Samahita Retreat Media Reviews
Over the years a number of media entities have wrote about or reviewed Samahita Retreat and its different specialties.
Media Reviews 2015
Asia’s top 10 wellness resorts
Exotic locations, ancient healing traditions and outstanding personal service is Asia’s recipe for outstanding resorts
By Chami Jotisalikorn, for CNN
Samahita Wellness Retreat (Koh Samui)
Originally started as Yoga Thailand by a yoga teaching couple in 2003, this center evolved into Samahita Wellness Retreat in a few years.
Located on a pristine beach in a tranquil bay, it has three yoga studios including a beachfront yoga pavilion.
Samahitaâs calendar offers regular teacher-training programs drawing students from around the world for international teacher certification and visiting yoga teachers.
It offers a variety of yoga (but it’s best known for Ashtanga yoga), detox and wellness retreats and packages, daily, short- and long-term.
The open-air beach dining room is intimate and laid-back. The poolside restaurant offers organic, low-fat, high energy, mostly vegetarian food.
Samahita Retreat, 55/20-24 Moo 4 T. Namuang, Koh Samui Surat Thani, Thailand; +66 (0) 77 920 090 , +66 (0) 77 920 091, +66 (0) 831 752 730
Read More >>
Have a Relationship with your Yoga Practice - A Dialogue with Paul Dallaghan and Tom Richter of www.startteachingyoga.com
Have a Relationship with your Yoga Practice â An interview with Paul Dallaghan
This summer I once again returned to Samahita Retreat on Koh Samui, Thailand to study with my teacher Paul Dallaghan.
Paul has been a helpful guide and great source of inspiration on my path of practicing and teaching Yoga.
So I thought itâs a great idea to sit down with Paul and ask him a couple of questions about the art of teaching Yoga. As Paul has been a practitioner, teacher and researcher of Yoga for 20 years now, I was curious to hear what his thoughts and advices are on teaching Yoga.
Paul has been studying in a one-on-one capacity with Yoga master Tiwariji, head of the Kayvalyadhama Institute in India and a true master and teacher of Pranayama. As well, he studied closely with the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois who granted him advanced certification to teach the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system.
Since 2012 he has been following his interest in research and is honored to be taken in by Emory University in Atlanta, USA, in the field of Biological Anthropology, where he is following a PhD program bringing the yogic practices and philosophy to the scientific field.
You can find out more about Paul here:
About Paul â Learn more about Paul and his life committed to teaching Yoga
Paulâs International Workshops â Check out where to practice with Paul
Samahita Retreatâs Website â A beautiful place to reconnect to yourself and Paulâs âhome baseâ, I highly recommend it.
Summary of key parts of our conversation:
After a short introduction I tell him how great it has been in the past weeks to practice and study with him, especially now, that he is not teaching so often. I ask how teaching in past weeks has been for him.
Paul: Itâs been very good. The opportunity to reconnect with a number students from the past and meet new students. But itâs also the mode of teaching that provides an opportunity to present a deeper understanding about practice and discuss that.
Some of that understanding about the practices gets refined as one studies slightly different subjects that merge on this â aspects from science on the medical side, on the physiological side, on the neuroscience side. And when those answer a few things, then what we practice also become a little more alive in them.
And then sharing those things with practitioners, like yourself, that have been in it for a while â some more, some less â and to have the opportunity to work through those things and especially when you go with questions and it digs things out.
So obviously for me as a teacher and somebody who thinks on this stuff, I couldnât ask for a better opportunity, and itâs in a perfect location.
The evolution of teaching in a teacherâs life
Tom: It definitely is a beautiful place, there is some healing power in dedicating some time to study, to relaxation, towards the study of those practices. I also find it very interesting â having studies with you over the past couple of years, to see the evolution in your way of teaching. Obviously the foundation has remained, but I can see a refinement, an openness to incorporate new insights that you get from your research and as well from your consistent committed practice over so many years.
One of the main fears of young Yoga teachers is not being ready to teach, not knowing enough. As I see how much you evolved already in the last 7 years, having been practicing Yoga for 20 years, how should a young Yoga teacher approach this fear, especially if they compare themselves with there own teachers that have much more experience?
Paul: Well, Thatâs an issue in many fields, also for example in the academics. For example PHD-students teaching undergraduate students. Who is really ready. There is even a joke among seasoned professors: âHow can I have read the book, yet? I havenât even taught the course.â In most teaching environments you are kind of thrown into the teaching role and have to put it together. And where I think Yoga has gone astray and has lost some of his impact force is when we start teaching ahead of ourselves.
If you as a young teacher are thinking âI am not readyâ- what does that mean, ready for what? Ready for the level of some senior teacher? Obviously that takes time.
Or, I try to make up for my feeling of not knowing enough, so I take bits and peaces from different workshops and push them into my class. Because thatâs what people want â cool and exciting.
What is Compassion if You Canât Help? Paul Dallaghan
Paul Dallaghan has a yoga retreat that I can only describe as the Richard Bransonâs Isand for yogaâŠ
Any yoga âreal thingâ youâd like is there, at his place in Ko Samui, Thailand (Iâve been to the place twice). For example: ayurvedic treatments, infrared saunas, pool, steaming showers, excellent food, exceptional yoga and pranayama instruction and amazingly beautiful accommodations by the oceanâŠ
And he is one of the most humble people I know. Maybe that is why everything good comes his wayâŠ Although life is not always easyâŠ
I found out in a rather âbrutal wayâ for podcast standards so to speak, that he is no longer with his wifeâŠ I went unconscious and said:
To which he laughed and said: âNothing to be sorry about, but yeah, go aheadâ
Just like comedian and philosopher Louis CK says: divorce is a good thingâŠ
When two peopleâs journeys come to an end, then so be itâŠ
What We Talked About
- He drops a bomb on me.Â I get news about his life right off the start which I did not know.
