Feeling as though you would like a holiday not based around beer, smoking and eating 7/11 food at 3 am?
There is no more perfect a place than Thailand to enjoy downtime that involves beach walks, delicious food and lush sunsets that nourish the soul. Krabi now has so much to offer in the way of holidays with a spiritual purpose, a choice between yoga retreats, healing courses or deepening your yoga practise, a month long teacher-training course.
If you are a beginner and just always liked the sound of yoga or perhaps attending classes regularly. This is a guide to choosing the retreat or course that will ignite your soul, giving you the right physical and mental challenge.
The Type of Yoga
There are many disciplines of yoga and this is an important factor in deciding what fits your style of practise.
- Hatha: Essentially the roots of all yoga, the physical practise will be slower and a deeper, a more spiritual form in classes and theory.
Ideal for: Those with the desire to learn the beginnings and entire lifestyle of yoga.
- Vinyassa: This is a flowing, dynamic form of practise, using breath-linking movements, with emphasis placed on the sun-salutation postures.
Ideal for: Those needing a strong, powerful practise to shake up body and mind.
- Ashtanga: Strong focus on vigorous physical postures and powerful breath control. This practise produces intense internal heat and sweat while learning the 1- 4 series of postures, so it can be competitive.
Ideal for: Those that desire a robust, physical practise.
- Yin: A much slower practise that focuses on longer held postures to release muscles and connective tissues in the body.
Ideal for: Those who struggle to sit still but desire to learn patience in body and mind.
“If there is one thing yoga has taught me through teaching and practise is that flexibility of the body is less important than the flexibility of your mind and being open to the changes and transformation that yoga will deliver time and time again. Yoga is much, much more than strutting a posture, these postures do however lead us to a greater understanding of our breath and through this our present state, so never be disheartened by ‘not being flexible’ Yoga is an all encompassing lifestyle so there is no existence of good or bad, it is for every individual and body type.” Suzi
What is a yoga retreat?
The word retreat itself evokes images of backing away from the norm, leaving the grind of daily life, work and stress behind. Retreats have become more popular due to our modern life demands that have us constantly switched onto our phones, wifi and social media.
Taking a break with a purpose by concentrating on meditation and yoga asana classes can be more fulfilling for the body and mind. A chance to not only unwind but some view retreats as an opportunity of self-discovery, a method of dealing with past pain, hurt or heartbreak and essentially a space for quiet and reflection.
What you can expect
Depending on what the teacher offers, usually twice daily yoga and mediation, making the most of the early morning fresh air and sunsets. Some retreats also offer workshops in massage, back care and yoga philosophy, with special classes such as candlelit yoga.
What is Yoga Teacher Training?
Even if you can’t imagine yourself teaching, this is a great way to truly immerse yourself. There’s a lot more to yoga and these courses teach you about the important philosophy, lifestyle, meditation and pranayama; which is the expansion of breath within the body, teaching skills as well as the asanas (postures).
The courses start at 200 hours, which fits into a month and are varied in price. Most will offer a certificate with the worldwide Yoga Alliance, gaining the ability to teach in the UK, USA and Oz.
What you can expect
This is not an easy option, meditation and pranayama can start at sunrise with approximately 3 to 4 hours daily of physical asana classes to practise, learning to teach and adjust others in the postures.
The courses allow for one day off a week and also consist of theory classes: anatomy and physiology lessons, chanting, yoga philosophy, history and explaining the 8 limbs of yoga. They may also cover Ayuveda; ancient Indian alternative healing and Kriyas; which are methods of cleansing the body. Doshas; which are an examination of 3 different bodily humours that make up our individual constitutions. Mudras; particularly hand mudras which are held to increase the flow of Prana, the yogic energy in the body and Chakras; which are the 7 energy centres of the body.
Both retreats and teacher training can be intense for the mind and body. The essence of yoga is to question and sometimes rock your comfort zones, so there can be moments of elation mixed with difficult experiences. Expect to make friends and spend a lot of time discovering yourself even if that was not the original plan-yoga is potentially full of surprises.
Many of these courses also offer social time to get to know fellow students, with shared meals, movie nights and trips organised locally to visit other islands.
What’s on offer in Krabi:
Sabai Sabai Yoga Retreats in association with Ashtak Yoga
- Yearly retreats: Next retreat – 27th March – 3rd April 2016
- Daily classes
- Yoga Teacher Training: Next course: 28th March 2016 – 21st April 2016
Kantiang Bay, Koh Lanta
- Daily yoga and meditation classes
- Yin Teacher Training: Next course 8th – 22nd April 2016
Klong Dao, Koh Lanta
Ao Nang & Klong Muang, Krabi
Daily classes in Krabi:
If you only planned a few days passing through Krabi there are also studios that just offer daily drop in classes:
Green Yoga Krabi
Ao Nang Yoga