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Celebrate the spectacular Buddhist lantern festival in beautiful northern Thailand with Joanne and Anna Smallwood. From the floating yoga shala in the national park at OM Waters to the tree house yoga shala at Kaomai Lanna, you are sure to enjoy this unique yoga experience! When’s the last time you jumped into a lake? Slept under the stars? Immersed into nature? Explored a daily yoga practice? Or taken the opportunity for self-care? This space has been created to nourish your soul.
Accommodation is based on twin sharing. Private rooms may be available.
The first two nights at OM Waters has cozy comfortable camping on the houseboats There are sinks and toilets and showers at OM Waters, but it is camping style. Options would be creative wet wiping, sponge baths, or jumping in the lake! No alcohol or drugs permitted. If you smoke, please smoke away from the communal areas. There is also no Wi-Fi. Unlimited drinking water will be available. Please note that the sleeping area will be either on bed frames or on the floor, and closed or open, depending on the number of bookings.
Then, you will move to Kaomai Lanna where all standard accommodation is stylish and comfortable with western beds, air conditioning, shower with hot and cold water, hair dryer, and teak furniture. Standard accommodation is twin share.
Kaomai Lanna Hotel and Resort is a unique boutique accommodation only 40 minutes out of the busy Chiang Mai. Set on 20 acres’ natural land, surrounded by lush tropical gardens. The rooms are renovated from the former tobacco curing barns, decorated in contemporary Lanna style with colonial style teak wood antique furniture.
The retreat begins by unplugging and submerging yourselves in nature with two nights at OM Waters, a floating shala on a beautiful lake in Sri Lanna National Park, only an hour from Chiang Mai, Thailand. With very little external distractions, your senses will be heightened and be able to absorb all that nourishes you. It’s an opportunity to clear that head space, boost your energy, laugh, play, and meet like-minded awesome people. Early November is also an amazing time of year to be at OM Waters. Cool mornings and evenings, with warm temperatures in the daytime.
Then, you will transfer to Kaomai Lanna Resort to enjoy the last five nights in luxury, culture, and leisure. Spend your time by the pool nestled in the beautiful gardens, at the spa indulging in a traditional Thai massage, or exploring the old city of Chiang Mai.
Kaomai Lanna has a beautiful wooden tree house style yoga shala where you will be diving deep into your practice exploring the pranayama, Vinyasa, and Restorative yoga practices. This is suitable to all levels.
The retreat culminates with the celebration of Yi Peng, (lantern festival), in Chiang Mai, the old capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. This is one of those bucket list experiences, where a multitude of Lanna-style sky lanterns adorned with good luck wishes and prayers are released into the sky.
The festival is celebrated throughout the kingdom on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. Loi Krathong and Yi Peng are celebrated at the same time, you will see lanterns floating on the waters, strings of pretty lights hanging from houses and temples, and hundreds of beautiful lanterns floating by in the sky during the celebrations.
For some, a lantern especially when lit, is meant to honour Buddha. For most Thais, however, it is a way to thank the Hindu goddess of water, Phra Mae Khongkha, for her endless help in providing the most basic of all human necessities. For Buddhists participating in these acts, it serves as a time to reflect and let go of negativity whilst at the same time generating good luck.
Since this festival is a spiritual, ancient and sacred affair that invites new beginnings via spiritual cleansing, it is the perfect time for self-reflection and to bring the yoga retreat to a close.
A cultural excursion to Ganesh Museum and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is included in the price.
Joanne Smallwood has been a devoted yoga practitioner since her early twenties, and has taught internationally for the past 11 years. Completing her teacher training in 2005 at The Downward Dog Yoga Centre in Toronto, with Ron Reid and Diane Bruni, she soon traded the infamous Canadian winters for warmer shores of India. Since 2005, Joanne has been working in Goa, India, as the general manager of Brahmani Yoga, one of the leading yoga centers in the region.
Anna Smallwood was first introduced to yoga in 1998 as part of her intensive training as a professional contemporary dancer. She completed a bachelor of dance at the Victorian College of The Arts and always maintained her yoga practice while working as a dancer. Anna immediately fell in love with Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow practices, as they promote freedom through movement, yet unlike dance are driven by the breath.
This retreat will take place in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served except when out on an excursion. All meals are vegetarian made with the freshest ingredients available purchased at local markets daily and prepared by wonderful chefs.
You will have free time to explore, shop, get treatments, swim, and relax in Chiang Mai.
You can all book therapies and treatments at affordable prices any time throughout your stay. Available treatments would be:
Please book your flight to arrive at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). Transfer from the airport is included. Joanne Smallwood Yoga will pick you up from the airport. Alternatively you can fly to Bangkok and take a one hour domestic flight to Chiang Mai. Hotels can arrange departure airport transfers, but this is at your expense. You must arrive in Chaing Mai by 12 p.m. on the ninth to get your transfer to OM Waters, as you cannot enter the national park at night.
Train or bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai takes approximately 12 hours.