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Koh Samui, Thailand

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Home » Yoga » Yoga FAQ

Samahita FAQ


On Yoga

I've never done yoga before. Is that a problem?

Not at all for the Flexi-Date YogaCoreCycle Program. We welcome students of all levels. Since we teach gentle flow style classes,Guided Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, and Mysore style, it’s easy to work with individuals based on their level of experience. You can find our YogaCoreCycle detailed class descriptions.

Regarding Fixed Date Group Yoga Retreats, as we host a range of teachers with varying backgrounds, each one has their own specific entry level requirements. You can find this information in each retreat description. Please look up the retreat that interests you. If you require additional, specific information you can contact either our reservations team.

Gor Fixed Date Yoga Teacher Trainings and Advanced Teacher Trainings please visit the web page for specific requirements.

What is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga?

Ashtanga Vinyasa is a beautiful yet thorough approach to asana practice. It is rooted in a solid tradition and carries with it the strength of thousands of years. Ashtanga is the basis of so many approaches today. It masterfully presents the postures and lets the students move through them, growing and undoing the blocks they encounter. It incorporates movement with breath, a unique science in its own right. Its real advantage is that it gives the student a practice and something to always progress and develop in.

Paul and the teachers on site are highly experienced in this practice. Paul, specifically, was one of a few in the world to be directly certified by Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois.

What is Mysore style?

Mysore style is the self-practice component of the Ashtanga Vinyasa method. This approach works with students individually, so that they progress according to their own level. A beginner starts with only a few poses, gradually adding more and more as their practice develops and their proficiency and commitment evolves. This ensures that the student is always challenged and growing while, at the same time, practicing at the level appropriate for them.

Do you incorporate any meditation and or breath work at your centre? Can I still join in even if I have a hard time sitting on the floor for long periods of time?

Yes, we our YogaCoreCycle Program features seated contemplation meditation as well as breathxwork  and pranayama classes. Our teachers will guide you into a comfortable seated position using the help of props such as cushions and blocks, and in specific cases the student may sit on a chair.

If a student needs a break during these sessions they are welcome to lay down on their back for a few minutes to relieve tension, and then sit up again to join the group, slowly building up. You can find a detailed description of the morning meditation and breath work practices on our YogaCoreCycle Page.

What does it mean to be “certified” to teach by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois? Is it the same to be “authorized” by him?

To be “certified” by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga takes many years of committed practice, devotion, and study and to have risen to an advanced level in it. As of 2008, there are thirty-six individuals in the world to have received this qualification. Paul is one of them.

“Authorization” to teach typically requires at least four visits to Mysore to study with Sharath (and, in earlier days, with Sri Jois). The candidate must be competent in the practice of the primary series and must also be practicing at least the intermediate series.

What do these levels actually mean in terms of teaching and learning?

Really they only refer to where one has gone in practice and not one’s teaching ability. The teacher’s dedication, sincerity, willingness to study and reflect,spiritual direction and even level of practice will determine the teaching delivery, typically influenced by a variety of sources.

The teachers at Samahita reflect a high standard of integrity in their teaching based on an informed approach to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. The teachers will connect with and assist students to develop a self-practice that can be sustained  in everyday life.

How many students are in a class?

This depends on the program you sign up for. The main yoga shala accommodates up to seventy people at one time. It can be subdivided into three sections depending on what programs are on at the same time.

We  have outdoor beach shala’s, which are available for smaller groups.  The peaceful, seaview setting makes them quite  a popular yoga space with ourguests seeking some relaxation and connection to nature...

During our single peak-season retreats, such as over Christmas and New Year we use the entire indoor shala space for the one retreat.

How many teachers teach a class?

Retreats are generally led by 1 or 2 main teachers along with an assistant or two. The set up depends on the retreat teacher and the number of students that have signed up.

For theYogaCoreCycle Program we have at least one or two teachers for the morning Mysore class.There is one teacher for led (guided) Ashtanga Vinyasa class, and one teacher for the evening restorative classes.

Our teachers are able to guide students into the appropriate class for the student’s level. After a few led classes, students are encouraged to enter the mysore class, as they can then work on a more one to one capacity with the teachers and possibly be empowered with their own take-home practice.

