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Ko Pha Ngan is well-known for its yoga centres. Yogis flock to the island from all over the world to do retreats, detoxes and generally find their spiritual selves. A few centres stand out in particular on the island as being top-notch, and one of them is the Yoga Retreat, in Haad Salad, on the west coast of Ko Pha Ngan.
When we say that the Yoga Retreat is in Haad Salad, we are referring to the area — it’s not on the beach. Instead, it’s nestled along a main road that eventually takes you to the beach, in the jungle. When driving along the middle road of the island, look for signs to Haad Salad. The retreat is just past the turn to the beach, on the righthand side of the road, if you’re coming from the south.
Inside, there is accommodation, a healthy restaurant with raw and vegan food, a semi-outdoor yoga room, a herbal steam room, and a jacuzzi.
The retreat, which has been open for 10 years, has six rooms where those on retreats can stay. Rooms vary in size and appearance, but they are, for the most part, large, clean and colourful. Many feature intricate and vibrant murals of Hindu and Buddhist gods.
The yoga classroom is a long, wooden room that’s open to the jungle. You won’t find air-con here or anywhere else in the resort, but there are a few ceiling fans. They teach Ashtanga at 07:30, Monday to Friday, and at 09:00 on the weekend; pranayama at 11:00, and hatha at 16:00. There are also daily lectures and meditation courses available, and the resort is now re-introducing weekly pilates classes.
We found the yoga classes here to be extremely well structured, with instructors guiding their class every step of the way with close attention to each individual, and also informative — instructors explained not only how to perform each move, but how each move benefits the body.
Drop-in classes cost 300 baht, but it’s possible to purchase packages that can bring that price almost down to half. The herbal steam room, which is open Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 14:00 till 19:00 costs 50 baht.
The Yoga Retreat’s kitchen serves up delicious fruit shakes, teas, salads, pastas, and raw and vegan dishes (including a completely scrumptious raw vegan cheesecake), with most dishes costing less than 200 baht. There’s also an Indian buffet on Friday nights.
By Kaila Krayewski
Last updated on 24th March, 2015.