Vanessa Pattison

Retreat Leader

"Wherever you go there you are!” It means to her that happiness is not determined by physical location but is deeply rooted within. Happiness ebbs and flows. "
– Vanessa Pattison –


Vanessa Pattison lives and teaches yoga and meditation in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Originally from California, she traded the golden handcuffs (they’re real and shiny) for a surfboard. The surfboard is her husband’s but the yoga mat is hers. All jokes aside, she never set out to teach yoga and meditation but now understands that it was her dharma/purpose. Everything in her life was always leading her on this journey, a path to authentically serve others by unraveling her own authentic expression.

Vanessa has 2000+ hours of Vinyasa, Hatha, and Yin training. She built and runs Zen Yoga Nicaragua, the only yoga studio in this cool Central American beach town. Vanessa co-founded Nicaragua Yoga Institute, which runs and hosts yoga retreats and yoga teacher training programs. She is a certified Primordial Meditation Instructor with the esteemed Chopra Center and loves to help others cultivate a solid meditation practice. Vanessa loves to support women during childbirth as a doula. A mother to three boys, all born and raised in Nicaragua, it’s her intention to raise her kids connected to the culture and show by example that to live a healthy life they must help others do the same. Her family cares deeply for the country and especially the kids of Nicaragua, many of whom they’ve known since they were small. You can always find Vanessa with a car full of kids going to baseball or soccer. With a house full of kids to feed. She’s constantly fundraising and all proceeds from her meditation class and a percentage of every retreat go to helping kids have food, clothes, education, and sports programs.

It’s her hope and intention that her classes and retreats are infused with love, creativity, and inspiration. You can think of her classes as a journey of unraveling the layers of stress, that we all accumulate, revealing our authentic, radiant selves. One movement at a time, one pause at a time, one breath at a time.

Suggested Readings


The Incredibly Long List of Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

Michael Greger, MD, recently wrote for about the many benefits one can experience when eating a plant-based diet. The list is so incredibly long and well-researched, you might be convinced to give up meat altogether; however, if you’re not, you can at least learn about these many benefits and consider going veggie just one or two days a...

14 Reasons You Need a Beach Vacation

As the winter draws to a close, many people feel like the dark nights and cold days are never going to end. In the two months after the holidays, as we get back into the swing of work and daily stressors, we dream of traveling somewhere warm for a little well-deserved relaxation time. Turns out,...