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Samahita Retreat welcomes you to The Yoga Academy’s Yin and Yang yoga teacher training with Yoga Alliance US 200-hour and Yoga Alliance UK 200-hour accreditation. This intensive course is an awakening, progressive, and practical immersion into the skills, wisdom, and effectiveness of teaching and practicing a balanced approach to yoga based on applied anatomy and intelligent sequencing, enriched with Eastern and Western philosophy and mind-body teachings.
During the retreat, you will be staying at Samahita Retreat. Situated on Laem Sor Beach, Samahita Retreat is surrounded by towering coconut trees in a quiet, spacious area, with incredible sunrises and sunsets that play with the colors of the water, sand, and tropical fauna. Only a few hundred meters away is the well-known Laem Sor Pagoda, which houses the remains of Leung Poo Daeng, a realized monk. The only other structures in the area are villas privately owned. As such, Samahita’s beach is private and virtually undisturbed, creating a beautiful, peaceful setting for you to enjoy your Thailand yoga holiday retreat.
As this side of the island is protected by a natural reef, there are only some parts of the year when the beach directly in-front of Samahita is high enough to swim. When the tide is low during the summer months, you might prefer to take long swims in the center’s saltwater swimming pool or swim out to deeper water through the boat channel.
The main shopping areas are still within easy reach, about fifteen to thirty minutes away by car or motorbike and Samahita Retreat’s gentle setting inspires long, refreshing walks on the beach or through the meandering back roads.
The retreat center is forty-five minutes away from Koh Samui airport, and taxi drivers will know how to get to Laem Sor. Directional road signs will also guide you to Samahita Retreat as you begin to approach. Nonetheless, it is recommended that you book a taxi pickup with Samahita, just to be sure.
The rooms are set back from the main retreat, perfect for quiet contemplation and relaxation. The eco-friendly buildings make use of cross ventilation, natural lighting, rainwater harvesting, and solar power. There are rooms for couples and singles, as well as loft-style accommodations that are ideal for families or two people sharing.
Regardless of which room you stay in, the yoga shala, restaurant and lounge, swimming pool, and beach are only one minute away. You can see the ocean from some of the balconies in the top level rooms.
The room features approximately 35 square meters of personal space, which includes a private balcony. The room has a queen-size bed with individual reading lamps and personal built-in shelf space at the headboard. Also included is a large writing desk, bookshelves, storage cabinet that can be locked and can accommodate even large laptops, hot-water kettle, medium-sized fridge, built-in wardrobe with sufficient space for luggage, ceiling fans, and air conditioning. It also has fully equipped bathroom with large shower area and room for clothes hanging and drying.
You can enjoy approximately 25 square meters of personal space, including a private balcony. The room’s features include a queen-size bed with individual reading lamps, writing desk, bookshelves, lockable storage cabinet, hot-water kettle, medium-size fridge, built-in wardrobe, ceiling fans, and air conditioning. The bedroom section of these rooms is private and includes a dedicated entrance as well as direct access to a fully furnished bathroom, which is shared between two rooms.
The room features approximately 50 square meters of personal space, which includes a private balcony. The room is split-level, with a loft. Each bedroom has its own private space. There is a fully equipped bathroom shared by both bedrooms. Some of these rooms are equipped with an outdoor rain shower. Each bedroom has a queen-size bed with individual reading lamps and a personal built-in shelf space at the headboard. Also included are a large writing desk, bookshelves, storage cabinet that can be locked and can accommodate even large laptops, hot-water kettle, medium-size refrigerator, two wardrobes with sufficient space for luggage, two ceiling fans, and air conditioning.
Not a separate style or school of yoga, but a theoretical and practical approach to a holistic, mindful yoga practice, Yin and Yang yoga infuses traditional Chinese and other Eastern energetic and medical principles into the rich traditions of yoga. Promoting ‘movement within stillness’ and ‘stillness within movement’, Yin and Yang yoga is one of the most wholesome and non-dogmatic approaches to yoga today and is gaining increasing appreciation among practitioners all over the world.
