Meditation and Yoga retreat wanted, anywhere and short or long stay?
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Jun 14, 2013 7:39 AM Last Post By: mezclada75
Jun 30, 2012 10:23 PM
Meditation and Yoga retreat wanted, anywhere and short or long stay?Hi, i am arriving in Thailand from Laos in the north on 8th July 2012 and heading down through the country on the free 15 day visa to Malaysia, probably from Chang Mai, through Bangkok and South to Malaysia. I am new to meditation and yoga and have only tried meditation myself briefly and started learning Yoga in Laos but only 1 week ago. I am quite inflexible and still struggle to sit cross legged. I have never been to a retreat before but have had many recommendations and so want to try it.
I would need somewhere maybe not so strict that would allow me not to have to sit cross legged throughout the whole meditation time if i struggle but otherwise willpower and commitment aren't an issue and so a 10 day retreat would be fine, but would also try a 3, 5 or 7 day retreat too so if anyone can recommend a retreat to me i would appreciate it. I arrive in Thailand on 8th July and leave on 23rd July 2012 to Malaysia.
Jul 1, 2012 12:26 AM
1You can go to the Sanctuary on Koh Pangan. It offers all levels of yoga and meditation and isn't in any way austere like a Vipashna meditation retreat would be (which would only be meditation and is quite intense).
I bet Sanctuary is in the lonely planet or you could find them on the internet. Enjoy your trip.
Jul 1, 2012 4:53 AM
3I found the website for sanctuary but it looks like they only do meditation classes and i think i would prefer something less 'western', more Thai at a temple and although i didn't see the prices, going by the website i would say i am after something cheaper too! I appreciate the link though and i should have specified i was looking for something more traditional to Thailand.
The SE Asia backpacker page link was good, a few leads from there, many thanks. I have sent an email to one and have an option at another in Mae Hong Son though this may be a bit out of the way for me.
Jul 1, 2012 10:48 AM
4The Sanctuary has multiple yoga classes every day. You're only going to get 'western' for yoga in Thailand as yoga is not at all Thai. You can only get meditation at the temples.
If you are looking for a traditional yoga/meditation retreat, you should go to India. The Sivananda school is very good, from what I've heard.
Jul 1, 2012 9:55 PM
6thanks for the link, unfortunately the 2 courses on whilst i am in Thailand are full but it will be a handy site anyway so thank you,
Jul 2, 2012 4:30 PM
7No Problem-there are other centers in Thailand if thats a help-just google vipassana--All the best
Jul 2, 2012 6:24 PM
Jul 4, 2012 5:29 AM
Jul 4, 2012 10:17 PM
10Chiang Mai will be your best starting place to find this. Several Wats have meditation sessions and the large one in the old city has chat-with-a-monk sessions. Many yoga retreats go out to Pai or somewhere nearby but I'm not familiar with a yoga/accommodation combo in Chiang Mai. You'll find great classes at Blue Garden, Wildrose and Namo. The teachers there can likely fill you in on any retreats. Yes the classes will be taught by Westerners but Thai massage is basically yoga done to the body so you'll find yoga studios all over Thailand. But the cross legged part comes with being in Asia. Chairs, like so many Western things, just aren't necessary. After seven months I got so used to it I'm sitting cross legged in a chair right now typing this.
Where you're most likely to find what you're looking for is on Koh Phangan but not The Sanctuary. It's a lodge that has occasional classes as well as occasional drug-laden parties. Yes, it's beautiful, yes I had good yoga classes there. But the drawback don't outweigh the benefits for me. You might look at the Agama center on the sunrise side of Koh Phangan. Not that it's perfect, but they have daily yoga and meditation classes and you can sign up when you get there and stay as long as you'd like so you're not trying to find a yoga retreat that meets your schedule. It will be Western but the program is based in India and reminded me of ashrams I studied at there.
Also, where did you start studying in Laos. When I was there I couldn't find yoga anywhere. I'd love to know what's happened since.
Several people on TT have said they found my posts helpful so you might as well, http://blisspassport.com/thailand.
Jul 4, 2012 11:25 PM
11Any yoga outside of India/Nepal will probably be quite westernized. Even in India, it will be for the most part as foreigners aren't allowed to study at the serious ashrams without knowledge of Hindi and Sanskrit.
Aug 3, 2012 3:14 AM
12Unfortunately many of those serious ashrams in India that require knowledge of hindi and sanskrit don't go further than cleansing techniques, basic asanas and intensive meditation - most quality meditation can be received on Vipassana and you don't have to learn hindi to achieve effects. I know by experience that too many Indian ashrams largely talk about philosophy and heavily mix yoga with hinduism, so you would get most effect if you are prone to god worshipping. If not - "westernized" yoga works as a method as effectively as "authentic" Indian yoga, and sometimes even quicker. So if you want a good yoga retreat for a beginner, be sure that in Thailand you can find many good yoga places. I would suggest you to visit one of the very good places on Yoga retreats in Thailand that I've tried - Blooming Lotus Yoga. The have one week retreats, 3, 5 days, 10 days yoga and meditation retreats that is held in complete silence - quite close to Vipassana. So if you're still considering yoga places in Thailand, check Koh Phangan for this place.
Aug 7, 2012 1:56 AM
13Thanks to you all for that information.
I actually found a place called New life Foundation in Chiang rai. Its a volunteering place for people with personal problems but as a volunteer (though its paid volunteering but very cheap) you can go to guided meditation and yoga classes daily so its working out as a great starting point for me, it must be as originally i was going to stay a week but am now here for 9 weeks!
I am coming back to Thailand twice next year so possibly will try those suggestions you all gave then, i will be in Kho Phagnan, Pai and Chiang Mai so will research them all.
Blisspassport, the yoga in Laos was in Luang Prabang (i was there May 2012) held every morning and evening at 2 locations at Ock Pok Tok (i think thats how you spell it) and at the main chillout bar Utopia with 2 teachers Julie and i can't remember the other lady's name but both are great teachers at good locations and both speak English. The cost is around 30,000 KIp for an hour or 50,000 Kip for 1 1/2 hours.... hope the info helps.
Feb 16, 2013 6:04 AM
Kochi (Cochin)Book now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$4.42 per night
Ko ChangBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$41.04 per night
Mumbai (Bombay)Book now
(5 star Hotel)
From US$193.64 per night