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4 Days Yoga Retreat with Paddy Mc Grath in Sri Lanka

  • The Kandy Samadhi Centre, Kukul Oya Road, Kandy, Sri Lanka


Yoga Retreat Sri Lanka

This is a special retreat organized by The Kandy Samadhi Centre, together with international yoga teacher, Paddy McGrath. Learn how to unbutton your spine, breathing techniques, and theory and practice on anatomy. Immerse yourself in daily asana and meditation practice with the beautiful Sri Lankan forest as the background. You will also have the chance to enjoy delicious and fully vegetarian Sri Lankan meals daily.


  • Theory and practice on anatomy
  • Breathing and spine loosening practices
  • Daily yoga asana and meditation practices
  • Daily vegetarian and traditional Sri Lankan brunch and dinner
  • Tea, coffee, snacks, and fruit
  • 3 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced

  • 3 days with instruction
  • English
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During this retreat, you will be accommodated at one of The Kandy Samadhi Centre's many pavilions and suites. The thirteen pavilions, which lean out of the hillside, are veritable temples of tranquility. They are designed to make you feel you are the only person staying here. Privacy is everything, yet there are no unnecessary walls. This results in a truly serene environment surrounded by urns, art, and treasures dating back to a time Kandy was a royal realm.

Everything is king-sized. The Indonesian teak bed in a double room is spacious enough to sleep three people comfortably. Even the smallest suite provides a four-poster bed to dream in.

The spacious verandas of each rooms are overlooking the paddy fields, nearby mountains, and bench terraces filled with herb gardens or pineapples. Bamboos reach out with their four-fingered leaves to fan a breeze at you. In the surrounding natural forest, mango, toddy palm, mahogany, and jak trees rub necks with giant bamboo, avocado, and Chinese guava.

Day 1

  • 15:00 Welcome tea and coffee
  • 15:30 Asana class
  • 17:30 Dinner
  • 19:30 Meditation

Day 2

  • 06:30 Breathing and spine loosening
  • 07:30 Morning tea and coffee with biscuits or fruits
  • 08:30 Asana (back bends)
  • 10:45 Big brunch followed by free time
  • 14:00 Tea and snack with discussion on "Anatomy Revisited: Practice and Theory"
  • 15:30 Asana (inversion)
  • 17:30 Dinner
  • 19:30 Meditation

Day 3

  • 06:30 Breathing and spine loosening
  • 07:30 Morning tea and coffee with biscuits or fruits
  • 08:30 Asana (back bends)
  • 10:45 Big brunch followed by free time
  • 14:00 Tea and snack with discussion on "Anatomy Revisited: Practice and Theory"
  • 15:30 Asana (inversion)
  • 17:30 Dinner
  • 19:30 Meditation

Day 4

  • 06:30 Breathing and spine loosening
  • 07:30 Tea, coffee, and snacks
  • 08:30 Asana
  • 10:45 Brunch and then farewell
  • Paddy McGrath

    Paddy teaches with deep passion and humor with her ever evolving quest to “unbutton the spine - so it can dance“ by assimilating decades of studies, initially under back bend master V. Venketesh (Mysore India) and senior Iyengar and Ashtanga teachers in India and Australia. Diane Long, Angela Farmer, and John Stirk had the greatest impact on her teaching. Paddy revolutionizes free movement in what she calls the spinal revolution. Using back bends as her thread, she brings her insight to students of all levels through playful poses and light-hearted language and imagery.

This retreat will be held in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Fifty minutes northeast of Kandy, the fertile landscape becomes a mass of lush vegetation reverberating with unfamiliar birdsong. The human populace too seem a different breed, profligate with smiles and allowing their abundant good sat sung to spill over and cloak the visitor.

Go past the triangular ambalama and up the steps where you squeeze past the statue of a giant Hindu goddess - half woman, half horse. There you will find the beautiful Samadhi Retreat Centre located.

The Kukul-Oya river meets the Hulu-Ganga, conveniently creating several spots for river bathing among the rocks and baby rapids. There, Plumbago (graphite) was found in lumps among the pebbles, but the locals had since been driven to eke out a meager living selling fruit and vegetables off roadside stalls.

Nearby places

  • Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), 123 kilometers
  • Kandy, 23 kilometers
  • Cooking classes
  • Golf course nearby
  • Massage
  • Reiki
  • Spa
  • Swimming
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Picnic area
  • Restaurant
  • River nearby
  • Library
  • Tour assistance

Included in the total cost of this retreat are daily vegetarian and traditional Sri Lankan brunch and dinner. Fruits, snacks, fruit juice, tea, and coffee will also be served during the retreat.

