It started out as a travel blog to share stories and photos from their active adventures around the world. Now, Jaime and Matt Komer are pioneering a whole new concept in the experiential travel movement. The former Olympic water polo star and her husband, a former professional volleyball player, co-created Athlete. Yogi. Traveler (AYT), a company that combines travel, yoga and living like a local into a wellness experience for people looking to lead happier and more positive lives.
The Orange County-based athletes wanted to do more than just teach yoga or write about the places they’ve dined at that serve fresh, organic food -- they wanted to make their fitness travel experiences available to others.
“The AYT Experience is all about having fun, finding balance and setting and meeting personal goals” says Jaime Komer, Chief Experience Creator for AYT. Komer knows a thing or two about meeting personal goals. A former goalkeeper for the USA Women’s Water Polo Team and Olympic Silver Medalist, Komer is now an internationally certified yoga and Pilates instructor. She channels her yoga expertise into a unique AYT Experience for yogis of all levels. Even if travelers are new to yoga, Komer’s methods are aimed at achieving balance and providing support for health and fitness. “If it’s your goal to become more active or eat healthier, we’ll help you with that.”
The Komers personally research each AYT Experience location, fostering partnerships with local groups and maximizing the local outdoor experience. “Our goal when we create a trip is to take travelers off the beaten path,” says Komer. The couple avoids typical or popular yoga retreats and opts for more unique locations where travelers can explore the hidden corners of the world, connect with the locals, find fun ways to sweat, and share yoga with the community.
Athlete.Yogi.Traveler is currently booking travelers for its upcoming AYT Nicaragua Experience set to kick off November 17 through 23. Travelers will stay at Magnific Rock Resort at Playa Popoyo on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. Daily yoga sessions taught by Jaime Komer, surf lessons and cooking classes are just a taste of the offerings in this Central American country.
“The AYT Nicaragua Experience will go beyond adventure travel and a typical yoga and wellness retreat to create an experience for people of all fitness levels,” explains Matt Komer, who was given the title of Master of Direction by his wife. “The experience will be filled with activities that will allow people to learn new things about themselves while making a difference in the local communities we visit.”
An important component to the AYT Experience is the concept of giving back to other communities. The Komers currently do this through the Mat Movement, a philanthropic wellness concept of sharing yoga and the lifestyle behind it with other communities. In Nicaragua, AYT will partner with Project Woo, a local non-profit dedicated to promoting sustainable community development, to give back to the locals by empowering them through yoga.
There are still spaces available for the AYT Nicaragua Experience. For more information or to sign up, visit www.athleteyogitraveler.com. Also watch for future AYT Experiences to Tuscany, Italy and Rwanda.
The Komers hope their movement will catch on with individual travelers, companies, groups and teams. “It’s creating a concept that people know about and people are living,” says Jaime Komer. She and Matt hope that AYT travelers will be inspired to live out their dreams, learn about yoga, and have the means and knowledge to lead happier lifestyles into the future. “We’re doing it, you can too.”