- Paul does NOT get jet lagâŠÂ and he gives tips on how to avoid it as much as possible
- His start in yoga in New York after business school
- Since he got clear that yoga was his thing, doubts melted away and he felt a surrendering come over him.
- Paul is one of ONLY two students of pranayama and yoga master Tiwariji (of the Kayvalyadhama Institute in India) Â we talk about it and Paul says it all happened very naturallyâŠ
- We talk about how he met him
- One thing to notice is that every time he started building the beautiful retreat centers, he had NO money.
- How the amazing yoga retreat he maintains in Ko Samui Thailand came to be in a very organic way
- The daily contemplation practice that Paul does in 4 steps, to prepare for the day and practice
- And how this practice continues to be very useful and helpful for him after more than decade of practice
- Paul says: Â This practice comes from a place where we acknowledge that: âI need help because I donât know anythingâŠ And then there is lifeâŠ And dealing with itâŠ And that is why we ask for helpâ
- The Gayatri Mantra and how it helps on clarity
- He proposes we could all meet together in 20 years and see how the practices helped each of us
- Paul notices as he sees students around the world a lot of tension in the upper part of the belly and why this is
- What took Paul a long time to understandâŠ
The two of us
Fresh from a world tour, internationally renowned yoga-teaching couple Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor return to Koh Samui in March for their annual two-
week course at Samahita Retreat. Richard has been a yogi since 1968 and is known for his unique, metaphorical teaching style, which incorporates Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar yoga and philosophy. Mary also teaches yoga and writes cookbooks. The couple runs the highly regarded Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado. samahitaretreat.com
âAs a couple, weâre drawn to Samui because
of its breath-taking beaches â like youâd see in photo-shopped photos of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Samui is mellow and welcoming. Working together, as a couple, is really pretty simple. We study together and always practice in the morning together before teaching. [Being in sync with each other] is vital. Trusting one another is also very important. Knowing that weâre usually on the same
page with things we might say [in class] and that if we arenât, that we can feel completely comfortable discussing what our differences of opinion might be â thatâs important. Teaching at Samahita is ideal. Within just a few days after our students start moving at a slower pace, having a few mangos and sinking their teeth into their yoga practice, we see them beginning to transform; we see the yoga having its natural effect on them! That’s very rewarding.â
âWeâre also drawn to Samui because of the interesting people weâve met here â the mix
of international expats and Thais who have
for various reasons wound up in this island paradise. We love listening to the sound of the Thai language being spoken and have decided one day weâll learn it ourselves. After all our years of teaching yoga together as a couple, Iâve learned that keeping a sense of humour is really important. Laughing with each other. We try to keep things in perspective. We work and live together and, of course, exploring the world is important to a healthy relationship, too. We have similar interests. On Samui, we love Samahita, but also the Buddhaâs Footprint [located near Lamai, these famous engraved footprints of the Buddha are housed in a pagoda perched high on a hill], the hiking trails around Laem Sor and eating yummy virtuous food at Kamalaya and Zazen in Bophut.â
Travel, Change Your Life. Huffington Post by Sabine Ludwig (in German)
Reisen, die das Leben verĂ€ndern
SchĂ¶ne Erlebisse sollte man erstmal sacken lassen. Sagt man zumindest. Und jetzt habe ich genĂŒgend Abstand, um von meiner Detox- und Destress-Woche imÂ Samahita RetreatÂ auf Kosamui zu erzĂ€hlen. Ehrlich gesagt, ich mĂ¶chte zurĂŒck, jetzt, sofort!
Die Seele wiederfinden im Samahita Retreat auf Kosamui.
Ich wusste nicht, was auf mich zukommt. Aber die sieben Tage haben ein StĂŒckweit mein Leben und meine Ansichten verĂ€ndert. Ich wĂŒrde sagen, zum Guten hin, aber, nun ja, das muss jeder fĂŒr sich selbst entscheiden, der sich auf so ein Experiment einlĂ€sst.
Fangen wir mit Yoga an. Trotz einiger Kurse in Deutschland hat es mir nie so richtig SpaĂ gemacht. Das erste Mal, dass ich wirklich begeistert war, kam durch die Yoga-Lehrerinnen Summer und Tracy. Klar, auch, weil die Location zauberhaft war. Ein Pavillion am Meer in Thailand, sozusagen ein Ăbungsraum mit Aussicht.
Sympathie hoch 3: Die Yoga-Lehrerinnen Amy (links) und Tracy.
Ich gehĂ¶rte zur Detox-Gruppe, also zu den Frauen, die ihren KĂ¶rper entgiften und auch ihre ErnĂ€hrungsweise umstellen wollen. Ja, tatsĂ€chlich, wir waren nur Frauen. MĂ€nner fanden sich dann eher in den anderen Gruppen, die Wellness-Tage mit Yoga, Meditation und veganer ErnĂ€hrung ausprobierten.
Eine Woche lang ernĂ€hrte ich mich von GemĂŒse-Smoothies und Ayurveda-Shakes. Strikt! Die ersten zwei Tage hatte ich Glieder- und Kopfschmerzen, doch ab dem dritten Tag fĂŒhlte ich mich einfach fantastisch. Ich verspĂŒrte zwar noch Appetit, aber keinen Hunger mehr.
Meine Yoga-Klasse besuchte ich dann nur noch am Abend, da ich LangschlĂ€ferin bin! Und das GroĂartige waren natĂŒrlich neben den ganzen Wellness-Behandlungen auch neue Freundschaften zu den Frauen in meiner Detox-Gruppe: Ilona, die Kanadierin, die als Lehrerin in Shanghai arbeitet, die AnwĂ€ltin Tuuli aus Helsinki, Daniela, eine Studentin aus Luzern, Life Coach Monique, die ein Bed and Breakfast in Amsterdam hat, Anja, Chemikerin aus Wien, Barbara aus Innsbruck, Paulina aus Singapur, Stephanie aus ZĂŒrich, Ann-Christin aus Oslo und Margi aus Holland.