Can I buy or borrow a mat onsite?

You can borrow a mat for the duration of your stay. Please sign it out at the reception. You can also buy a good quality mat from our eco-lifestyle shop. (add link to the eco-lifestyle boutique page)

On Stay

What is the difference between being a “Fixed Date Group Yoga Retreat” guest and being a “Flexi-Date YogaCoreCycle” guest?

Being on a Group Yoga Retreat would mean spending 7, sometimes 14 days, with a dedicated teacher, either one of our own, or a Guest teacher. Yoga, food, and accommodation are all included in the program. Some retreats have 10 guests and others have larger groups of 60 people, all joining together to learn and grow.

Our YogaCoreCycle Program is suitable for all levels and it includes integrated fitness meditation and pranayama classes, including self- practice and guided options. As a YogaCoreCycle guest you still have the all-inclusive component along with flexible dates, This Program has a three day minimum stay, no maximum and features yoga, food and accommodation.

Can my friend/spouse stay and not do the yoga program?

Yes, though it will depend on booking levels for your chosen dates.

Friend / Family Room & Board Rates

These are available to any registered Samahita Retreat guest's partner, family member or friend, who is not interested in participating in any of the Programs/Retreats/Trainings but will stay in a room and board capacity. Shared accommodation, food, and the facilities are open to the Room & Board guest(s).

Peak Seasons

During our Peak periods, the friends and family rate applies to single and deluxe rooms only. For more information please email our reservations team.

  • YogaCoreCycle, Detox and Wellness Programs are not available during this time.
  • If you would like to experience wellness or detox please choose an additional Add On Program.
  • We only accept bookings for the full retreat. Prorate is not available during peak periods.

The following Weeks are referred to as Peak Season Weeks:

Dec 19 – 26, 2015 Christmas Retreat with Paul Dallaghan

Dec 26, 2015 – Jan 2, 2016 New Year Retreat with Paul Dallaghan

Jan 27 – Feb 7: Yin/Insight Yoga Teacher Training with Sarah Powers

Mar 6 – 13: Training with Tiffany Cruikshank

Mar 20 – Apr 2: A Two-Week Retreat for Experienced Students with Richard Freeman

Jul 2 – Jul 16: Special Continuing Education Program with Paul Dallaghan

Jul 16 – 30: Special Continuing Education with Paul Dallaghan and Sri. O.P. Tiwari

I cannot join a full weeklong retreat. Can I still come?

We prefer to give priority booking to those who can stay a whole week; however, if you can come for only part of the time, the retreat rate will be prorated. The minimum stay for a retreat, in any event, is five days.

You can always join our YogaCoreCycle program instead -the minimum number of days for this program is 3 days

Non-Residential Guests

Samahita Retreat is a residential retreat center. All our Flexi-Date Programs,Group Yoga Retreats and Teacher Trainings are inclusive of accommodation, food and yoga. In special cases or when our center is fully booked, we have a Non-Residential Rate.

Please contact our reservations team for more details.

Can I bring my children? What are the fees for kids?

We are family friendly, and children are welcome. We only ask that you help us maintain the serenity of our center, particularly at practice times, early in the morning and in the evenings. The retreat is generally quiet after dinner 8.30- 9pmish and conducive to rest. Children age 12 and under can stay free with one paid adult. If you are bringing a child, you must pay for a single room. Children from 13 to 17 pay half, and those 18 and above must pay full adult rate. Please email reservations for rates.

Can you help me find a babysitter?

Yes, we can arrange a babysitter for you. Usually one of our staff members can babysit in their free time, though we cannot guarantee that they will speak English. We have our dedicated kid’s center to accommodate kid’s needs. Please read our Guidelines for bringing children to Samahita Retreat. http://www.samahitaretreat.com/children-yoga.html

Can I smoke or have alcoholic beverages in my room?

No. We are a place of health and well-being. We are a smoke- and alcohol-free place.

Do you offer any discounts or work exchange programs?

No, we are not set up for this. Our approach is to work with individual students over a long period of time and treat all cases on an individual basis.

Do you have internet service? Can I bring my laptop?