The following meals are included:

  • Brunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
(If you have special dietary requirements its a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)

A wellness spa facility is available at The Kandy Samadhi Centre. For those who would like to book Ayurveda treatments can inform the management after arrival and the treatment will be arranged for you during the free time for an additional cost.

Full Ayurvedic body massage and steam bath

This is a very old traditional therapy by two therapists, who work in tandem, synchronizing their strokes and massages according to the circulatory and marma points for one hour. This is the most rejuvenating treatment of Ayurveda. This can be treated for various ages and for common disorders. The benefits are:

  • Beautifies skin and slows down aging
  • Eliminate toxins in the body
  • Increase efficiency of athletic performance and improves sportive vitality
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Promotes vitality, reduces stress and stimulate sound sleep
  • Relieve pains and relax stiff muscles
  • Rejuvenates the entire body
  • Reduces obesity, diabetics gangrene, and so on


In this treatment, medicated oil is poured slowly over the forehead. Shirodhara is highly beneficial in treating headaches, mental tension, insomnia, stress and disorders of the central nervous system. Medicated oil is also poured on to the body, which is beneficial in curing neuromuscular disorders, rheumatism and general debility.

Shirodhara gives the best results when taken after an Abhyangam. Dhara is good for all ailments. Changing the liquid as per the dosha condition with necessary alterations in the procedure is useful to alleviate any dosha. The benefits are:

  • Effective for mental diseases, headaches, nervous disorders, insomnia, blood pressure, general weakness, and urinary disorders
  • Eliminates stress and anxiety
  • Helps to have a sound sleep
  • Prescribed in clinical conditions like epilepsy, diabetic, neuropathy and paralysis
  • Strengthens central nervous system
  • Strengthens sensible organs
  • Reduces hypertension

Ela Kizhi (Pathrapotali Swedam)

This is a common treatment for various diseases, including inflammatory conditions of the bones and joints, arthritis, spinal problems, and sport injuries. Herbs, leaves, or powders with warm oil applied over the affected areas of the body for massaging. The benefits are:

  • Controls vitiated vata
  • Effective in the cases of spondylitis, sports injuries, muscular pains, back pains
  • Improves central blood supply
  • Relieves pain, numbness, and edema
  • Stimulates the nerve endings
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • All taxes
  • Daily yoga, asana, and meditation class
  • Daily vegetarian brunch and dinner
  • Breathing and spine loosening class
  • Fruits, snacks, fruit juice, tea, and coffee
  • Practice and theory on anatomy
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Personal expenses

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB).

  • Review by Stephanie Chan from New York, USA
    10 out of 10

    "My stay at the Kandy Samadhi Center was great! The staff there is very friendly and accommodating. I was one of the few guests there traveling alone that week and they helped make me feel comfortable and welcome. It was also my birthday week and they offered me a free room upgrade, free spa treatment and surprised me with a birthday cake! That was really above and beyond and sweet, and that made my experience there even more enjoyable. Besides that, the yoga instructor was very knowledgeable and provided a lot of personal attention, especially with regard to proper alignments. Knowledge I'll take back home. The center itself is very remote and peaceful. The food offerings were delicious and each meal was a good spread. Comparing my room upgrade to the other mud rooms, I think the upgrade made a big difference as I had much more space and natural light, particularly since I had my own private terrace to wake up to and sip some tea on. All in all, I had a great experience there and I'd highly recommend it to others interested in doing a yoga retreat in Sri Lanka!" Website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Madrid, Spain
    10 out of 10

    "We have spent three nights in this beautiful hotel, but a bit remote. I cannot say anything negative about this beautiful place. I would recommend if you go to this place that you don't travel around as the ride to Kandy will take you more than 90 minutes. Go there to chill and simply appreciate the surroundings. The reservation persons were so cooperative and we could communicate well via email and arrange everything as planned. They will help you in arranging airport pickups. So far this has been the best place during our journey and I strongly recommend you go. The spa treatments were fine and I had a great relaxation. Breakfast is great and the food is also excellent and at a very low price considering they could charge you much more considering this is the only option. The staff is also very nice and pleasant. The only disappointment was there was no front desk and there was no proper uniform for the staff. Other than those, I highly recommend this place to everyone."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Canada
    10 out of 10

    "We went straight to Samadhi from the airport and stayed one week which was the perfect way to land in Sri Lanka after 30 hours of travel. We felt extremely welcomed and cared for from the first moment we arrived until our departure by all the staff. The treatments were phenomenal and the food incredibly fresh and delicious. Everyone is so warm and heart centered. We loved the traditional and authentic atmosphere and decor. We felt like we went back in time. "

