From the Southern Alps of New Zealand to the Pyrenees of Catalonia, Spain, friends and Founders of Soul & Trail Ashley and Xavier having travelled the world left their hectic lives to create something truly unique from what they love – trail running, yoga, mindfulness, socialising, healthy food and culture whilst immersed in nature. They met like-minded human beings from the local areas, from the cities/villages and from around the world who joined the team to show that business can be done with heart and soul.
With a belief in the power of people Soul & Trail’s commitment to local culture and environments grows with us to our new destinations and their localised issues and circumstances. We will always support the local community, the empowerment of women and the running industry wherever we can while pledging a % of our income or time to environmentally focused charities.
Co-Founder and Host
Born in “Aotearoa” New Zealand and a graduate of Waikato University’s School of Education, Ashley is an accomplished sportsman having represented multiple codes at local, regional, national and international levels. A high school short distance record holder and two-time college sportsman of the year, he is an educator and coach turned wellness and plant-based nutrition advocate, and an example of courageous and healthy living.
His passion for “challenging possibility” was a gamechanger in overcoming paralysis after a track and field accident as a teenager, and is still embedded in his mindset today as a competitive trail runner. An avid traveller and lover of cultures, Ashley is not only driven to see how far he can grow as an athlete but also as a human being, helping wherever possible to make a difference to people’s lives through giving back. He is proud to say these principals of solidarity and gratitude are rooted in Soul & Trail’s mission and help inspire guests to awake the soul.
Co-Founder and Running Guide
Born in Barcelona. Husband, father and traveller. Curious by nature, passionate and practitioner of “outdoor” activities, alternating between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean; hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing and trail running. Although having aptitudes in running short and explosive distances, Xavier later found himself attracted to middle-distance where physical abilities are combined with energetic strategy and above all, the mental state (trance) that allows you to connect in the purest and most genuine way with your soul.
Xavier has participated in some of the most prestigious races in the French Alps, the Pyrenees and Canada, as well as other more sympathetic and humanitarian ones in Asia and Central America. Having visited 28 countries in 4 continents and competed in 3, Xavier considers himself well-travelled.
A restless searcher for new places to explore, discovering landscapes, mountains, cultures and friends, knowing, connecting and collaborating with people who dedicate their lives to help others, in human, social and/or environmental development.
Graduating as an Engineer, and having had roles as a researcher, team coordinator, project manager and R&D Director, Xavier’s experience, strength, love for nature and culture, has helped lead to the creation of Soul & Trail.
Born in Montréal. Wife, mother and with a humanitarian vocation. A descendant from families on both sides of the Atlantic, and having lived in North America and Europe has enriched her life. Always attracted by collaborative activities, as well as by team sports, she has innately sought to create teams with respect, but with courage, focus and transparency. These values have been transmitted and shared during trips to almost 30 countries and several humanitarian collaborations.
Graduating with a Bachelors degree in Primary and Early Childhood Education and having previously completed studies in Hospitality and Tourism, Isabel has chosen to teach as the focal point of her career, where she can transmit her human, cultural and collaborative values to the youngest and most curious minds.
This vocation and experience is the human value that Soul & Trail emits.
Clara’s relationship with nature defines her way of understanding food and conscious cuisine. It is with this knowledge and association which serves as the inspiration behind the delicious menu at Soul & Trial.
Trained at the Hofmann Hospitality School of Barcelona, Clara specialised in conscious cuisine, a form of cooking that acknowledges and promotes the fundamental relationship between both the ingredients and the chef in the creation of a dish.
“Cooking, health and the environment are entirely related elements that we can not stop. If combined harmoniously, the results can be exquisite.”
Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher
Amelie is the Creator of Yogaroom Barcelona and Director of the Teacher Training. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher (500 RYT) and has an active Registered Yoga School (RYS) with Yoga Alliance.
“Yoga is a vital support system that every human being can benefit from. It is ancient wisdom that brings balance at every level: physical, spiritual, emotional and energetic.”
Amelie is an experienced practitioner, born into yogic environment it was natural for her to engage with yoga and it’s lifestyle. She connected with Hatha Yoga in 1998 and started teaching in 2006.
Yoga allowed Amelie to ground herself and gave her the strength and courage to lay the foundations of her life. It has been the change agent in her personal transformation that has freed her spirit, given her confidence in the wisdom of the body, and helped her find the courage to be authentic, unconditionally.
Sáy is Hmong. An ethnic minority people in Vietnam’s North-Western province. Sáy’s family is the first to commit to university studies, investing in education and the prospects it offers over those found in local labour. Currently studying Education at the University of Hanoi, Sáy is the only student in her course of an ethnic minority. During respites from university life Sáy works as a cultural guide, leading trekking groups in Sapa’s Muong Hoa Valley and as of last year, she began offering her services as a volunteer teacher. Starting with just 2 students in the family home, Sáy now voluntarily teaches 2 groups of 15 students, three times a week. Sáy’s vision, generosity and persistence have seen the local school grant her the use of a classroom in order to conduct her lessons.
Sáy and her Hmong sisters are the essence of our Soul & Trail experience in Sapa’s Muong Hoa Valley, and through this, we proudly collaborate in the development of her community.
Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher
Marzena is the owner and founder of Zenith Yoga Vietnam, the first and most professional Yoga Studio in Hanoi. She has over 15 years of experience in teaching yoga with foundation in Iyengar Yoga.
Currently she leads various workshops, courses and teacher training (TTC) in Vietnam. After multiple visits to the to Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, practicing with many senior Iyengar teachers and achieving the 300-hour advanced TTC and therapeutic TTC certificate with Hart Lazer, her teacher and mentor, she has been conducting different therapeutic classes, workshops and courses, helping people to overcome their difficulties and find balance in the body and mind.
Her teaching follows the principles of correct alignment, safety and precision of movement with logicall & progressive sequencing. “Yoga is the work-in, not the work-out” is the motto for her teaching.
A Soul & Trail retreat is more than running alone. It's a healing, life-changing and transformative journey. With its unique combination of conscious gastronomy, workshops and mindfulness sessions, our holistic program nurtures body, mind and soul.
We keep group sizes small so we can provide the highest quality service and offer you a truly unforgettable experience. Our dedicated team is on hand to help you enjoy a customised running retreat.
We offer more yoga and mindfulness than any other running retreat. Twice daily sessions are included in all retreats. Classes are offered in picturesque and calming surroundings by our professional yoga + mindfulness teacher/s on staff.
Our hand-selected team of professional staff are all highly qualified or equally experienced in their respective fields. Combining specialised chefs, highly experienced instructors, and a down to earth host team, we make it our goal to gain the appreciation of all our guests.
We work with local communities to create sustainable and empowering, running and mindfulness retreats. Also non-profit organisations such as One Tree Planted to aid in the regeneration of our planets natural environment, donating ten trees per guest to projects in either North America, Latin America, Asia or Africa.
We pride ourselves on offering the most fulfilling running retreat experience possible. Each element that creates a Soul & Trail retreat is carefully designed to suit our guests' needs and aspirations. Best of all, our retreats start from only US$2,550.
A Soul & Trail running experience is much more than an investment in your wellbeing … it’s an investment in the wellbeing of all future generations. When you book a running and yoga retreat with us, we donate 10 trees to a reforestation project of your choice in either North America, Latin America, Asia or Africa.
As proud partners of One Tree Planted, together we’re helping our planet one tree at a time.
Sign up to stay updated on our latest travel destinations, offers and stories.