Yes, we have WiFi throughout the property. We also have a few computers for you to use if you don’t want to bring your laptop.

Will I have the time to visit any other parts of the island during my stay?

Yes, you will typically have a few hours in the middle of the day to visit.

The retreat schedules vary depending on the teacher, and are detailed in each retreat description. Many retreats take Wednesday afternoon off when we offer a complementary boat ride to a couple of beautiful islands where you can go snorkeling.

A couple of nights a week we also offer complementary shuttle bus rides for guest who wish to go shopping at some of the islands famous walking street markets.

Our reception staff would gladly help you organize sight-seeing trips of your own. You can hire taxis from the retreat centre and also a number of tourist destinations on the island offer pick up and drop off services.


On Food

Do you serve meat or dairy products?

We serve mainly vegetarian food with fish dishes 3 or 4 days a week. Eggs are available to order and are included in the brunch offering every day. Please order them at the juice bar on the days you would like to have some.

For those that do not take fish or eggs, there is always an alternative protein option available.

Milk is available as well as home-made rice and soya milk. For more information about our Sattva Dining restaurant look here.

What if I'm allergic to certain foods?

If you are allergic to certain foods, please email our reservations team with details. You can also inform the kitchen/wellness staff upon arrival. The kitchen staff can make special meals for you. We can accommodate vegan and raw-food diets.

Every single menu served at our buffet is detailed on the black board just outside the dining hall. On it you will find clearly noted symbols stating if the dish is vegan, contains wheat or eggs etc.

Do you serve coffee or tea?

We have self-service herbal tea (ginger, lime and mint ) in our Sattva Dining restaurant from 7am to 1pm, and then again at dinner time from 6-8pm.. Coffee is also available in our restaurant from 7am-1pm. If you prefer, you can order espressos, cappuccinos and so onat the juice bar, which will be added to your room bill.



On Payment

Can I pay by credit card at Samahita Retreat?

Yes, we accept Visa and Mastercard.

Can I pay when I get there?

No, we need a 50% deposit when you book. This helps us limit no-shows and ensures spaces for others.

What VAT or service charges should I expect to pay while I am in Thailand?

There is a VAT charge of 7% (tax) on items you buy from a shop, as well as on taxis and massages. At Samahita Retreat the VAT and service on your accommodation is included in your booking rate. We have a staff tip box at reception for you to leave a gratuity if you like. This gesture is usually made when checking out, 250 baht a week is usually appropriate.

Thank you.



Why combine yoga and fitness?

Integrating Yoga and Fitness by Paul Dallaghan

Yoga with meditation can take care of the whole body with a focus on spiritual development. The physical elements can be enhanced through greater and more complete fitness training, that involves cardio activity and more core and muscular strength work. Lifestyle today is vastly different to even 15 years ago, let alone 50 or more years ago. We are continuously wired and connected, busy minds with irregular physical active and comforts that cause us to neglect our core support, needed for both a healthy body and a positive yoga practice.

Fitness activities are adapting today to handle new interests. Yoga still benefits from some of these fitness activities.Ultimately, one’s lifestyle, health, both body and mind, benefits from the integration of the two. Many research studies show how exercise benefits the brain and how meditation benefits mental and physical health. Yoga, as practiced primarily today, has the unique advantage to work on both aspects.

Lifestyles are vastly different today than both ancient and more recent times of yoga practice. The poses can be restorative and developmental to both body and mind. However, today we move less due to the benefits of modern comforts. Previous generations involved more walking to places and more physical work. We need cardio activity and some additional core focused work, especially as we age. If both are done in moderation they can work together symbiotically, improving strength, support of the body, aerobic capacity, and in so doing satisfy physical needs of the body, making more space for mental activity, both in terms of mental productivity and mental space through a sitting, breath, and contemplative practice.