    "There is a paradisical waterfall a short walk away through the jungle where we could swim and relax. We loved the spacious room with an outdoor bathroom that had a view of the trees and sky. We had sublime time down by the river, the perfect place to meditate. We can't say enough good things about Samadhi and the staff. We highly recommend doing the daily treatment package. You will be transformed and transported"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Kate
    10 out of 10

    "We had the most incredible experience at Samadhi centre!The accommodation, the food, the massages, the yoga and the staff we all amazing! It's so beautiful and the ultimate "getaway". I would definitely recommend staying at Samadhi and hope to visit again someday. Waruna and Yumi were great, kind hosts. I would rate it 10/10. Thank you for all your help and for recommending Samadhi to us!" website, edited

  • Review by Nigel K. from Sydney, Australia
    10 out of 10

    "After a lot of travel through Sri Lanka, leaving me weary and fatigued, I was totally blessed and amazed to arrive at this Wonderful sanctuary of the soul. Many thanks to the hosts Jack and Athula and all the other gracious staff. The Ayurveda treatments were both restorative and beautiful. The food was very healthy and delicious. The accommodation infused elegance into a splendid natural setting. Only when I finally met Waruna, the creator of this unique resort, I did understand the deep spiritual energy and intention in which it is embedded."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Karun T.
    10 out of 10

    "The place really is a magical location. Our house was in the top of the hill at this amazing place. We were looking for a calm and relaxing stay after a lot of travelling, Samadhi was perfect for us. We bathed in the stream at the bottom each morning and walked to the large waterfall on Sunday for a swim. The great local food served in amazing area full of oil lamps and antiques is delicious. If you want a memorable and unique experience with bathrooms that are bigger than most bedrooms, relaxed surroundings, great fresh food, stunning wild life, and great hosts then I would recommend this paradise."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Laura
    10 out of 10

    "I had a wonderful experience at The Kandy Samadhi Centre! It is a great place to relax and enjoy Yoga and Ayurveda sessions. The location in the jungle was fantastic and quiet, the room was beautiful and every day I heard the sound of the river and birds, at every meal I got simple, delicious and varied food. The staff was very friendly and helped me to arrange the airport transfer and the tour of Kandy. Ayurveda treatments were of very high quality, I recommend them; I enjoyed a lot also the yoga lessons among nature. Finally I felt I was lucky to find this place. Samadhi people, greetings from Italy!"

    The Khandi Samadhi Centre website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Calgary, UK
    10 out of 10

    "Experience had during my stay at Samadhi is unforgettable. It was a very serene location and all the different views from different rooms added extra pleasure to my journey. The garden was well-maintained and all the vegetables were taken from their organic herb garden so that I could have fresh and healthy food. They served Sri Lankan dishes and the restaurant was an open to outsiders so I had perfect meals with amazing experience of nature. I had two yoga sessions during my stay at Samadhi from which I had total relaxation for my mind and body. I also had a Shirodhara treatment during my stay. The doctor at Samadhi was very kind and gave me a very good consultation. The staff members were also very friendly and provided great service. I recommend this amazing place for everyone. Go and have the same amazing experience!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Max from London, UK
    10 out of 10

    "It's in a lovely spot and sprawls right up a mountainside with lots of vegetation all around. There was also a pretty stream below and some lovely views. Be prepared to walk up and down a fair bit - but it's all part of the experience of the place. We had a warm welcome, and the staff were friendly and helpful. We had an enormous room with two large double beds, and a charming old-style bathroom. It was cool enough during the day and warm enough at night, and we felt like we pretty much had enough privacy. The dinner and breakfast at the restaurant was enjoyable local cuisine - it's not entirely veggie so there's something for everyone. And they'll manage to serve you beer and wine if you ask. We would strongly recommend you do the walk to the pools and waterfall - be shown there by a guide and then he'll leave you on your own. I highly recommend you do it for a few hours and it's easy to make your way back on your own. We had an afternoon massage which was quite an experience. It was thorough and pleasant. We didn't end up doing any of the yoga sessions which wasn't an issue - you can quite happily stay without being involved with it. Overall can highly recommend for a slightly different and off the beaten track stay."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Cem Yurdum
    10 out of 10

