Samahita Retreat Koh Samui Thailand
When i visited Koh Samui last yeari was in a mess. Like literally. I was sick, tired, and was in a terrible shape (too much eating in NYC). I knew i had to get away from the horrible haze in Singapore (no thanks to Indonesia), even if it was for a short bit. So i found myself a yoga retreat just 2h away from home, packed my bags and mats and an entire wardrobe of lululemon and liquido yoga gear and left. Samahita Retreat and Vikasa Yoga were my top choices and they are great, both with a strong emphasis on yoga, wellness, and clean eating (plus more).
Samahita Retreat is a quiet spot on Laem Sor beach and they are exactly what they described themselves to be- a wellness resort where someone traveling alone can meet like-minded yogis (yogis and foodies are the best kind of people).
I love the openness of the space, be it airy indoor shalas with high ceilings, or the huge window panes that allow the sea breeze in. It would be lovely to practise on the beach shala but it was under renovation then (bummer). That said, the smaller beach cabana was available during morning classes.
It is also here at Samahita Retreat that i went deeper into my Ashtanga practice. Ashtanga has got to be the most punishing practice ever (IMO). I had some led classes in Singapore (until my teacher gave up on teaching us ho ho) and have been hopeless with memorizing the sequence (the primary series alone could take up to 2 hours to complete). But within 3 days of the Mysore practice, i committed the sequence to memory (ok i still mix it up sometimes). You'll see progress in less than a week really.
Beginners do not have to worry about not knowing yoga or ashtanga. Led classes (guided class) are conducted at the same time as the Mysore class (self practice with a teacher to correct students individually). I'm really grateful for the practice, and the positive vibes from my fellow yogis. There's no judgment, no competition, only kind words #blessed.
Let me bring you through a typical day at Samahita Retreat on their all inclusive Yoga Daily program, which includes all yoga classes, use of facilities, and 2 meals a day.
7am: Light breakfast is served. I'd grab some hill tribe organic coffee to perk myself up before Breathwork/Mysore. The pranayama class helps to wake you up gently but I like to shock my system. While the LED class begins on time, the Mysore practice is free and easy and you could join anytime.
10am - 1pm: Brunch buffet. During low season, residents pick 2 - 3 cooked dishes with some toast, fruits, juices, and oatmeal served buffet style. The menu changes daily so you get a variety of dishes. Vegetables is the mainstay here but you get 1 fish option for each meal. Honestly I did not miss having meat at all because the food is really damn good. I would be a vegetarian if i can get food like this every day. It's all about healthy and nourishing food. Eating clean never felt so satisfying really.
Here are some of my favorites from brunch- Cinnamon whole wheat pancakes/ French toast/ Oatmeal Porridge (they alternate between a bread/porridge for brunch). And definitely PEANUT BUTTER and BERRIES JAM with the lovely carb or yogurt. Oh and that spinach cheese crepes were amazing too!
There are also heartier options for brunch which includes carbs dishes, stir fried veg and fish etc.
The Tom Yum fried fish and soup were soooo goooood! So was the stir-fried pumpkin/zucchini with egg!
Free and Easy Afternoons: I would recommend a swim in the salt water chlorinated pool or in the sea which is steps away. You can also take the stand up paddle board out anytime as well (it's complimentary) and you can really work on balancing in your yoga poses, or working on your upper body strength, or just lie on it and get a tan!
Or go for one of the massages at the Spa. I had the Touch of Ayurveda and opted for a strong deep tissue therapeutic massage to go with the Ayuvedic oil. It was superbly good in relieving the tenion on my upper body from Ashtanga practice.
Feeling peckish? The kitchen is open all day long so you can get fuller meals like Thai or Western food, healthy detox juices, and raw snacks. I love their Goji Bliss ball and the Cashew Nut cup. Fresh Thai coconuts are also available and they are just so perfect for an afternoon by the beach.
5 - 6pm: Restorative Yoga Class. This is typically a yin yoga class to balance the yang energy from the Ashtanga practice. I was surprised that i actually liked it because it's so relaxing and easy. It really does help with easing some tensions from all that strain from the chaturangas and jumping.
Sign up for the complimentary use of the Herbal Steam room before 5pm and it'll be ready for use from 6 - 8pm. If you're not that hungry, by 6pm, i'd say get yourself hot and steamy, then go into the pool for a bit, and repeat. It's really good for blood circulation. There will be enough time for dinner after that.
6 - 8pm: Dinner Buffet is served during this time. Again, it's ala carte choice during low season. My favorites are the Yellow curry (with sweet potato and potato) and roti, stir fried veggies are always yummy, Pad Thai, Spaghetti with rocket (black pepper style with olives and feta!!). The cooking is done Thai style by the way. You're in Thailand afterall. Oh and i inhale their Thai zucchinis all the time. I really look forward to the meal times. You can always go light with the steamed veg and salad options so it's really all up to you. You'll also get 1 small portion of dessert each night (it's rationed)!
7.30pm: Optional daily night activities. Meditation classes offered on Sun, Tues, and Thu. I avoided it because I'm terrible at meditation but the shala is really peaceful and beautiful at night.
If you're serious about detox, Samahita Retreat also offers several personalized and guided Detox, Healthy Weight and De-Stress programs. They do colon hydrotherapy and fasting etc. as well. Be rest assured that you'd be well supported by the Samahita team.
Samahita Retreat is also home to Centered Yoga, which offers the 200h and 500h Yoga Alliance certifcation at the 200h and 500h. They get really good guest teachers over there and i'll definitely be checking one of those out. Kino is probably going in 2016!!
Accommodation wise, the rooms are spacious and clean and there is WIFI. There's no TV but i guess you can always watch something on your gadget. I used their laundry service and it was efficient and very affordable (THB120/kg).
Some downsides. It can be fairly noisy sometimes with the human chatter as the indoors shala is just across the kitchen During the morning session, you get the whole brunch preparation going on and in the evenings, it'd be the dinner prep. So.. Anyway, i guess it'd be better at the beach shala once it's ready again since it's slightly farther from the chit chat.
I loved Samahita Retreat and I would not mind staying here again for an extended Ashtanga practice. Till the next time!
Thailand 55/20-24 Moo 4, T. Namuang, Suratthani,, Thailand