Gemeinsam lagen wir am Pool, schwammen im Meer und machten lange StrandspaziergĂ€nge. Das Retreat wurde zu unserem Zuhause. Sehr schnell!
Zwei frische KokosnĂŒsse tĂ€glich – wie lecker!
Die obligatorischen Ayurveda-Pillen!
Gerade zweimal machten wir AusflĂŒge zum turbulenten Chaweng Beach, stromerten ĂŒber einen Nachtmarkt und einen Tempel. Das war’s dann aber auch, denn wir sehnten uns nach der Stille und Abgeschiedenheit des Retreats zurĂŒck. Unsere Tage wurden bestimmt von den festen Zeiten, in denen wir unsere “Mahlzeiten” einnahmen. Ich hatte das groĂe GlĂŒck, tĂ€glich zweimal den Saft von frischen KokosnĂŒssen trinken zu dĂŒrfen, worum ich von den anderen glĂŒhend beneidet wurde. Denn jede Fastenkur war anders und auf die Teilnehmerinnen abgestimmt.
“Einmal im Jahr gĂ¶nne ich mir eine Woche nur fĂŒr mich”, erzĂ€hlte mir Tuuli aus Finnland. Die Mutter von zwei Kindern ist schon zum vierten Mal im Samahita Retreat. “Hier finde ich meinen inneren Frieden und kann meine Batterien aufladen”, sagte die begeisterte Yogini. Und sie hat ihre Erfahrungen gemacht. “Wenn ich von hier abfliege, ist der Alltagsstress weg und ich fĂŒhle mich stark und ausgeruht.” Die Vegetarierin macht zusĂ€tzlich ein Fernstudium in Psychologie und mĂ¶chte in Zukunft ein eigenes Ressort haben. Das Haus dazu hat sie schon: “Mein Elternhaus in Finnland, umgeben von zwei Seen und vielen ApfelbĂ€umen.”
Monique bezeichnete die Woche im Retreat als Neustart. “Ich brauche einfach Zeit, um mich auf mich selbst zu besinnen.” Nach der Zeit hier fĂŒhle sie sich total relaxt, mit leerem Kopf und einem KĂ¶rper voller neuer Energie. “Meinen Job als Life Coach gehe ich nun mit neuer Kraft an!”
Tuuli aus Finnland: “Eine Woche nur fĂŒr mich!”
Yogalehrerin Tracy aus Philadelphia beschĂ€ftigt sich mit Heilkunst und unterrichtete sie in Arizona. Seit 10 Jahren macht sie Yoga und arbeitet seit ĂŒber einem Jahr im Retreat. Sie hat Menschen kommen und gehen sehen. “Ich erkenne, wie der Prozess hier die Menschen verĂ€ndert. Das ist genau das, was mir so an meinem Job gefĂ€llt: Unsere GĂ€ste blĂŒhen auf, sie leuchten von innen.”
Das bestĂ€tigt auch Amy. Sie lebt seit zehn Jahren auf Kosamui. “Die Leute, die hierher kommen, sind meist sehr gestresst vom Alltag, vom Job und vom Leben zuhause. Sie sind die reinsten NervenbĂŒndel. Und dann plĂ¶tzlich, nach einer Woche, ist davon nichts mehr zu spĂŒren”, sagt die Leiterin des Retreats. “Nein, Urlaub ist das hier nicht, das ist ein VerĂ€nderungsprozess fĂŒr jeden einzelnen. Auch geben wir Anregungen, wie diese Erfahrungen zuhause fortgesetzt werden kĂ¶nnen.”
Nach einer Woche von innen leuchten.
Die Samahita-GĂ€ste kommen aus aller Welt, doch in der Mehrzahl aus Europa. “BerufstĂ€tige Frauen ĂŒberwiegen, doch es finden auch immer mehr MĂ€nner zu uns”, sagt Amy. “Wir legen viel Wert auf das gegenseitige Zusammensein, das GefĂŒhl, eine Gemeinschaft zu sein. Deshalb gibt es bei uns auch nur groĂe Tische, an denen man zusammensitzt und miteinander ins GesprĂ€ch kommt. Hier sind schon viele Freundschaften entstanden.”
Eine Gemeinschaft finden.
Meine Zeit im Retreat liegt schon ein paar Wochen zurĂŒck. Ja, und wie fĂŒhle ich mich jetzt: Immer noch gut, obwohl das GlĂŒcksgefĂŒhl, das ich wĂ€hrend der Zeit meines Aufenthaltes und danach verspĂŒrt habe, schon ein wenig abnimmt. Doch die positive Grundstimmung habe ich beibehalten, und sie wird auch bei mir bleiben. Und ein paar Kilo habe ich auch abgenommen.
AuĂerdem: Detox werde ich auf alle FĂ€lle wieder machen, das steht fest. Wieder in tropischer Umgebung! Im nĂ€chsten Jahr, ganz bestimmt!
Am Strand entlang zur Laem Sor-Pagoda.
Euch hat dieser Artikel gefallen? Dann teilt ihn bitte, wir freuen uns darĂŒber!
Paradiesische Reisetipps und TrendsÂ hier!
Fotos: Sabine Ludwig
Media Reviews 2014
Amy Dennis Explores Samahita Yoga Retreat in Thailand
There are many fantastic reasons to come to the breathtaking Koh Samui island, off the east coast of Thailandâs peninsula, but the Samahita Retreat may well be the best.
