Entries in Samahita (2)

Sunday
Nov102013

On Samahita Yoga Retreat, Koh Samui

I can’t believe I haven’t told you about Samahita Yoga Retreat in Koh Samui yet. We went there earlier this year (much earlier – I really need to update more and I still have a retreat from this summer to write about) on the Thailand trip that also contained the pooing… I used Samahita as a sort of pre cleanse retreat before I had to live of juices and coconuts.

Food and sleep

Samahita was perfect for that. The buffet contained nothing but healthy and nourishing vegan and raw food for brunch and dinner. Beautiful dishes, juices and snacks – and as much as you could eat in a lovely sitting area overlooking the pool and the gorgeous beach. My only gripe with the food was that it wasn’t very Asian. In fact if it wasn’t for the Thai staff and the traditional Thai prayer houses it was pretty difficult to see that you we’re actually in Thailand. The luxurious houses were very European – almost Scandinavian in their minimalist design. They left nothing else to be desired, though: the bed was comfy and the bathroom was large and clean.

Location

Samahita’s location is beautiful. I didn’t expect to find a secluded beach on Koh Samui where great resorts and English pubs have taken over some of the towns (Hat Chaweng), but we had the beach by Samahita to ourselves. The water was clear and warm and we spent our free time relaxing on the loungers. I loved the secluded location, but it was a bit tricky when you wanted to do day trips. Unlike most other Thai island locations this one wasn’t filled with eager tuk-tuk drivers or taxis outside, so we had to book a massive private car from the venue to go look at a mummified monk and a waterfall. As much as I enjoyed the luxury (I’m getting old – you should have seen what my friend and I stayed in travelling Asia when we went at 20) of the place I would have preferred to travel backpacker style haggling over small baht change with a tuk tuk driver. You should go and see the mummified munk, get blessed by a live one and check out the beautiful temple at the end of the beach. I’d give the waterfall a miss. The elephants carrying tourists up and down are depressing.

The Yoga

There was a retreat with Simon Low going on when we were there, which most of the visitors attended. For the non-retreaters (there were probably 10 of us) there was a guided pranayama class in the morning followed by two options: a guided beginners Ashtanga class in the open shala by the beach, or a Mysore class in the small shala. I tried both and was happy to discover that even though I hadn’t done a full Primary Series in ages the teacher in the Mysore room could still maneuver my feet behind my head in kurmasana. In the afternoons there was meditation, yoga nidras and a gentler practice. All the teachers were experienced, calm and friendly. I would especially recommend the male Mysore teacher if only I could remember his name… The retreaters looked like they were enjoying themselves too and lovely chants came from their shala.

We had a lovely time doing yoga, eating great food and soaking up the sun on the beach. We could have hoped for a tiny bit more Thai authenticity and a tuk tuk or two but all in all the surroundings, the great practice and the food made up for it. If you're going to Koh Samui check out The Spa too.

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Tuesday
Jan152013

About Going to Thailand (and Sticking a Hose up one's Bottom)

On Sunday I taught my last class before going away for three weeks. It was a little sad ‘handing over’ my yogis to the very sweet substitute (oh, I hope they don’t like her more than they like me. Yes, yoga teachers also have egos), but as I’ll be going to Thailand I’ll get over it.

Roll on chaotic Bangkok, bounty beaches, yoga, juice detox and colema. Yes, you heard me. Colema… I’ve signed up for a detox fast at The Spa where I am not only going to live off nothing but liquids for 5 days, I am also encouraged to flush out my colon with lukewarm coffee water. Why, you ask? Beats me, but the list of benefits from removing accumulated toxins from the body is long and includes things like improving energy levels, increasing metabolism and boosting immunity. And who wouldn’t want that?

I felt this amazing clarity after (not always during - you might recall) my last 5 day juice fast and I feel I’m ready to take detoxing to the next level - which apparently is voluntarily sticking a hose up my own bum. Comments or personal experiences in this department are more than welcome to let me know what I’m in for.

“The best detox diet of all is to eat nothing, in other words to fast for a period of three to seven days. Fasting is nature's ultimate cure for all ailments, and nothing cleanses the body more swiftly. When practiced in conjunction with colonic hydrotherapy, the results are even faster, more effective, and often quite dramatic.”  Daniel Reid, 'The Tao of Detox'.

Other than spending time in the toilet, Lara and I will also be doing yoga here at Samahita:

Roll on Friday!

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