It is evolution, change is inevitable, and the needs of practitioners have to be considered. It may be called a growth. From our own yogic experience and expertise it is more of an acknowledgement that asana is excellent in its purpose with specific effects on the neuro-endocrine level, affecting the autonomic functions, so internal health, while toning and strengthening the body’s appendages. Not everybody’s body is ready only for yoga and needs more activity. When yoga has done its best for the body then realising the need for some cardio and core work is inevitable. In past times as yoga practitioners aged, taking an Indian example, a fitness routine of strong and long walks was added to the practice. Yoga from the physical point of view is not only limited to body contortions but involved taking care of the body on all levels. That is what this is about. These additional programs will not interfere or undermine our typical yoga asana practices, rather add to them as an option for you. Lastly, by engaging in these other physical forms it helps place the appropriate attention on asana in asana as opposed to a complex work out that asana has become, ironically reducing the asana’s effect. According to yogic teachings, asana is to be done with both controlled breathing and a steady heart rate for it to be of benefit, which by its nature differs from exercise. Separate to that the body must, and does benefit from, good physical activity that can raise the heart rate or engage core muscles of support. Combining the two separately offers an optimal program.

How can YogaCoreCycle benefit Yoga Practitioners?

For those who are committed yoga practitioners, fitness is a compliment to their practice. For those who are not "yogis", Yoga Core Cycle is a well -rounded, all inclusive program where the guest has the opportunity to choose classes, depending on interest and energy level. There are some "pure" fitness classes that do not include any yoga and other classes which are dedicated only to developing your own practice to take home. All  of the cycle programming is based on HIIT principles, helping guests burn the most amount of calories in the least time and get greater CV benefits. Circuit/ Strength training is designed to compliment a yoga practice and focus on common injury prevention and strengthening areas common to weakness for the average person. Important to a health and fitness program is an emphasis on the mental side which breath work and meditation provide, ultimately as part of yoga, but beneficial to all types of practitioner, whether interested in the physical part of yoga practice or not.

For those struggling to get through a 60 minute yoga class, being de-conditioned or out-of-shape, unable to raise the heart rate from a beneficial fitness level, cycling done at high intensity intervals offers one of the best solutions to get back in-shape as well as being an essential component for those wishing to lose weight. Participating in a purposeful strength program based around improving proprioception, joint stability, functional movement and core stability will positively affect anybody’s physical yoga practice by decreasing the uncontrolled range of motion that comes with hyper-mobility and lax joints and ultimately leads to injury.

The increased functional strength will enable physical yoga practitioners to more readily access bandhas in their practice and build the necessary muscular strength and stamina to get through challenging asana transitions. Functional movement will give practitioners insight as to how the body should move naturally, which they can take into their practice, rather than forciing the body, they follow the natural, proper patterns. Proper neurological sequencing of exercises and muscle recruitment help to break down faulty movement patterns and rebuild new, healthy ones. Yoga contributes to an increased range of motion, which if proper stability has been built, ultimately gives the person access to increased strength through multiple ranges of motion required for daily activities and sport. Separating your requirements for fitness from your yoga practice enables you to really practice yoga as a moving meditation, rather than worrying about it being your workout for the day. Combining Cycling, Integrated Strength and Yoga enables you to get everything together, in less time.

To summarize, Cardio conditioning helps strength and weight loss.  Improved strength, joint and core stability help access yoga bandhas.  Faulty movements are broken down and new patterns established.

What do I need to wear for fitness classes?

Please wear comfortable, light weight clothing which allows you to move freely. Please bring trainers/running shoes/sneakers/vibram 5-toes/tennis shoes and socks.

What do I need to bring to fitness classes?

We recommend you bring a water bottle and a small towel. (Both available from our shop if you prefer to purchase on site).

Are fitness classes suitable for beginners?

Yes, our classes are designed to suit all levels. The teachers are trained to offer modifications and different levels dependent on student capacity and energy levels.

Are fitness classes suitable if I have an injury?

If you have a specific injury, please email our fitness team in advance of your visit to confirm suitability of the YogaCoreCycle for you. Our team can help to modify and offer suggestions but we are not a medical facility.  Please consult with your doctor before booking your program.

Are fitness classes suitable if I am pregnant?

Our team are trained to offer modifications and guidance for pre- and post-natal women. It will be important that you take care of your own energy levels and stay hydrated.  Please consult with your doctor first if you are unsure.

Are fitness classes suitable if I am unfit and out of shape?