This wonderful yoga retreat in Thailand offers exercise-packed holidays with some of the finest yoga instructors around in spectacular scenery, Samahita is at the top of its class.
As welcoming to mere beginners as to hardened yoga meisters, the open-plan dining area is where most guests mingle in between dips in the sea and yoga and meditation classes. When gurus such as Simon Low arrive, there is a certain buzz about the place, but generally a serene sense of calm casts over the cottage complex.
The bedrooms that lead off the centralised garden, which is full of rainforest-esque wildlife, are white and minimalist, while the practice decks are out in the elements, with a roof to protect from the glaring rays but which doesnât obstruct the views out to palm tree-lined beaches and beyond.
Paul and Jumita run this idyllic sanctuary and take reign of the classes when retreats arenât on. From hatha yoga and stress management practice, to Ashtanga Flow yoga, almost every notion of the practice is covered and is often accompanied with health, breathing and meditation lessons.
The days at this yoga retreat in Thailand usually begin at a pleasant 7.30am with Day Opening rituals to introduce the body to a new day of practice and continue with three classes throughout the day, usually coming to a close with meditation. On-site the pool and herbal steam room are popular after workshop hours as guests chill out and chatter.
The Magical Healing Power of Yoga
On March 31, 1986, my mother jumped out of the 7th floor window of her bedroom. On her way down she crashed onto a glass table in the backyard of the owners of the ground floor unit. She died that day. She was depressed and desperate.
To me, that felt like I received two shots, a bullet to the head and a cannon ball to the stomach.
I am not writing to tell you that story. This is about how healing a daily yoga practice can be.
In 2000 on my first yoga class I realized that there was some relation between what I felt in my stomach and the pain of what happened when I was 18.
Eight years later I learned I had a muscle called the âpsoasâ along with others deep within my stomach, which coincided with the time when I started doing drop backs onto the floor â from standing, dropping backwards onto the wheel pose.
I could never do it. Still canât.
Since it was so hard for me, I learned the physical part of the âdropping backâ very well. I studied it from every angle, consulted every teacher. But still nothing.
Last June I visited Paul Dallaghan at his yoga center in Thailand.
Media Reviews 2013
Clean Up Your ActÂ Â
Holidays aren’t just for relaxing any more. Going on aÂ detox holidayÂ is the new way to a fresh new you
When it comes to food, I’m no angel. I’m blissfully happy indulging my palate with things that are bad for me. Succulent steaks, crispy bacon, mounds of pasta, fried checken wings, spongy cakes and creamy lattes are things i wouldn’t dream of saying no to; the cruellest way to torture me would be to separate me from my favourite foods. So, when I checked into theÂ Samahita RetreatÂ in Koh Samui for a one-week detox programme, I found myself staring at a very thick detox guidebook, a daily schedule of detox herbs, pills and colon cleansing sessions, and I heard my stomach howl in fear.
Media Reviews 2012
An Oasis For Your Mind, Body and Soul
Imagine a place you can go, to spend some quality time with yourself. And by ‘self’ i actually mean your metaphysical or spiritual self.Â Samahita RetreatÂ is an oasis unlike any I have seen or experienced before. Tucked away on the southern part of Koh Samui, in Thailand, it’s a sanctuary dedicated to yoga, wellness and a balanced lifestyle.
I’m attending a month-long yoga teacher intensive here, led by the dynamic and inspiringÂ Stephen Thomas. One week in, and I’m beginning to see why so many people, yogis and others alike, consider this place a home away from home.
The schedule can be grueling: getting up at 6am every day, spending several hours in the morning doing breath work (pranayama) and yoga postures (asanas). Besides the physical activity, there’s much to think about too, with classes in philosophy and anatomy in the afternoon, followed by more yoga asanas.
I have found the classes in yogic philosophy particularly stimulating. The idea that ‘pure consciousness’ is all around and within us, that the universe (yes, that includes you) is nothing but vibrations of varying frequencies – these concepts force you to stop and think, and look at the world a little differently. The environment here supports that personal discovery.
Then there’s the food. It’s more than just delicious. It’s tasty on the palate as well as nourishing inside the body. Guided by the principles of a sattvic diet, the chefs at Samahita Retreat prepare some of the most amazing food you can eat without harming your body or mind. Everything is fresh and seasonal, there’s lots of fruit, cereals, legumes, vegetables and nuts. Meat is never served, though fish is sometimes available. We eat twice a day, and it’s always a pleasure to see what the chefs have conjured up with their imagination, from raw vegetable lasagnas to homemade salad dressings and jams to coconut fig balls to soups and stir fries. It truly is a feast for the eyes and the stomach.
Samahita Retreat also boasts a wellness centre offering a range of therapies, from traditional massages to detox therapies like colon cleansing and coffee enemas. All in all, this place takes a holistic approach to well-being, one that’s guided by the teachings of yoga but fits in with our modern world.
This place is about letting go, on so many levels: of bad habits, negative thoughts, repetitive behaviour, the inclination to judge and be judged. It’s a misconception that yoga is all about achieving bliss. Rather, it’s about balance: a realisation that life is not always bliss and neither should it be. The journey of self-discovery is never easy. But as the days and weeks progress, I can see myself truly relaxing here, away from the stresses of my life, in moments of silence and reflection. And that’s very important for each and every one of us, whether you realise it yet or not. And you don’t need a tropical retreat on a beautiful island to go to that space, though of course being surrounded by nature, healthy food and good company, helps.
Thailand’s Yoga Resort “Samahita”
Take time out to renew your mind, body and spirit by exploring new places while having wonderful experiences. The Samahita Yoga Retreat in Thailand will give you the best of both worlds, a vacation and wellness in one. Samahita Retreat was established in 2003 on the island of Koh Samui, and has been called by many a “hidden gem”. Owned and directed by yoga and lifestyle teacher, Paul Dallaghan, the Yoga retreat center has been a location for practice, learning and holiday for literally tens of thousands of guests from all walks of life over the years.