    "It was one of those great vacation moments when I arrived to Kandy Samadhi center. I didn't really know what to expect, as I had not vacationed in such accommodation before so I was a little nervous about lied ahead. The experience was exhilarating. Perfect combination of beautiful outdoors, the warmth of the staff made me feel very welcome. The can-do attitude of the staff I think is the biggest selling point of this place. The entire center feels so organic, natural, and in tune with the surroundings of itself. Rooms are big, spacious. There is also plenty to do around without going to Kandy, such as visiting high altitude tea plantations within 10 minute driving distance, walking in the jungle path and river bathing. My only regret is that I had to leave early on my last day. I would recommend at least 5 full days at this center. Yoga teacher is super nice, she will adjust to your ability level and push you just enough to challenge you. It's a very versatile place. Don't treat this place as just for yoga and meditation. It's a great place to stay away from the hustle and bustle of Kandy, and do plenty around it as well. Kanchana, Athula and Saliya all did an amazing job of making my stay comfortable and smooth." website, edited

  • Review by Allison Sigler
    10 out of 10

    "My stay at the Kandy Samadhi Centre was a perfect blend of relaxation and toughness that I needed during my first vacation to Sri Lanka. I truly enjoyed the quietness that the Centre provides, being just north of Kandy and being surrounded by jungle and forest rather than other buildings and people. The staff and managers at the Centre were wonderful in welcoming me to the Centre after a long and crazy transfer from Colombo airport and were able to take care of my smallest needs in order to allow me to rest from my long journey.The food was amazing and I never knew that you could make a curry from pineapple and bananas. I am still craving those wonderful dishes and am scouring the internet to find the closest thing to them for me to make them myself. The yoga in the early morning was a great wake up for tired muscles and June was a great teacher who was able to allow me to adjust my poses as needed (I have a wrist injury that prevented me from doing all the poses). She was very knowledgeable about each pose and how it would help our muscles relax to achieve the stretch we needed. I would have loved to just take class with her for more time everyday if I could have. I appreciated the guided tours of a nearby waterfall and a tea plantation that the Centre provided for guests and was just what I needed to help me see the area around the Centre without causing me to feel like I was an ordinary tourist or member of a large group. Lastly, the massages I had were excellent and I don't know when I have had better. The male massage therapist was great at getting to the deep tissue problems that I had and made me feel relaxed and like jell-o after an hour of work. I am telling all of my friends about the Centre and showing them pictures that I took. I fully intend to come back and stay for longer when I next have a chance because I had such a wonderful, relaxing time and can't think of any other way to have a vacation than to have a vacation here." website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Sydney, Australia
    10 out of 10

    "After a hectic few weeks exploring Sri Lanka the Samadhi Centre was the perfect place to stop for a few days and just relax. The rooms are simple but beautifully decorated with antiques, and the setting is stunning - nestled in the jungle overlooking a river. We did yoga (excellent classes), went for a walk along the road (too many leeches for hiking for us), had wonderful massages and read lots. The food was a highlight, the best curries we've had and so much variety. And the staff were fantastic, so friendly and helpful."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Ann Potter
    10 out of 10

    "This is the perfect place for complete relaxation. The rooms are lovely - particularly the larger ones high up the side of the valley. Mine was huge, with beautiful furniture and a great bathroom. You can lie outside you rooms watching birds and squirrels during the day and read in your rooms in the evening. All you can hear in the evening are tree frogs. One big bonus for me that there were no insects or any other forms of wildlife in the rooms. The path to the communal eating areas is lit by oil lamps as is the restaurant area. The food is delicious and the fruit and vegetables were beautiful. They did actually have alcohol at the retreat as well as Wi-Fi. The yoga was excellent as were the massages. I had a five-day package which included yoga and a massage everyday which I thought was really good value. All the staff were very helpful and welcoming." website, edited

  • Review by Sandy
    10 out of 10

    "My stay in Samadhi was beyond expectations. A truly beautiful and peaceful place, made with a lot of taste! But one should know, it's a place for retreat and disconnection. It's 30 to 35 minutes away from Kandy and be prepared to see some unusual reptiles! Overall great experience. Would definitely go back!" website, edited

  • Review by Ruby Amir
    10 out of 10

    "I did indeed have a very pleasant stay. I found the place to be just what I needed for a short rejuvenation trip. The food is very healthy and delicious, and I like the fact that there are minimal varieties on the buffet, but all of them complement one another. The atmosphere of the place is very green and secluded in a good way from the rest of the world. You can sit back and enjoy a good book in your private pavilion while you listen to the sounds of a flowing river. The staff is really nice, especially Jack. Everyone had a smile on their face and I felt very welcome. The yoga was very intensive and Janaka was very attentive that we do all the poses in a way to get out the most benefits from it. I will and have recommended Kandy Samadhi Centre to my friends and family. Hope to see you guys again in the near future!" website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from New Delhi, India
    10 out of 10