Honoring the implication of ‘Hatha’ - solar and lunar, masculine and feminine, action and allowing - the Yang style of practice is a combination of continually flowing breath-led sequences involving explorative circular and spiral movement patterns. They are balanced with precise postural alignment, integration of axial and appendicular bodies, moving from a responsive and resilient core, appropriate joint care, and careful attention to anatomical detail to ensure safety and ease of movement with individual modifications, where necessary.
In the Yin aspect of practice, calming, deeply restorative, and meditative postures, appropriately supported with props and conscious breathing, are balanced by healing Taoist-inspired work into the primary joints of the torso, myofascial trains, and energy meridians. Designed to relieve fatigue and stress, Restorative Yin yoga releases the body’s own innate healing wisdom and brings the mental, psychological, and emotional bodies into balance. Involving no movement and muscular effort, the Yin approach is conscious relaxation with awareness: a gateway to mindfulness - mind full of awareness.
The ‘dance’ of these complementary opposites produces a holistic, mindful yoga practice that reduces wear and tear in the tissues, balances strength and integration with flexibility and freedom, ultimately aiming for sustainable ways of moving and using the body, balancing the brain, and calming the mind for meditation. This approach to yoga practice and teaching helps develop the unity, compassion, and consciousness within being human.
This course has been structured and is open and suitable for:
The course will give you:
With the above elements, the course is designed to help you develop the skills and confidence needed to be effective in class, but also lay the foundations for a life of learning and teaching.
Leading a class might look quite simple, but there is ample preparation, planning, and awareness behind each class. As a trainee, you will learn effective ‘classroom skills’ including demonstration, giving instructions, use of voice, safe adjustments, lesson planning, class sequencing, and more.
The theory and philosophy of yoga form an important foundation that helps you understand the source and guidance behind most of what you practice and will teach. It will also hugely enrich your personal practice and teaching experience by adding to its authenticity. When learned in the proper context, philosophy can be fascinating, healing, empowering, and life-changing.
Yoga philosophy stimulates your enquiry and your understanding of consciousness. You will be introduced to key texts in the yogic tradition: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, the essential Upanishads, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, with guidelines towards the study of other texts.
Studying anatomy can be about learning the names and locations of bones, muscles, and other body parts and how they move. It is quite another experience to viscerally witness applied anatomy in action. You will be amazed to discover how anatomical awareness will instantly improve your practice and teaching by giving you the tools to justify why you teach what you teach and to help you, and your students, stay safe and properly aligned in class.
Applied anatomy is one of Simon and Eija's personal passions, and their insights will give you a comprehensive understanding of what is going on internally during practice. Studies will include audio-visual presentations, hands-on exploration of anatomy, and body reading.
This course is structured as a total immersion and as such, you will find that your ability to absorb and apply information, though challenged, will also be greatly increased. By the second half of the course, you will begin observing and co-teaching sections of live classes with your peers and receiving feedback from your performance.
This is where everything you have learned comes together and you start to find your feet and voice as a leader. In keeping with the non-dogmatic nature of our training, you will be encouraged to develop your own personal style of teaching
Teaching is like any career in that you must be determined in your study and work and take conscious steps toward success. You will explore realistic options and lifestyles for yoga teachers including: how to teach privately, how to work for studios, how to market yourself, and even the possibility of how to go about opening your own school or studio.
The course finishes with final assessment and peer teaching days. You will sit two written examinations, which will address the course subjects covered: philosophical concepts, Sanskrit terminology covering both asana names and key philosophical terms, applied anatomy and physiology, as well as lesson planning and teaching methodology. The first exam focuses on applied anatomy and physiology alone and the second on lesson planning and teaching methodology, philosophical concepts, and Sanskrit.