Yes, yes YES! It is natural to be concerned, shy, or anxious about joining classes, especially if fitness is new to you. Our team are standing by to help you increase your functional fitness, whatever “condition" you are in when you arrive.

Do I have to join the Yoga classes? I only want to take the fitness classes.

Our weekly schedule has been designed so classes stand alone, but are also combined for your optimal health and well-being. You get to choose which classes you take and our team will be standing by to help you..(The Yoga Core Cycle Program includes food, accommodation, meditation, fitness, yoga and breath work - it's not possible to only pay for only one of these options).

Do I have to join the Fitness classes? I only want to take the Yoga classes.

This is your choice! Our Yoga Core Cycle Program allows you to choose which classes suit your interest and energy level. If you want to focus exclusively on your own yoga practice, you can. We invite you to see how our different classes can help to create balance for body, spirit and mind and support your yoga and meditation practices.

I am joining a Yoga Teacher Training/Advanced Teacher Training. Will I also be able to join in any fitness classes?

During your training, there will be an option to join a limited number of specific classes from the overallYogaCoreCycle offering which are timed to fit in with the training schedule of your program. At the meet and greet of your program the schedule shall be reviewed.

I am joining a fixed date Group Yoga Retreat. Will I also be able to join in any fitness classes?

During your fixed date Group Yoga Retreat, there will be an option to join a limited number of specific classes from the overallYogaCoreCycle offering which are timed to in with your schedule.  If you would like to do more fitness, we would recommend you join instead the Flexi-Date YogaCoreCycle program or a dedicated Fixed-Date Group Fitness Retreat when offered on the annual schedule.

I am joining a Private Yoga Retreat. Will I also be able to join in any fitness classes?

During your Private Yoga Retreat, there will be an option to join a limited number of specific classes from the overallYogaCoreCycle offering which are timed to fit in with your teacher’s schedule.

I still have questions. Who should I ask?

For questions on payment, accommodation or travel, please email our reservations team. For questions on Fitness and Yoga please email our Fitness team.



Wellness FAQ

What is the benefit of booking a Wellness Spa Program?

You will receive a bigger discount for all wellness therapies and treatments for joining a Wellness Spa Program. We have tailored our 3/5/7 day programs so you don’t have to decide on what treatments you need when you arrive. The treatments can be pre-booked through reservations and you will receive priority booking. The treatment times can be adjusted if needed when you arrive at Samahita Retreat, subject to availability.

If I don't use all the treatments in the Wellness Program, do I get a refund?

No. These treatments have been discounted for advanced purchase. Refunds cannot be given.

Can I change treatments on a Wellness Program?

Yes. You can add on other treatments in addition to your chosen program. These will be offered at 30% discount. One particular treatment may have a desired result and additional treatments can be of benefit within a health focused and well being setting.

Can I add on extra treatments to my Wellness Program?

Yes. You can add on other treatments in addition to your chosen program. These will be offered at 30% discount. One particular treatment may have a desired result and additional treatments can be of benefit within a health focused and well being setting.

If I am already booked to come to Samahita Retreat on a yoga retreat, can I add on a Wellness Program during the same time period?

Yes. You can add on a Wellness Program to your current yoga retreat or continuing education training reservation. Please email reservations for pricing.

You might even decide once you are here that you would like to add on a Wellness Program. You are welcome to do this subject to space.

Additional questions

Where can I shop if I forget to pack something?

We are a fully inclusive retreat. All yoga classes, meals and drinking water are included in your Group Retreat or YogaCoreCycle rate. In addition, you can order food, juices, and smoothies off our delicious a la carte menu without having to leave the centre,

We have a boutique on site where you may choose to buy yoga wear, yoga books, note books, yoga mats, hats, sun screen, body lotions, shampoos, toothpaste and so on. (add link to the shop).

There are also a few corner shops not far away. You can ask at the reception for directions.



Detox FAQ

Detox Programs

Is the Faster's Detox suitable for someone who has never fasted before?

Depending on your body type, you may be able to complete a Faster's Detox program. Our personal detox programs are tailored to suit your body's requirements as assessed by our pre-arrival questionnaire. Your program may be solely Yogi's, Nature's or Faster's Detox or a combination of two or all three.

Will I feel hungry while on a detox program?