    "Our family of three stayed at Painters Pavilion and simply loved it! The room was very specious with two double beds and a lot of wonderful art decoration and antique furniture. Bathroom (with shower and bath tub) was very specious and views from our entrance patio not bad either. Walking around the retreat we could notice other Sri Lankan inspired art pieces all around.The hotel is a short ride (25 minutes) from Kandy city itself, situated in the beautiful green hills and with very kind management. Yoga classes and Ayurveda massages available, too. Homemade Sri Lankan food wasn't bad either. Wi-Fi available on one of the rooftops (right above our room where we stayed)."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Brenda M. from Perth, Australia
    10 out of 10

    "I enjoyed my stay here so much. I love the remoteness, I love the serenity. The rooms are all amazing. When I booked they said they could only accommodate me if I was OK in changing rooms. So I stayed in number 12 mud house, then was upgraded to the honeymoon suite for the same price. Both rooms were amazing. Number 12 was so quiet near the river. Very peaceful. The honeymoon suite was just breathtaking. All the staff have been warm and friendly, and they communicate very well as a team. I highly recommend a stay here. I also did yoga which was great and worked us all very well. I also had some fantastic massages too. Both from the male and female therapist.The food is wonderful and ample to keep you very satisfied from morning to evening. Enjoy!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    6 out of 10

    "Dirt on bed inside adults mosquito net (looked like large animal droppings). Dead stinking decaying gecko on floor under desk in kids bedroom. Long steep uphill walk at night in the rain, some 500 meters to our room. Kids rooms had no mosquito nets and they were disturbed all night by large bugs and a hornet. The view was wonderful and the food was interesting and carefully done. However, at the amount paid for one night (for two adults, three kids in two rooms), this was very much overpriced."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Swati M. from Hong Kong, China
    6 out of 10

    "It is definitely not a place to go to with young kids. We had a room with windows covered only by straw mats which meant it got quite cold at night. Despite asking for blankets several times, we were not given extra blankets. The breakfast was very ordinary. Also we were given no warning at all about the place being infested with leeches as a result of which all of us including our children were bitten by leeches while following what they call a jungle path. The place is only for those who are looking for adventure and no comfort. The people were nice to be fair. And it is a definite a "no no" for those with kids younger than 10, I would say."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Amanda B. from London, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "This jungle centre has the most amazing rooms. Spacious and serene filled with antiquities of Sri Lanka. A walk from your room to the restaurant through the jungle is exciting. With a river that can be bathed in running through, this centre is idyllic. Yoga classes, meditation, massage and treatments daily. A beautiful candle lit restaurant make this the ideal getaway for friends, lovers and family as well as solo travellers. The buffet style local food is delicious and beautiful. A trip to the tea plantation is a must, the journey of the leaf from the bush to our pot makes every mouthful that much more enjoyable. A visit to the waterfall is breathtaking."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Sally M. from Ipswich, Australia
    8 out of 10

    "We stayed at Kandy Samadhi Centre for one night after three nights in the hustle of Kandy. It was a welcome change. The trip up the mountain by taxi is very winding, took about 40 minutes and cost us 3,500 rupees. We were warmly greeted by our host Jack and taken to our pavilion (we were upgraded for free as it wasn't busy). It was quite a steep climb but the room was spacious and cool. Ensuite had a cool old deep bath in a rock walled room. We had lunch, dinner and breakfast at Samadhi, and a late afternoon yoga session. The food was extensive and delicious. We fell asleep with fireflies lighting up our room - magic! Friendly dogs seemed to watch over us during the night, and slept outside our door.The downside for us was the cost of the food. We had pre-paid for bed and breakfast and were shocked when the bill for lunch, dinner and yoga was 12,000 rupees. This was way above our experience anywhere else in Sri Lanka."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from London, UK
    9 out of 10

    "Impeccable service, really beautiful rooms with a lot of character and a genuinely peaceful atmosphere. It's not particularly cheap, but worth the extra dollars in my opinion. The massages and yoga classes are good quality. You should know that drinks are not included in the price of the meals - they didn't tell us that in advance. The Wi-Fi wasn't working when we were there."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Lizzy from Crawley, UK
    8 out of 10

    "We stayed here for two nights this week. Amazing location and unique accommodation in the middle of the jungle. It truly was one of the most beautiful places we have stayed. Great scenery and walks, you fall asleep to the sound of running water and the wildlife around you. Just a couple of warnings; this hotel is truly remote, the food was great, but no real choice, no air con or fans so very warm at night, no Wi-Fi or any media, if it rains, the rooms and your belongings will get damp. That said, we would totally recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to get back to nature."

    TripAdvisor website, edited