In the practical teaching assessments, you will be assessed teaching both a Yang yoga and a Yin yoga class to your peers. In these assessments, you will be able to put everything you have learned into practice and share it with your fellow trainees in a safe and nurturing teaching environment. You will be prepared for the assessments gradually over the course of the four weeks, with ample constructive feedback to support you along the way.
The curriculum of the Yin and Yang yoga teacher training and study immersion meets, and extensively exceeds, the minimum standards set by Yoga Alliance US at the 200-hour level. The Yoga Academy has also met the stringent requirements set by Yoga Alliance UK, demonstrating that the courses are of the highest standard and that The Yoga Academy’s graduates may use the title 'Registered Yoga Teacher' (RYT) as a sign of quality training, when they register themselves with Yoga Alliance UK.
Upon successful graduation therefore, after completing all course segments, and meeting all course requirements, you will be awarded with a certificate that entitles you to register with both Yoga Alliance US and Yoga Alliance UK as certified teachers at the 200-hour level.
Please note that the latest arrival on January 27 is by 6:00 p.m. for orientation dinner. The departure is possible at any time on February 25.
Simon Low, BWY and Yoga Alliance (E-RYT 500) teacher, is the principal of The Yoga Academy offering foundational and continuing education to yoga teachers and students in the UK and internationally. Simon’s current teachings reflect his continued training and on-going studies with international teachers in many forms of Hatha and classical yoga, traditional Chinese and Eastern medicine, Chi Kung, ancient and contemporary healing methodologies, centered-movement, psychology, and physical therapy.
Eija is qualified in Iyengar yoga, and has completed advanced yoga studies with Donna Farhi, has studied in depth with Julie Gudmestad, Tias Little, Aadil Palkhivala, and Simon Low, and is certified in Relax and Restore Yoga by Judith Lasater. Eija offers individually tailored and informed guidance and support to students within the led classes and sees students in one-to-one sessions to help them embody and integrate the fundamental teachings on this course and unlearn limiting postural habits and musculo-skeletal holding patterns.
This retreat will take place in Koh Samui, a tropical island in the gulf of Thailand that still has long stretches of pristine beaches and unspoiled land. Koh Samui is only about an hour away from Bangkok by air, an hour plus from Singapore, and three hours from Hong Kong. The island has the allure of a remote island paradise but with the accessibility of the region’s most popular destinations.
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During this program, you will be served two buffet meals daily: a substantial brunch after the led morning class and a nutritious dinner at the end of the training day. All meals have cooked vegetarian or fish options as well as raw food alternatives. Tea and honey will be on offer in the early morning prior to the first class of the day, and brunch will still be available on the first 30-minute break. Samahita Retreat has a health bar where smoothies, juices, and snacks can be purchased on all course breaks.
For deep swimming, beaches on the north and east of Samui have less reef protection, with Chaweng’s powdery sands drawing in vast crowds of tourists from around the globe. A hub of shopping, nightlife, and entertainment, this bustling metropolis feels like a million miles from the tranquility of Samahita Retreat’s quiet beach. Silver Beach near Lamai is still reminiscent of old Samui with a few family run resorts and restaurants and is a favorite for swimming beach with the locals.
With over 1,000 feet of bouncy castles, tunnels, slides, and swings, children under eight can burn off steam at Fairways, the islands first soft play center while parents relax in the coffee shop downstairs. It costs 100 THB per child and is open seven days a week.
Children and adults also can get up close and personal with a range of tropical birds and animals at Paradise Park Farm. High on the mountain of KhaoPom with panoramic views of the ocean and tropical jungle, there’s also a playground, infinity swimming pool, and restaurant.
As well as being a tropical haven of beaches, five star hotels, and spas, Koh Samui has a rich Buddhist heritage and is home to many active temples. Only a five minute walk from Samahita Retreat is the Laem Sor Pagoda. With its shining golden tiles and peaceful atmosphere next to the mangroves and the ocean, you can also visit the remains of Leung Poo Daeng, a realized monk and climb up to the Khao Chedi, high on the mountain with breathtaking views.