Originally known as Yoga Thailand, the yoga retreat center has grown and developed over the years and now encompasses a wellness center as well as its traditional yoga offerings. Samahita translates from Sanskrit as “centered” or “balanced”. To find balance is key – in daily habits, in weight management, in dealing with stress.
Samahita Retreat is home to Samahita Retreat, Centered Yoga and Samahita Wellness Thailand, three distinct entities that share a single purpose: to provide both the tools to work on yourself through specific practices and dedicated programs as well as the environment within to learn, change and renew. This is a personal mission and one we are committed to share with you.
Discover delicious and healthy food and an atmosphere conducive to both restoration and growth in a true community where many friendships blossom.
Samahita Retreat has a respected reputation in offering classical yoga practices and their philosophy through pranayama (breath), asana (body postures), vinyasa (breath and movement) and meditative techniques. Classical yoga embodies the wisdom of the Yoga Sutra and the practices of hatha, rooted in the original teachings but practical and accessible for a demanding life today.
Centered Yoga is a leader in the field of yoga education and teacher training. Since its founding in 1999 it has been offering courses for professional yoga teachers, those aspiring to become teachers, and serious students seeking to go deeper in the practice. We have earned the reputation as Asia’s most respected and longest running Yoga Alliance Registered Program both at the 200 and 500 levels and one of a few so well established and experienced in the world.
Samahita Wellness Thailand offers a complete approach to well-being, one that takes into account physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental aspects of one’s health. We offer several personalized and guided Detox, Healthy Weight and De-Stress programs, for either the first timer stepping into healthy approaches or one already in yoga and health to take your practice a step further while transforming your body and mind.
Samahita Retreat is located in the south of Koh Samui, right on the beach. It is in a quiet area off the beaten track, with plenty of privacy and comforts, yet still close to markets and amenities. The beach is virtually ours alone, many rooms in our yoga retreat have a direct sea view, while the surroundings are lush and green. Many of Koh Samui’s special attractions are down the south near us, waterfalls to temples and more. A walk down our beach brings you to the golden Laem Sor Pagoda of a realized Buddhist monk, whose force has drawn us to be established in this special spot.
All backgrounds of people join us here, whether yoga students, from beginners to advanced, those looking to lose weight and get healthy, regenerate from a stressful life to a holiday with all the healthy perks. It is the kind of place where someone traveling alone can meet people and feel at home, and where families can relax and enjoy themselves. (We offer many services for parents of young children, who might not have much time for their own time or yoga back home.) Even partners who don’t do yoga or wellness find our setup perfect for them while their other half gets on with the yoga and treatments! In short, all are welcome.
For your health and environment, Samahita Retreat is a smoke and alcohol free retreat center.
Samahita Retreat – The Boutique Retreat
Tucked away on Koh Samui’s unspoiled southern shore, Samahita Retreat combines the soulful tranquillity of a yoga ashram with the creature comforts of a boutique resort. Featured in the Taschen book, Great Yoga Retreats, the centre was founded in 2003 by New York yoga teacher Paul Dallaghan and his Thai- American wife Jutima, and boasts an enviable ocean-side location and meticulous ecoplanning (solar panels heat water; bathrooms are stocked with biodegradable toiletries). Alongside its yoga programmes, Samahita Retreat offers a range of supportive therapies such as ayurvedic and Thai massage, reiki and reflexology. Miami-based yoga teacher Kino MacGregor teaches a popular ashtanga yoga programme here and is effusive about the resort: “More than a yoga retreat, Samahita is a paradise where travellers and yoga students from all over the world come to heal their bodies and minds.” Ashtanga too much for you? Choose the ‘simple balanced living’ retreat for some gentle re-balancing, or the more intensive ‘de-stress programme’ as a respite from a high-powered lifestyle, with classical hatha yoga, coupled with breath-work to soothe overworked adrenal glands.
so you want to be a yoga teacher?
Kerri Kelly experienced the power of yoga firsthand when she mourned the loss of her stepfather after the September 11, 2001 tragedy in New York. “I was in one of the many yoga classes I attended during this painful time, when I realised how my yoga practice gave me the space I needed to cry, to mourn my loss and eventually to heal.” That was the transformative ‘it’ moment for Kelly, who quit her corporate advertising job and moved out west with the intention of studying yoga more deeply and eventually teaching. Today, 10 years after taking her first yoga teacher training course, she is a well-regarded teacher in the San Francisco Bay area. Her dream of teaching yoga is a reality.
Yoga in Thailand: Samahita retreat
Samahita is on Koh Samui, but don’t panic – situated on Laem Sor beach on the south coast, it’s at a safe distance from the debauchery of Chawang. Eco-friendly buildings use natural lighting, rainwater harvesting and solar power.
Yoga and fitness are taken very seriously here and the retreat is costly for a Thailand getaway. As such, guests tend to be extremely driven, with fixed goals of improving their practice, gaining yoga qualifications or learning about yoga philosophy.
They specialise in Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, and one of the teachers was directly certified by Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, who developed the style. Guest teachers are regularly brought in for focus retreats and workshops, teaching pre-natal yoga, pranayama and other specialist topics. Classes are taught in the retreat’s yoga shala which overlooks the meditation garden, beach and pool.
When you’re not in a downward dog
Reiki training, healthy cooking and massage workshops are available, or you can join a group barefoot run. Samahita is close to Laem Sor Pagoda, some interesting shopping areas and numerous walking routes.
Is it punishing?
The yoga is focused and intense, and if you’re booked in for one of their detox programs, your diet will be extremely limited. Alcohol and smoking are not allowed. But no pain, no gain, eh?
