Sometimes we can’t help but pour time and emotional energy into projects to the effect of doing real damage to our bodies. For me, stress, both physical and mental, became a chronic condition that I acknowledged yet also ignored. So, doing my best to reorganize and prioritize, I settled my matters here, quit my job, wished farewells and exchanged contacts. Then, I went to Thailand.
After arriving for an exciting 3 day visit to Bangkok, I took a long-distance, overnight bus down to Phuket in southern Thailand, then an hour long ferry from Bang Rong Pier to Koh Yao Noi, a small tropical island just north of Koh Yao Yoi.
At around 4pm, I arrived at the pier of the island, where a taxi, which was really just a pick-up truck with an awning and two padded benches, took me along the coast to Ulmar’s Lodge, which also doubles as Island Yoga, a budget retreat run by a handful of yoga instructors from all over the world. There I met my friend who came and met me from Japan, and I moved my stuff into our bungalow. It was a little wicker basket of a shack that had a heated shower, a mosquito netted double bed, and a hammock outside. After that we met with two others for a brief orientation and a relaxing evening yoga class.
Every morning, we got up early for a vigorous 2-hour class at 7:30am (my friend managed to catch meditation at 7 every day), had an amazing brunch buffet, explored the island on motorbike during the day, then back at 4:30 for the evening yoga lesson.
The retreat offered really fun excursions, such as kayaking to the mangroves and small islands nearby, or rock climbing at some amazing cliffs near the ocean, but I was satisfied to take the bike around or just laze in the hammock with my book. It was such an amazing and quiet place. One of the instructors said that in the 10 years she’s been to the island, the tourism development has been so slow, and the inhabitants, almost entirely Thai Muslims, have been able to improve the quality of their lives through building new schools and businesses without the overabundance of foreign crowds. I had such a rejuvenating 6 days at this retreat. I felt so lucky to spend time on that idyllic island. I hope I have a chance to return someday.
To learn more about Island Yoga, please visit their site.
Or if you need to spend a week refreshing your body or just to better your practice, I used this site to find the retreat. There might be another one closer to you: http://www.bookyogaretreats.com/all/c/budget-retreats They have surf retreats too 🙂