Oriana Virtual Retreat Platform

What is Oriana? 

Oriana is an SaaS offering from Phlyt that allows multiple groups to host meditation retreats. Oriana gives teachers easy to use tools to create lessons and curriculum for their retreat, and a clean and simple interface for the participants of the retreat to interact with. Oriana also provides communication tools for teachers and participants to interact. This allows for both teacher and student to interact as closely as they would in an in person retreat, from the comfort of their own homes.

How does Oriana work?

Oriana focuses on two personas, Teachers and Students.

Teacher Point Of View

Teachers are able to log into the site and create the schedule for the retreat, including their talks. They are free to include, text, images and video all using Oriana’s easy to use course designers.

Oriana provides a simple interface for teachers to manage the attendees as well as communicate with them.

Student Point Of View

After being added to the retreat, students are prompted to sign into the retreat with an email sent  by the Oriana system. Inside the platform the student can immediately view all scheduled retreats that they have been signed up for. Entering a retreat will provide the student instant access to the daily scheduled events and content created by the teachers.


Using the Oriana chat feature a student can engage with a teacher in the retreat without leaving the Oriana application.

Why did Phlyt make Oriana?

Luke Shannon, Phlyt President, got to know Michelle and Jesse from attending retreats with them in both Ottawa and Honolulu. When the lockdown happened, a retreat Luke was hoping to attend was canceled. This prompted a discussion about how retreats could be hosted remotely. From this discussion Oriana was born.

Platform Usage

Our first users of the platform have been members of the Vipassana Hawai’i retreat. In the early days of Covid lockdowns, Vipassana approached about helping them move to a digital platform from the in person retreats where attendees would fly from all over the globe to attend a multi day retreat. Phlyt launched Oriana to help with this need and has continued to work closely with Vipassana to keep iterating and building on the platform.

At this point in time, we have had over 330 users from 10 different countries. These users range from  highly tech-savvy individuals to those still running on Windows XP and Internet Explorer 8 (which, I should note,  no one supports anymore). We have been able to ensure that across the 5 retreats, those who would have been making trips out to the beautiful campus in Hawaii, are still able to enjoy and participate in all that Vipassana has to offer, from their own home. 

What Are People Saying About Oriana?


"Oriana has been the essential ingredient to helping our organization pivot to online teaching during this unprecedented era of pandemic-related travel restrictions. The platform has allowed us to offer our teachings to a much wider range of students than we ever would have been able to do in person – and with more consistency and depth than we could have ever imagined. 

The course format is clean, clear, easy to use – and simple to build and transform. Oriana has enabled us to develop a series of robust and dynamic offerings that seamlessly integrate live sessions with video and audio recordings, images and text - as well as any kind of downloadable content - so that students from time zones around the world can feel involved and up-to-date on all the offerings during a course. 

The development team has been amazing to work with and are always ready to answer and assist with any technical questions at any time of day or night. They have incorporated numerous ideas of ours into the platform so that the tool feels perfectly suited to our needs – and we feel confident it can adapt if those needs ever change. 

Our online offerings are now central to our programming and will remain at the heart of our work no matter what happens in the future with in-person retreats. With Oriana we are excited about this reality and feel entirely at ease knowing that our work can fully and joyfully come to life online.

~ Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey, Vipassana Hawaiʻi

Architecture and Technology

Oriana was built by the Phlyt product team, a team consisting of some incredibly talented designers, engineers, and product managers. We were able to take our learnings from past products in the online training space to create the Oriana platform.

Oriana is a Cloud Native application hosted on AWS. The application is using AWS ECS and deployed on multi availability zones. The database is using AWS RDS also on multi availability zones. Oriana is resilient and auto scale on demand for better performance.

For security, everything is encrypted on transit (HTTPS) and at rest (disk). Also we do not store any passwords or credit card details on our database.

The frontend is a stateless app built with ReactJS, Ant Design and UmiJS.

The backend is build with Java, Spring (Boot, Web, Security)

Learn More About Oriana

To learn more about Oriana, or to host a retreat with Oriana please visit the Oriana website