December 2009. Great Yoga Retreats. Media Reviews
Headstand on the Beach
Edited and compiled by Angelika Taschen, text by Kristin Rübesamen
When in 2001, with modest savings, Paul and Jutima squinted at the light at the end of the Lincoln Tunnel, they were leaving not only New York and their former years in training as yoga teachers behind them. Their destination was Los Angeles, their next stop Bangkok, Jutima's place of birth. Before they founded Samahita Retreat, they travelled to India in order to study in Mysore with their teacher Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath. The respect and the seriousness that are the features of the constant practice of the couple are also present in every detail of this beautiful resort. From the light Yoga Shala - on whose bamboo floor sweating bodies raise themselves into a handstand, the excellent equipment including props such as Iyengar belts hanging from the ceiling and the wall - to the delightful meditation garden, the saltwater pool, and on to the inviting lounge: lucidity and a cool head, obeisance to the masters and silent contentment are the goal.
Yoga is everywhere. As Patthabi Jois said: "Practice. And the rest will follow."
Books to pack: "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" by Sri Swami Satchidananda and "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts.
Directions: Located on the south coast of Koh Samui at Laem Sor Beach, 45 min from the airport.
Yoga Styles: Ashtanga, Prenatal, Yoga Anatomy, teacher training.
Teachers: Richard Freeman, Sri O.P. Tiwari.
Rooms: 28 rooms.
Food: Asian-European, occasionally fish and eggs, juice bar.
Treatments: Bodywork, massages, infra-red sauna, steam bath, colon hydrotherapy.
Recreation: Saltwater pool, walks along the beach.