Rooms start at ÂŁ63 per night.Â www.samahitaretreat.com
Go on a yoga retreat in Koh Samui
Though South-East Asia has plenty of yoga centres, there are few places with a larger concentration of retreats than Koh Samui, arguably the new yoga capital of the region (just beware: flights are a little pricier, as none of the budget airlines fly here). Two in particular offer a high quality of instructors and facilities, though you’ll pay for the privilege: the plush Samahita Retreat (www.samahitaretreat.com), which focuses on the yoga courses (EUR790/$1,287 per week), but where you can stay for a few nights if you email; and the even fancier Absolute Sanctuary
Spa Junkie’s week-long yoga programme at Samahita Retreat in Thailand is drawing to a close.
DAY SIX, 7.30AM
Morning practice. Things have improved remarkably since I tweaked the diet. There is a great deal to be said for a focused retreat versus my twice-weekly classes in London. The advancements in my practice are beyond my expectations, and I am now doing headstands unassisted. I hold the pose for so long, it feels as though all my blood is in my head when I come down.
The middle of the days are ours to fritter away as we wish. Most spend time at the pool, but the resort also books boat and car excursions for those wanting to venture off premises.
In the afternoon we do technique class as well. And in the evening, kirtan – call-and response chanting. Maria and Rod sit at the head of the class and chant hymns. They use a keyboard and a harmonium and Maria’s voice is otherworldly; soon we are all seemingly in a trance.
DAY SEVEN, 7.3OAM
Today’s the day for ftill integration of the beginner class into the Mysore room. All of us disperse among the advanced practitioners, so we can observe and follow the seasoned (or use the sheet, if need be). The girl next to me tells me about “experiencing such empowerment… to practise on my own, at my own pace yet getting help from two teachers, and also sometimes go to the wall with props to work with… and to get to ask questions afterwards, address injuries…” Clearly she’s loved her week thus far.
In the afternoon we have Satsang – which is a sort of spiritual question/answer period – all about the practice and where to go with it once we’re back home. Essentially, how to sustain
a lifetime yoga practice.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“I have been doing Ashtanga for 20 years, and have had several injuries and bad teachers,” said one of our company during that final Satsang session, a guy I have kept in touch with. “What they showed me in that week renewed my hope for the practice.” For my part, I have left Thailand lithe and emotionally restored; but more than that, I feel empowered. What Ron and Maria have taught me is invaluable. To have been given a “self-practice” I compare with being taught meditation. It allows me the freedom to practise at any time and in any place, which for a business traveller like me means a full mind and body workout when I need one, with or without the gym. Not only have I lost a few kilos, but in a week my bingo wings have vanished and I feel long and lean. Call it science or call it sorcery; but all these bankers going long on yoga are hard to ignore.
Media Reviews 2011
Yoga in Samui
Island of Repose
Samahita Retreat guest Louise came here to take a break and take stock of her life…
Ontspannen op Koh Samui
Geniet van prachtige natuur en kies uit een breed scala aan yogalessen op het Thaise eiland Koh Samui.
The Art of Thai Healing
Stepping out of the coolness of my air-conditioned car straight into a warm cocoon of peace at the Samahita Retreat, I feel my body instantly relax. The balmy evening air is laced with lingering spice and a hint of incense that lifts the weight of the world from my shoulders.
Emerging from the smoggy heat and chaos of Bangkok to the island escape of Koh Samui, destined for a week intriguingly entitled ‘Yoga & the Art of Healing’, I’m eager with the promise of shedding my winter skin.
Under the watchful eye of Claudia Jones, it doesn’t take long for me to surrender to a daily routine, all early rising, herbal tea, long breathing workshops and sandy beach Ashtanga yoga classes. Mouth-watering brunches give way to afternoons of slightly self-indulgent relaxation and contemplation, lounging in the salt-water pool to soothe away the yoga aches and, according to Claudia, refreshing my lymph system – a vital part of any detox regime.
I finish my days with some much needed pampering in the Wellness Centre, extra classes in shady indoor spots or tuition on all sorts of alternative therapies – think vibrational medicine, flower remedies, and chakra systems
Watching the sun set from the herbal steam room, and retiring to my suite after a divine evening buffet, I try to remember who I had even been before this most heavenly of routines had begun, twelve hours earlier.
I realise that my shy inner ‘yogi’ has finally surfaced from the recesses of my mind. It’s the end of the week and I’m entirely relaxed – and couldn’t feel further than the 14,000 miles I am from home. I’ve swapped my prized creature comforts for simple luxury, with a queen sized bed, air-conditioning and some seriously healthy meals for company, and let life go a little.
Though I know I can’t delay the inevitable, and will soon be making reluctant steps towards the long journey home, I know that I’ll travel soundly, safe in the knowledge that I’d be able to re-find my yogi back in London with more than a few simple tricks in my pocket.
I’ll be back next year.
Yoga, Sun, Beach and Ocean at Samahita Retreat
Ăber Koh Samui ist der Himmelblitzblau, der Flieger nĂ€hert sich der nahezu kreisrunden Insel, die wunderschĂ¶n grĂŒn aus der tĂŒrkisblauen Haut des Golfs von Thailand ragt. Man sieht sie immer hĂ€ufiger am Flughafen von Samui, die reisenden Yogis mit ihren Mattentaschen. Hier gelandet, um ins Yoga, tropische Wetter, den Sand, das Meer und die kĂ¶stliche ThailĂ€ndische Interpretation einer sattvischen KĂŒche einzutauchen…Â Download PDF >>
Asia’s Top Ten Burnout Retreats
Stress is something we all live with, right? Whether it’s the pressure of a punishing work schedule or a busy home life, it’s not unusual to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Some forms of stress are good for us and motivate us to achieve, but chronic stress – the kind of stress that seems inescapable and is ongoing – is a serious no-no and can cause illness and disease if left unchecked. Recent studies suggest that three in four people experience stress at troubling levels, the side effects of which are anxiety, depression, weight gain, heart disease and stroke, hair loss, diabetes, sexual dysfunction, infertility, low immunity, ulcers and cancer. That’s the bad news; the good news is that chronic stress can be avoided through wellness education. Here we look at some of Asia’s best stress-busting retreats and their techniques to boost energy and maintain balance, no matter how hectic life gets.
