My Favourite Top 5 Yoga Retreats in Koh Phangan
When many people think of Koh Phangan they think about the infamous Full Moon Party. But there is so much more to this picturesque island than that. As well as beautiful tropical beaches and a gorgeous mountainous and jungly interior, there are so many world class yoga retreats in Koh Phangan that it can actually be hard to choose!
Many of the yoga retreats also offer drop in classes and yoga teacher trainings. When I first came to live on Koh Phangan I went to different yoga classes every day to try out all the different centers and styles to find one that suited me best so I thought it would help other yogis to write about my favourite yoga places on the island. I should have taken more photos really but it didn’t really feel right to start taking photos during a yoga class!
Koh Phangan is fast becoming a Yoga mecca. The area of Sri Thanu in the North-West of Koh Phangan has become to center for all things yoga related and has many yoga studios and vegan restaurants that attract more conscious yoga travellers and hippies, a far cry from the Full Moon revellers on the other end of the island. This island is not just beautiful but also has a very special vibe and energy and attracts a loving, open and conscious yoga community making it one of the best places in the world to take a yoga retreat and connect with yourself.
What better place to do yoga than on a magical, spiritual, tropical island in Thailand with some amazing teachers and surrounded by a great community of like minded yogis.
Here are my choices for the 5 best yoga retreats in Koh Phangan.
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Before packing your backpack and strapping your yoga mat to it, be sure to do your research and check that the yoga retreat you plan to go to is in fact a good one. I feel this especially important now after hearing of the recent allegations against the popular and famous Agama yoga school’s founder.
A great site I use for checking reviews and testimonials is www.bookyogaretreats.com You can search for retreats all over the world and find out more about the classes, instructors, accommodation and food offered as well as booking your place. Also check out my post on the 6 best yoga retreats in all of Thailand.
5 Best Yoga Retreats in Koh Phangan
Founded in 2005 as a reiki and healing centre, Orion Healing Centre later brought yoga into the mix and today it is one of the largest and most popular yoga retreats in Koh Phangan. It’s situated on the beach in the popular yogi area of Sri Thanu. They specialise in detox programs, wellness programs, reiki courses and, of course yoga retreats, or you can even add them all into the mix.
There are three yoga shalas onsite that offer a wide range of classes, and there is even an amazing open-air vegan restaurant. Retreat packages range from 3 to 14 days, though many find themselves staying for longer. Packages include accommodations, unlimited yoga classes, meditation, 3 meals a day and use of the small onsite gym, amongst other things. Click here to read reviews and to book!
The Santuary is the oldest yoga retreat on Koh Phangan and was originally created as a private hideaway for friends. That was in 1989. It is now arguably the most well-known yoga retreat centre in Thailand and a place that is exactly what its name says it will be; a sanctuary.
The centre is located on a remote corner of the island that is only accessible by boat and boasts a stunning beach and a hippy vibe. Add in the great food, world-class yoga teachers and wide array of accommodation options and you truly are in a tropical paradise. They offer 3, 7 and 10 day yoga retreats, all of which include a daily yoga class, at least one private yoga session, at least one therapy session, massage treatments and accommodations. The only downside to doing a yoga retreat here is that food is not included, so it can get pricey. Check out what The Guardian had to say, See reviews on Trip Advisorand visit their website to book.
In my opinion, Samma Karuna is the most interesting and most complete yoga retreat in Koh Phangan due to the huge diversity of yoga classes, meditations and other workshops and activities on offer. It was also the center where I felt most at home. It’s located on Haad Chao Phao beach which is just a 2 min drive from the center of Sri Thanu – the most popular area for yogis.
Samma Karuna is one of the newer yoga retreats on Koh Phangan, having opened its doors in 2014. Since then it has quickly grown and today it features 4 yoga halls (3 on the beach), 2 evening event halls, chill out areas, a shop and a vegan restaurant. The entire environment at Samma Karuna is inviting and friendly, plus, accommodations are included in the price.
They offer both yoga and meditation retreats, all of which are priced to suit all budgets. If you have time I would really recommend checking out the unique and comprehensive 1 month healing and awakening course. There’s so many different meditations, workshops and different styles of yoga including OSHO mediations, Qi Gong, dance meditation, rebirthing, tantra, evening and social activities, that I can’t name them all in this blog post so check out their website for more info. They also offer yoga teacher training and detox programs. I think this is the ultimate yoga retreat in Koh Phangan – you’ll learn so, so much more than just yoga here! Click here to read reviews and to book!
One of the original yoga centres on the island, the Yoga Retreat opened its doors in 2000 to cater to the Ashtanga crowd. Owners Teresa and Kes Kennard are both level 2 KPJAYI teachers, trained in India under the guidance of the famous K Pattabhi Jois.
The Yoga Retreat is nestled in the jungle just above Haad Salad, which happens to be one of the most spectacular beaches on the island. They offer private and shared rooms, have a healthy vegan restaurant onsite and offer some of the cheapest retreat packages on Koh Phangan. Choose a retreat that lasts as little as 6 days or as many as 30 days, and study the traditional Mysore style of Ashtanga in a beautiful jungle setting with some ace teachers. It definitely is one of the best yoga retreats on Koh Phangan, especially for Ashtanga practitioners. Click here to read reviews and to book!
The newest centre in my selection of the 5 best yoga retreats on Koh Phangan, Wonderland Healing Center is situated in the jungle in the centre of the island surrounded by picturesque natural scenery. It was founded by a group of friends that all experienced changes in their life thanks to yoga, and wanted to share this with others.
It is a community-based yoga retreat centre that has 37 air-conditioned rooms, a two-storey yoga shala, a herbal steam sauna and a pool. This is probably because there is no beach in sight. But this is the beauty of the place. It’s its own little world in a magical place close to temples and waterfalls. The beach is also not too far away, though many just spend their days absorbed at the centre. Wonderland Healing Center offers yoga classes for all levels, with retreats lasting 4, 7 or 11 days that include accommodations, 3 incredible vegan buffets a day, yoga classes, a Thai massage, and access to all facilities and activities. Click here to read reviews and to book!
Any mention of yoga retreats in Koh Phangan wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Agama. Agama is probably the most famous ( or maybe infamous is more appropriate) and was one of the most popular yoga retreats in Koh Phangan. Agama runs comprehensive month long yoga courses, teacher trainings and tantric retreats. However it is also very controversial, especially with recent allegations of sexual misconduct. I’ve done a couple of drop in yoga classes at Agama (before these allegations came out) I did enjoy the teaching and didn’t experience anything untoward but I don’t feel like I can really recommend it now and suggest you do more research before heading there, if it’s even still open as the founder has now fled the island. Check out their trip advisor reviews here which also mention sexual misconduct.
I’ve been blessed to be able to spend alot of time in tropical, spiritual places with great yoga – check out my pick of the best yoga retreats and yoga teacher training courses in Goa, India and my choice of the 5 best yoga retreats in Bali too!
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