Asian cultures prize the quiet mind, controlled emotions, and the peaceful way of what Buddha called “the middle path.” But the path many travelers are taking on Koh Phangan, Thailand, is yoga, which can produce similar results of inner transformation.
The island of Koh Phangan was uninhabited until about 600 years ago when passing monks realized its tranquility and spiritual importance and settled there. It currently hosts five yoga and healing centers.
The Sanctuary, another popular yoga center on the island, is located in Haad Thian on the remote eastern side. To get here, take a boat taxi or 4WD vehicle over the very rugged roads.
In addition to yoga courses, The Sanctuary offers an array of workshops on massage and healing training, a wonderful restaurant serving vegetarian and seafood dishes, and full spa treatments — including fasting and colonic irrigation.
Blooming Lotus Yoga
Blooming Lotus Yoga, located in quiet Haad Yuan, is one of the newest yoga centers on the island. Just minutes behind the popular Bamboo Hut restaurant, Blooming Lotus is a small cozy studio.
The building is distinctly Thai traditional style with dark teak wood and open-air netting for the “walls” — hence it’s consistently cool and airy, with a nice view of the lush jungle all around.
This center offers hatha yoga, yoga nidra (art of relaxation & psychic sleep), and instructor training. Check out www.bloominglotus.ca.
Monte Vista Retreat Center
Monte Vista Retreat Center runs cleansing, detox, and fasting programs with colonic treatments. Stress reduction and self-healing programs are available, along with reiki, energy, and chakra work, plus massage, counseling, life-coaching, and daily yoga.
I taught yoga here after my course and can confirm this place is a “gem” — the quiet hilltop setting with amazing ocean views makes it really special.
The Yoga Retreat
The Yoga Retreat is located on the northwest side of Koh Phangan, up in the mountains about 5 minutes from Haad Salad beach.
It’s a family business run by highly qualified instructors with courses available at every level — from the Basic Elements, chakra healing, Pilates, or Alexander technique — all taught in peaceful jungle surrounds.
There’s also a restaurant with a wide range of healthy drinks, veggie foods, and three bungalows. They offer 5-14 day retreats, as well as an herbal steam room and plunge pool.
Going deeper into the inner-self
You’re lucky if you get to spend many months here on this tropical island ‘tuning-in’ and stepping out of the mainstream.
Maybe this type of inner-work should be mandatory for all citizens of the Earth, to really produce a global village of peaceful people.
The beautiful thing about going deeper into the inner-self with arts such as yoga and meditation is that we realize the immensity of our true nature.
What we have all been seeking is truly inside, like buried treasure.
It just takes the persistence of a daily practice to create that stillness of mind where peace and equanimity remain. It helps to have a paradise like Koh Phangan for the journey!
Want more bliss? We’ve got a whole page of yoga travel resources for you, right here on the Matador Network.