Samahita Wellness Centre, Thailand
Perched on a pristine beach in Koh Samui, Samahita is a peaceful wellness centre that uses the holistic principles of yoga as a lens to view nutrition, attitude, exercise and lifestyle for greater wellbeing. The team of health directors, nurses, yoga gurus and nutritionists will guide you through a detoxification regime to rid the body of toxins. A retreat of at least seven to 10 days is recommended for best results, but shorter stays are also on offer. The holistic programme includes juice and broth fasts, Ayurvedic herbal formulas, liver cleansing, Water Irrigation Treatment, infrared saunas, steam rooms, spa treatments, yoga practice and breath work. www.samahitaretreat.com
Thailand’s Wellness Gurus
Paul Da llaghan, founder of Samahita Retreat, has been living in Koh Samui with his wife Jutima since 2001. They originally came to teach and study while in India but were called to offer more for others interested in yoga and health. “We genuinely felt a place with authentic practices and integrity was needed and could only be done by those who fully live it. Though the country is full on in modernity and materialism with its own typical tourist callings, it at the same time carries with it a legacy of spiritual practice through Buddhism and even yogic exposure. The forest monks here are real yogis.” With Samahita they have created an environment with the principles of an Indian ashram and the conveniences of the modern resort. “Though one can get caught up in the fun and games up north of the island, this element of raw spirituality still thrives. This drew us and will hopefully help direct others to it too.”
Holidays are conventionally all about being indulgent and treating yourself, but more often than not you return home needing an extra holiday to get over your holiday. Planning your time away around a health retreat may sound like it’s taking the fun out of your valuable time away from work and everyday routines, but in fact you will be treating your body and mind in a far better way and they’ll thank you for it with higher energy levels, a more positive outlook and possibly some inner demons that have been put to rest on your return.
Thailand’s mix of natural beauty and spiritual culture makes it an obvious choice for a retreat, and there are several to choose from, whether you simply want to relax, tackle weight or serious health problems, or embark on a detox.
“Some people come for general health purposes, such as to improve energy levels or digestion or to lose a few extra kilos, others have more serious medical conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, IBS, even cancer or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and others may just be curious,” says Michelle Cooper, Manager of Atsumi Healing Centre, Phuket. “But mostly people come after being recommended to Atsumi by a friend, relative or work colleague.”
Word of mouth works particularly well when it comes to recommending retreats, as does the glowing appearance of friends or family who have just completed a cleanse. Chiva-Som’s popularity among Hollywood stars, not to mention its long-standing reputation as one of the pioneering retreats in Asia, works strongly in its favour, while at Kamalaya a recent slew of industry awards has shone the spotlight their way.
At the Four Seasons Koh Samui, guests this page: A dreamy alfresco treatment at the Indonesia Spa, Six Senses Sanctuary, Phuket. opposite page: The view from the balcony suite at Anantara Si Kao.
Holidays are conventionally all about being indulgent and treating yourself, but more often than not you return home needing an extra holiday to get over your holiday. Planning your time away around a health retreat may sound like it’s taking the fun out of your valuable time away from work and everyday routines, but in fact you will be treating your body and mind in a far better way and they’ll thank you for it with higher energy levels, a more positive outlook and possibly some inner demons that have been put to rest on your return. can eschew the usual fine wining and dining to follow the Puriti detox. Lead by Spa Manager Gabriela Zoltakova, a qualified nurse, guests answer a detailed questionnaire before they arrive, and at the initial consultation discuss any problems and the goals they are aiming for. “The idea is to make a detox enjoyable,” says Gabriela. “You’re staying at the Four Seasons and enjoying the luxury that comes with that. It’s an opportunity to observe what is going on inside and take time to reconnect with yourself.”
Mandarin Oriental Group Director of Spa Andrew Gibson has created a retreat at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi that “can harness the best of our talent to the benefit of as many guests as possible.” Providing more than just spa, the resort’s wellness retreats introduce guests to gentle programmes that address weight problems, bring down stress levels and help to generally detox, while also giving them the opportunity to explore Chiang Mai. Wherever you choose to ‘treat’ your body and mind, retreats can be just as much fun, and infinitely more rewarding, than a conventional holiday. A kick start to new positive habits and long-term holistic health, it’s no wonder this spa trend has caught on big time.
Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui You can choose from wellness, detox and yoga retreats at Samahita, founded by Paul Dallaghan and his wife Jutima. Graeme and Carole Bradshaw lead regular Yoga Detox retreats, and there’s Jessica Blanchard and Paul Dallaghan’s Evolving with Ayurveda. On Laem Sor Beach, the resort’s Wellness Centre for spa treatments, colonic irrigation and farinfrared sauna supports detox programmes, while Sattva Restaurant focuses on serving up food that gives your digestion a holiday too.
The beautiful island of Koh Samui, off Thailand’s East coast, has become a hotbed of yoga in the last few years.
Koh Samui and the yoga scene
As well as detox and yoga resort The Absolute Sanctuary on the north coast, the 20km-wide island is also home to acclaimed holistic spa Kamalaya, and, ten minutes along a quiet road, nestling in the far south of the island, Samahita Retreat.Â Continue reading >>
Media Reviews 2010
TheHoneymoonTesters.com / October 2010 | Samahita Retreat - The Perfect Detox Experience by Mark and Denise Duffield-Thomas
The Samahita Wellness Centre provides an authentic yoga retreat and impeccably managed detox programme against an inspiring tropical island backdrop.