Our programs are designed so that you receive regular refreshments throughout the day, keeping fluid levels high and helping to keep hunger at bay. It is normal however to experience feelings of hunger, especially for the first two days of a detox program when your system will be adjusting to a drop in calories. One of our detox drinks that you receive twice daily contains plenty of bulk fiber which helps to satisfy hunger cravings. Drinking enough water during the day and in between the refreshments will also help to avoid hunger.

Will my energy levels be affected while on a detox program?

It is normal for energy levels to fluctuate during a detox program, often dropping to lower than normal for the first few days, this is due to the restricted intake, a toxin-free diet and the initial symptoms of detoxification If you are accustomed to consuming large amounts of caffeine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches, mental lethargy and sluggishness.

What symptoms may I expect while on the detox program?

A number of detox reactions are common, including headaches, especially if withdrawing form caffeine, constipation, diarrhea, body odor, bad breath, skin breakouts, lightheadedness, fatigue, muscular aches and mucous discharges. All of these are regular detox symptoms and are not a cause for concern. We offer simple remedies where appropriate.

Do I need to do the liver and gallbladder flush?

As part of your program we offer you an optional liver and gallbladder flush toward the end of your detox. The liver flush helps prevent gall stones, lowers cholesterol levels in the blood, reduces liver related headaches and migraines (ie. those with nausea), helps food allergies, eases constipation and improves vitality levels.

Can I come on a detox program to lose weight?

Weight loss is a natural part of a detox program. Old waste that has been stored inside the colon is released over the course of the program along with many toxins; we can store a number of kilos of old fecal matter in our systems so when it is released we can feel a lot lighter as a result. The restricted diet means a reduction in calories from our usual daily intake, so over a period of a few days some weight loss is normal as the body adjusts itself to closer to its natural weight.

Can I continue my Ashtanga Yoga practice while on a detox program?

You may continue with your regular Ashtanga practice while on a detox program. However, it is likely that you will need to modify the intensity of your practice to suit your energy levels. Our experienced teachers can help you to adapt your practice on a daily basis. We recommend you practice pranayama (yogic breathwork) daily throughout the detox program. Our yoga teachers will show you the pranayama practices most suitable for you.

I don't know which detox to choose, can I do a combination of any of the detox programs you offer?

Once you have decided that you would like to participate in a detox program and have confirmed your reservation, you will complete and return a pre-arrival questionnaire. This health and lifestyle assessment enables our Wellness Director to create a personal detox program for you. Your program may be solely Yogi's, Nature's or Faster's Detox or a combination of two or all three.

Will I feel better after completing a detox program?

You can gain many benefits from completing a detox program including; an enhanced sense of wellbeing, increased energy and stamina, improved digestion and circulation, weight loss, improved skin condition, better moods, a boost to the immune system and improved quality of sleep. For more info see our Benefits of Detox page

How do I transition from the detox program to normal eating?

Having spent time on a restricted, detoxifying dietary program, it is important that you transition to a normal diet in a safe way. It is important to introduce regular foods into your diet gradually to prevent side effects of incorrect transitioning such as abdominal bloating and cramps, gas and yeast infections. As part of your detox program you receive a detailed information pack with guidelines on how to transition from your detox to normal eating. For online advice please see our Post Detox Guidelines page.

Can I leave the retreat center during my detox program?

In between your mealtimes, drinks, supplements and therapies you are free to do as you wish, however, it is important to bear in mind that your body needs a lot of rest while on a detox program so we advise that your free time is quiet time for contemplation and relaxation. We are situated in a tranquil and beautiful part of the island which is perfect for your restoration and rejuvenation.

Can I share a room with my friend who wants to do a different detox/ yoga program?

Yes. The accommodation options are the same for all of our programs.

Should I book a single or share room if coming alone?

We recommend that you book a single accommodation to ensure the privacy you need during your detox program. You may wish to have access to a private bathroom in case you do enemas or for frequent toilet visits.

If I am already booked to come to Samahita Retreat on a yoga retreat, can I add on a Detox Program during the same time?

Yes. You can add on a Detox Program to your current yoga retreat or continuing education training reservation. Please email reservations for pricing.