Known around the globe for its hedonistic party nights, Koh Phangan has also become an increasingly popular destination for yogis in the last 20 years. Yep, while the south coast towns of Haad Rin and Thongsala host their infamous monthly Full Moon shindigs, the remoter western and northern coasts of the isle have quietly transformed into spiritual retreats for travelers on the hunt for that elusive inner peace and chakra alignment.
Sri Thanu, in Koh Phangan’s northwest corner, has established itself as the hub of all things yoga on the island. There are more downward-dog studios and vegan restaurants in those parts than you can shake a bowl of sticky mango rice at! They cater to a demographic of book-reading, incense-lighting New Agers and experience-driven millennials – pretty much the opposite of the crowd you find in the party towns down south!
There are now countless top-class yoga retreats in Koh Phangan to pick from. They range from mystical healing centers to luxurious spa hotels with yoga programs on the side, offering something for all sorts of Nirvana-seeking traveler and – crucially – all levels of budget. This guide takes a look at just seven of the very best, with info on why we think they stand out from the crowd and what type of yoga trip you can expect on the ground. Namaste…
Starting off with perhaps the most famous – and oldest – of all of Koh Phangan’s yoga retreats, The Sanctuary first opened its doors in Haad Tien as a private hideaway in 1989, and ever since then it’s grown into an internationally renowned yoga centre and detox facility. This isn’t to say that The Sanctuary has become detached from its roots though, as despite becoming a worldwide institution it’s still very much in touch with its origins as, as the name would suggest, a humble and down to earth yoga sanctuary.
Situated in an isolated corner of the East Coast, the only real way in or out is via longtail boat, although jeep rides are sometimes available, conditions permitting. It’s this isolation that the guests who make the trip to visit The Sanctuary love, with many of same guests returning year after year.
A wide range of accommodation is on offer for guests at The Sanctuary, from simple dorms and cosy bungalows to stylish villas, along with 3, 7 or 10-day yoga retreats consisting of a daily yoga class, a private yoga and therapy session, and massage treatments too. Bear in mind that food isn’t included in the price you’ll pay, however there is food available. There’s plenty of nutritious and delicious food on offer at their restaurant, including fresh fish.
Ultimately, The Sanctuary is one of the best places for yoga in Koh Phangan if you’re looking for somewhere to reconnect with yourself, and since it’s a resort, you’ll find plenty on offer to keep you busy. Pricing at The Sanctuary works out to 350B per class, or 2,100B for 7 pre-paid tickets.
Located on Haad Chao Phao beach, Samma Karuna offers guests an enormous variety of yoga classes, meditation workshops, and all sorts of other activities. Located just 2 minutes from Sri Thanu’s centre, Samma Karuna is ideally located right next door to the most popular spot in Koh Phangan for yoga enthusiasts.
Despite only opening their doors in 2014 and therefore being one of the newer spots for yoga in Koh Phangan, it didn’t take long for Samma Karuna’s popularity and reputation to quickly take off. Today, Samma Karuna boasts 4 yoga halls — with 3 of those located on the beach — 2 event halls for evening activities, a vegan restaurant, a shop, and a number of chill out spots just perfect for some unwinding after a long day.
Samma Karuna truly has all sorts to offer for guests, ready to suit all kinds of budgets. From numerous different forms of yoga, Qi Gong, tantra, rebirthing, OSHO meditations, dance meditations, and more, you can be sure to find plenty going on at Samma Karuna to keep yourself busy. Yoga teacher training is also available, as well as a number of detox programmes.
For a 6 day and 5-night stay at Samma Karuna with Active Meditation and inclusive of accommodation, you can expect to pay around 9,000 baht.
Orion Healing Centre
Located in its tranquil spot in the yogi hub of Srithanu since 2005, Orion Healing Centre is one of the older retreats for yoga in Koh Pagnan. In its 15 years of operation, Orion Healing Centre has evolved to offer a whole host of different classes, catering to all sorts of needs. Whether you’re looking for classes like Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative or Aerial yoga, you can be sure to find it here, along with special programs and workshops such as Kirtan, Kambo and Cacao Ceremonies.
Orion Healing Centre has become one of the largest and best-known places for yoga in Koh Phangan, and like Samma Karuna, it too is located at the beach in the ever-popular Sri Thanu village. With 3 onsite yoga shalas offering the wide array of aforementioned classes, and an amazing open-air vegan restaurant offering only the most wholesome vegan and raw food, you’ll soon see why so many guests are increasingly opting to stay longer than the 3 to 14-day retreat packages that Orion Healing Centre offers.
For those who do choose to stay at Orion Healing Centre, their packages include unlimited yoga classes, meditation, accommodation, the use of the onsite gym, 3 meals a day and more. Pricing for drop-ins starts at 400B, and a month-long pass for 10 classes costs 3,200B
Wonderland Healing Centre
Another relatively new spot for yoga in Koh Phangan, Wonderland Healing Centre is nestled beautifully within the jungle in the island’s centre, and has all sorts on offer when it comes to yoga and pilates classes, meditation and sound healing. There are a number of different styles of yoga on offer, although those into more dynamic forms like Ashtanga or Bikram may find their emphasis on gentler Hatha a little too easy for them.