We were so thrilled to be invited to the first residential Samahita Yoga and Detox retreat on the beautiful tropical island of Koh Samui. The centre has always offered yoga residentials, but this is the first time the centre has run a dedicated detox stay.Â Continue reading >>
Detox, Cleanse and Yoga
Serious yoga aficionados should look no further than Samahita Retreat, a small “home from home” facility set in Samui’s deep south on the quietest beach on the island. Living the talk, instructor Tiana says that staff at Samahita Retreat keep things “honest, simple and sincere,” believing that yoga isn’t just about asanas: healthy clean living plays its part, so all food is organic vegetarian and sugar-free, yet delicious. Yoga retreats or training can be accompanied by a no-nonsense yet nurturing detox at the integral Samahita Wellness facility – and personalised regimes are available too. Architecture is functional rather than aesthetic, but, as to be expected, the ecoemphasis is high. The idea is to leave here rejuvenated and relaxed , but, more importantly, empowered on many levels.Â www.samahitaretreat.com
Thailand’s Hidden Yoga Gem
In my time I have been to many retreats around the globe with the yoga, health and wellness “theme” to it. But none seemed to quite hit the spot as Samahita Retreat in Koh Samui did. Perhaps this is one reason why I keep coming back. Unlike other wellness centres around Asia and globally for that matter, Samahita Retreat offers something the others don’t. SINCERITY. This teacher – owned, teacher – directed Hidden Gem is the genius of Paul and Jutima Dallaghan, who have instilled a sense of balance to this unique place on all levels.
With a home away from home atmosphere, (but not lacking the comfort and chiq-ness we are used to) this niche 28 room retreat and wellness centre offers a proper understanding and teaching of yoga for beginners and non beginners a like. With a beautiful and well- equipped wellness centre providing detox programs and treatments tailored for you, it is a complete embodiment of health and wellness on every level.
Where other “spa type” retreat and wellness resorts have a very stagnant almost Club Med feel, Samahita Retreat provides personal, dedicated and unique attention you just won’t find anywhere else.
As Hong Konger’s we often cannot seem to take too much time off, so with direct flights to Koh Samui on Bangkok Airways, there really is no reason not to go.
Go pamper yourself. Go get a detox 3,5,7 days and come back and make all your friends jealous.
Check outÂ www.samahitaretreat.comÂ for more details. Well worth the trip! Do it for your health.
Media Reviews 2009
Take a deep breath when you reach the full stop at the end of this sentence. Now exhale. Again: deep inhale, feel the cool air as it moves through your nostrils, see your abdomen and chest expand; now exhale slowly through your nose, the same air coming back out warm, feel your face relax. Last time, and now don’t read on, just breathe. And smile. Plug your ears with your fingers and listen to yourself breathe.Â Continue reading >>
December 2009. Great Yoga Retreats | Edited and compiled by Angelika Taschen, text by Kristin RĂŒbesamen
When in 2001, with modest savings, Paul and Jutima squinted at the light at the end of the Lincoln Tunnel, they were leaving not only New York and their former years in training as yoga teachers behind them. Their destination was Los Angeles, their next stop Bangkok, Jutima’s place of birth. Before they founded Samahita Retreat, they travelled to India in order to study in Mysore with their teacher Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath.Â Continue reading >>
Miles from the thrum of Chaweng beach, with its tandooried Euro backpackers, designer fakes and pesky touts, is one of Koh Samui’s hidden gems: Samahita Retreat.
Irishman Paul Dallaghan and his Thai wife, Jutima, established the yoga centre six years ago after relocating from Manhattan to raise their family. The result is a dedicated yoga retreat, a place where yogis aspiring or experienced can take up residence and immerse themselves in traditional ashtanga vinyasa yoga, the discipline responsible for 51-year-old Madonna’s rock-hard physique.Â Continue reading >>
Media Reviews 2008 and earlier
Sep - Oct 2008. Yoga + Joyful Living - USA | Have Yourself a Meditative Little Christmas by By Anna Dubrovsky
Koh Samui, Thailand
Paul and Jutima Dallaghan’s Ashtanga Yoga shala (school) and retreat center may be the only smoke- and alcohol-free getaway on the island of Koh Samui. The couple opened Samahita Retreat in 2003 after living and teaching in New York. This year, they’re relocating to the southern part of the island and reopening just in time for their annual Christmas and New Year’s Retreat. The new center can accommodate as many as 60 guests. Its eco-design features include rainwater harvesting and solar water heating.Â Continue reading >>
Paul has been teaching constantly since he arrived on Koh Samui in 2001 when only a small number of yoga studios existed there. He believes strongly that yoga’s spread can not be attributed directly to the influence of people, but will spread organically through the effect of yoga itself.Â Continue reading >>
Technically not a spa but very much wrapped up in healing philosophy, Samahita Retreat is a haven for yogis
and yoga want-to-bes worldwide. Situated on a secluded beach facing the island of Ko Pha Ngan, to the north of Samui, it is the brainchild of Irish yogi Paul Dallaghan and his Thai wife. Jutima. Dallaghan is one of just a handful of practitioners in the world registered by Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois (the founder of Ashtanga yoga) and the centre is totally dedicated to the practice of the dynamic Ashtanga practice. Retreats are held regularly through the year while locals and visitors appea r fromall corners of the island for regular morning yoga practice. If clean energy,. honest practice and some time out to listen to the heart or become enlightened is needed, then Samahita Retreat is a must.
For more information, visit www.samahitaretreat.com