi master and currently teaching at the five-star resort Rancho Valencia in San Diego, California. With a combined 17 years of experience, Phil and Michelle have only one desire for you: To relax and enjoy your time in the tropics of Colombia while gaining expert photo tips and calming your soul.



Michelle Buysse Yoga RetreatMichelle Buysse Yoga RetreatMichelle Buysse Yoga Retreat

Michelle discovered yoga in the middle of the ocean while traveling the globe on Semester at Sea in 2003. She continued her path of self-discovery and yoga back to her almamater in the Hawaiian Islands where she developed an ongoing practice to supplement her other sports and mindfulness practices. Michelle obtained a Master's Degree in literature from Colorado State University the same year she decided to become a certified yoga instructor and has been uniquely linking the two ever since. CorePower yoga trained, Michelle has since managed multiple yoga studios, led 15 200-hour yoga teacher trainings, attended workshops & conferences and taught over 2,000 classes. Michelle enjoys teaching in every environment and offers all-levels, layer based instruction to meet her students where they are in their body, mind, and heart. Michelle is grateful to teach yoga at 5-star resorts and spas such as Rancho la Puerta (Tecate, Mexico) and Rancho Valencia in San Diego, Ca. 


Phillip Van Nostrand Photo RetreatPhillip Van Nostrand Photo RetreatPhillip Van Nostrand Photo Retreat

Phillip Van Nostrand lives and works in New York City and California. With a strong background in weddings, commercial and editorial projects, he is an expert in capturing interiors, spirits, portraits, travel and fashion. He travels abroad once a year and has photographed 30+ countries.

Published in the New York Times, Dwell Magazine, San Diego Style Weddings, New York Times Magazine, Santa Barbara Dining and Destinations Magazine, Huffington Post, featured on Under Armor for Women’s web page.