In addition to their variety of classes, one of the things guests love most about Wonderland Healing Centre is their amazing vegan food. With 3 all you can eat buffets available to guests each day, you can be sure to find something you’ll love for every meal. Their restaurant is also situated in a cosy atmosphere, purposefully designed to bring everyone together when it’s time to eat.
Unlike many other retreats for yoga in Koh Phangan, Wonderland Healing Centre doesn’t have a beach. There is a beach not too far away, however the retreat’s location in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by waterfalls and temples, makes it its own unique and magical little realm away from the rest of the world.
Wonderland Healing Centre has 37 hostel-like dorm rooms or standard style hotel rooms to offer guests, with 3, 4, and 11-day retreats starting at 1,300B per night. This price includes all yoga classes, accommodation, 3 vegan buffets per day, massage, and admission to all further activities and facilities. In addition to their two-storey yoga shala, Wonderland Healing Centre also has a pool and a herbal steam sauna available to guests.
Pure Flow Yoga
Hidden away atop a clifftop deep within the jungle in the bay of Haad Juan, guests at Pure Flow Yoga love the seclusion and immersion they’re provided with the surrounding nature.
Pure Flow Yoga is another great spot for beginners looking for yoga in Koh Phangan. That’s not to give the impression that there isn’t anything on offer for more advanced yogis though, as Pure Flow Yoga’s intimate, life-changing and affordable yoga retreats are well suited to everyone of all skill levels. In a typical weekly schedule, you can find Yin Yoga, Acro Yoga, Yoga Nidra, and Ecstatic Dance too.
When it comes to accommodation, Pure Flow Yoga offers their signature bamboo huts, located within the jungle and kitted out with all of the basic amenities you’ll need. If you’d prefer to stay elsewhere, there are a number of alternative accommodation options located around the Haad Juan area at which you could choose to stay at instead, or for those looking for luxury, a Deluxe retreat option is offered by Pure Flow Yoga in partnership with a nearby luxury 4-star hotel a short trip down the jungle path.
Pure Flow Yoga offers its guests 6 to 30-day yoga retreats and 3 to 14-day detox programs, with or without accommodation, along with drop-in classes each day. Pricing for passes starts at 350B for drop-ins, 1,500B for a 5 class pass, 2,500B for a 10 class pass, and 4,500B for an unlimited monthly pass.
The Yoga Retreat
One of the first yoga centres to open its doors to Koh Phangan, The Yoga Retreat has been catering to the Ashtanga yoga crowd since its two owners set it up some 20 years ago in 2000.
Located in the jungle above Haad Salad, The Yoga Retreat offers its guests both private and shared accommodation, along with a fantastic onsite vegan restaurant, for some of the most competitive retreat prices available for yoga in all of Koh Phangan.
Since the Yoga Retreat was set up specifically to cater toward practitioners of Ashtanga Yoga, this is a must for Ashtanga enthusiasts, and you can take full advantage of their top-class teachers, who are all well versed in the traditional Mysore stylings.
The friendly and intimate retreats on offer from The Yoga Retreat are available in packages from as few as 6 days to as many as 30, and while it’s not the largest spot for yoga in Koh Phangan, and nor is it the fanciest, it does however more than make up for this with its affordability. With prices starting from 8,500B for a weeklong yoga retreat, or 12,000B for an 8-day detox and yoga retreat, The Yoga Retreat is one of, if not the, most affordable retreat for yoga in Koh Phangan, and a must for those who love to practice Ashtanga.
Pyramid Yoga Center
Found on the north end of the island, Pyramid Yoga Center set itself up in 2002 after founder David Goulet spent a whopping 50 years researching, studying, and practising ancient Indian techniques of Chakra Yoga.
Located amongst the fresh mountain air of the jungles high up in the mountains, Pyramid Yoga Center provides its guests not only with one of the most tranquil and serene locations in which to practice yoga in Koh Phangan, but also with some of the island’s most stunning views, too.
Pyramid Yoga Center has two yoga studios on its premises, along with a wide variety of accommodation, a vegetarian restaurant, and a sound temple. Speaking of accommodation, guests can choose from a number of beautiful jungle bungalows, each varying in size and with either a gorgeous jungle or ocean view, with prices ranging from 600B to 1,000B per night. Drop-in classes are also available twice a day, priced around roughly 300B a session.
Pyramid Yoga Center is a popular choice for those seeking the most picturesque location for yoga in Koh Phangan, and many feel its beautiful location is one of the best ways to experience not only a yoga retreat, but also the island of Koh Phangan itself.
No matter what kind of yoga retreat you’re looking for and for however long, you can be sure to find the perfect experience around the lush beaches and jungles of Koh Phangan. With year-round warm weather and all you could possibly need or want for a healthy lifestyle, there’s absolutely no way you can go wrong with one of these 7 best yoga retreats in Koh Phangan.
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