Wat Kunaram is home to the preserved body of the revered Lung Padaeng, known as the mummified monk as he is still sitting in the meditation position over 20 years after his death. The most iconic Buddha statue on Samui is Wat Phra Yai, or Big Buddha temple not far from the airport, where you can climb the steps up to see the large majestic Buddha. Only a short drive from the retreat center is Wat Ban Plai Leam where you will find is a large selection of intricately designed temples.
To discover authentic Thai food not far from Samahita, you can take a taxi ride to Nuch Green Talay in the fishing village of Tong Krut for delicious curries, seafood, and friendly service. For lunch with a view, there is nowhere more magical than the Jungle Club, with tasty food served in bamboo salas on the mountainside overlooking the ocean.
For holiday trinkets and gifts, visit the peaceful and traditional port town of Nathon, or the busier bustle of Lamai. The island’s largest tourist hub is Chaweng which is home to miles of stalls and stands selling everything from carved elephants to buckets and spades. Feel free to barter and be aware that many of the clothes and handbags are counterfeit. For beautiful high quality hand crafted Buddha statues from Thailand and Burma, visit Double Dutch next to Big Buddha temple.
Join an organized tour from Samahita and the long tail boats (with shade) will collect you right in front of the shala and whisk you off to the peaceful tropical islands of Koh Matsum and Koh Tan for snorkeling and relaxing. Enjoy the stunning islands of the Anthong Marine National Park on a fun packed day trip, made famous by Alex Garland as the setting for his novel, ‘The Beach’.
You can swim, snorkel, and visit the park headquarters on a beautiful white beach and climb to the view point for a breath-taking panorama, before lunch and a visit to the emerald lake. Discover the best dive sites in the region with the award winning 100 Degrees East Samui Dive Team on board their 35 feet dive speed boat.
See the sights of Samui with Mr. Ung’s full day magical jungle safari. From temples to waterfalls, monkey shows to traditional rubber tapping, these highly professional and experienced guides will show you the best of the island from their iconic four-by-four jeeps.
For those interested in learning more about Thailand’s martial art, Muay Thai, visit the Muay Thai camp in Lamai. And if you’re a lover not a fighter and you want to see some Thai dancing, it is available at many of the islands hotels and restaurants. However, the fine dining and romantic atmosphere at Zazen in Bophut is a lovely setting to enjoy this beloved art form.
Combine your retreat with a health or wellness spa add-on program to make the most out of your stay. You are invited to enjoy rejuvenating massage and treatments at an exclusive rate. It is recommended that you book your health or wellness spa add-on program in advance as much preparation work is required and space is limited.
Please book your flight to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) where you will take another flight to Samui Airport (USM). Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways fly directly to Koh Samui from Bangkok. They operate flights every hour daily and you can book your flights directly online. One-way flight is around 4000 THB.
Transfer from and to Samui Airport (USM) is available upon request. The rate for the airport transfer service is 942 THB (one way) per person or family.
The trains to Surathani (which actually stop in Phun Phin, 14 kilometers west of Surathani) leave from Bangkok’s Hualamphong station. The 6:20 p.m. (rapid) and the 7:15 p.m. (express) trains are most convenient, as they arrive at 5:28 a.m. and 7 a.m., allowing you plenty of time to catch an 8 a.m. boat to Koh Samui. The bus and ferry journey will be an additional three hours once you’ve arrived in Surathani. Songserm offers a joint ticket (train, bus, and boat) for around 1,300 THB, which lands you in Koh Samui by 11 a.m.
The tickets for the train can be booked at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Bangkok Railway Station, and many travel agencies in Bangkok. To purchase your train tickets in advance, Asia Discover Thailand can arrange for the tickets to be mailed or to be picked up at your Bangkok hotel. Allow at least one month before your departure date to arrange for train tickets.