Most spas seem to offer yoga as some kind of add-on. But Samahita Retreat, way down in the deep and unspoiled south of the island, comes at things from entirely the opposite direction. This is first and foremost a yoga centre, and it’s one of the best-known yoga teaching facilities in the world. Yes, this is integrated with core fitness and diet. Certainly there’s a related detox program. And there’s a wellness program with massages and facial treatments, among others. But at the heart of all these aspects and activities lies the essential study, practice and teaching of yoga: this is the approach and philosophy that everything else is knitted into.
The location of Samahita is just perfect. Samui’s ring-road has, quite obviously, attracted varying degrees of ribbon development over the years. Some parts of the island, such as Chaweng, Bangrak and Nathon, have even filled up along the entire coastline and spawned small towns. But the ring-road actually cuts off the lower quarter of Samui completely, leaving it accessed by one minor road and a hundred smaller side spurs. This is where you’ll still find the secluded, pristine beaches and the tiny villages that have been untouched by time and progress. And it’s also where you’ll discover Samahita.
It’s tucked away, right on the beach, and with an unassuming entrance that offers no of the distinct change of atmosphere that lies just a few steps within. As soon as you move inside, it’s even quieter – if that’s possible! It’s soaked in a sense of harmony and tranquillity, with the physical spaces between the walls and trees seeming to subtly change their density in some way. It’s a little haven. It’s utterly peaceful and serene.
Virtually all the activities here mean that you need to be resident. And to go with this there is a truly wonderful little ‘almost-village’ close-by. There’s a wide range of rooms and groupings, but the thinking behind it all has led to eco-friendly buildings which make use of cross ventilation, natural lighting, rainwater harvesting and solar power. Each of the rooms
has air-conditioning, queen-size bed, fridge, kettle and Wi-Fi access. The Retreat with its beachside yoga shala, restaurant, lounge and swimming pool are only a minute away: you can even see the sea from some of the top level rooms.
There are essentially five ‘retreats’ (read ‘courses’), the main one being the YogaCoreCycle. This is the Samahita all-inclusive yoga and fitness holiday option, which covers accommodation, food, yoga, fitness-core and cardio, meditation and breath work. YogaCoreCycle divides the sessions into focused areas for body, breath and mind. There is quite a comprehensive program here, with a number of options, and to describe all of them is beyond the scope of this article; full details are on their website listed at the end.
The three, five, seven and 10-day detox programs are all individually tailored and personalised to suit individual needs and goals, and have been created from a blend of science and ancient wisdom, inspired by Ayurveda and shaped by modern physiology and nutrition, and incorporate anything from a mono-diet to a complete fasting option, as well as specialized parasite cleansing programs.
Then the Weight Loss Program will help you transform your habits and lifestyle to achieve your body’s ideal weight. This program will educate you to choose and prepare food that is both nutritious and delicious, teach you a manageable exercise routine and assist in targeting the root causes of weight gain.
And there’s a ‘de-stress’ element which allows you to refocus and recharge with healing therapies, nourishing foods and rejuvenating supplements. The yoga and breath-work classes will help re-establish balance and calm, and through this re-education you’ll learn to make healthier choices and more-effectively manage your stress.
But a mention, too, of the world-renowned Yoga Teachers’ Training – one of Asia’s longest running instructor certification courses. This is a one-month, 200-hour intensive training course which can optionally be expanded to a full 500 hours by the additions of various modules. Full details on their website!
All of which makes it sound very soul searching and intense! But the truth is that their ‘Sattva’ restaurant offers some of the tastiest (and healthiest!) food on the island, and alone is well-worth a visit. The already-mentioned Wellness Center has everything from an Ayurvedic Treatment to a Herbal Steam, and their Beachside Lounge and Kids Club add a wider dimension that’s just perfect if you simply fancy a change of scene – in fact they’ve got everything here from the subtle to the sublime!
Rob De Wet
For reservations or further information, telephone 0 7792 0090.