Samahita Retreat is located on the southern tip of Koh Samui island.¬† The retreat offers yoga, detox and wellness programs.¬† Min Sim shares her experience from attending a one-week (7-14 January 2012) yoga retreat at the resort.
I have heard about Samahita Yoga Thailand for many years now, and seen¬†lots of¬†pictures of their beautiful premises.¬† But setting foot on the retreat for the first time, I was still blown away by the experience‚ÄĒthe tranquil surroundings, the sound of waves gently hitting the beach, the thoughtful architecture, and meticulous landscaping.¬† The week that followed was in many ways the perfect yoga holiday‚ÄĒMysore style practice every morning, followed by a long leisurely brunch, then a talk in the late afternoon by the guest teacher, followed by a relaxing dinner with newfound yoga friends.
The yoga program for the week was taught by guest teacher John Campbell, one of the few certified teachers of Ashtanga Yoga in the world.¬† Mornings start at 7:30am with basic pranayama and meditation for half an hour.¬†¬†Thereafter, the room would be divided into two halves with new-to-Ashtanga folks following a led primary sequence on one side, whilst more experienced students did Mysore-style practice on the other side.¬† John straddled the two halves, at times leading the led class, and at other times giving guidance and adjustments to students¬†doing self-practice.
Practice usually ends by 10am, which marks the start of the buffet-style brunch.¬† Food, be it for brunch or dinner, is a major highlight of the retreat.¬† The chef is creative and thoughtful, and never fails to surprise with wholesome and tasty vegetarian fare, featuring the best and freshest of Thai produce.¬† Brunch is also a very social affair‚ÄĒthe perfect time to exchange yoga experiences and travel tips with other guests.
Afternoons are relaxed and leisurely, with guests tanning by the beach, reading by the pool, or catching a nap in the lounge area.¬† In the late afternoon, John would conduct a talk cum Q&A on a range of topics–anything from meditation and pranayama techniques, to Buddhist philosophy, to snippets of his own yoga experiences and practice.¬† This is followed by buffet-style dinner, and more time to chat and chill with other guests.
At the end of the retreat, we were treated tp a yoga demonstration by John, where he¬†did a selection of poses from the Ashtanga primary, intermediate and advanced sequences.
I came back from the retreat feeling recharged by the yoga, refreshed by the serene surroundings, and happy from a week of¬†delicious, wholesome¬†vegetarian¬†food.¬† If you‚Äôre looking for a holiday combining active and healthy living,¬† Samahita Yoga¬†Thailand¬†(www.yoga-thailand.com) is definitely one place to check out.