Blooming Lotus Yoga

»Customizable, great value yoga retreats on a tropical Thai island«

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Koh Phangan, an unspoilt and peaceful island escape is the home of Blooming Lotus Yoga - a retreat that offers basic packages from which you can build your ideal and personalized yoga experience. Intimate, knowledgeable and deeply enriching, this retreat is quietly gathering fans from around the world who are seeking a little of the purity of Indian yoga on a paradise island setting.

  • What we love
  • Beautifully taught and fully accredited yoga teacher training courses
  • Extremely good value for money
  • World-class yoga knowledge
  • Private yoga sessions included in all packages
  • What to know
  • No accommodation or food although plenty of options nearby
  • Deep focus on spirituality and philosophy, not only asana (poses)
  • Drop-in classes also available
  • Why go
  • Beautiful natural setting
  • Nourish your soul
  • Excellent Teacher Training Courses

Blooming Lotus is run by the warm and loving pair, Lily and Ramananda. These two work together in an easy symbiosis that weaves asana, philosophy, and insight into a memorable yoga experience. It also doesn’t hurt that the retreat is in one of the most beautiful parts of an already-beautiful Thailand, or that this is one of the most laid-back and open-hearted areas of an already open-hearted country.

There are daily drop-in classes held by Blooming Lotus as well as retreat packages and Teacher Training Courses. There are 3 retreat packages: Yoga Escape, Yoga Bliss, and Yoga & Healing. These run for 5, 7, and 10 days respectively with a daily cost of $40, $45, and $50. All packages include twice-daily yoga sessions, private sessions, and meditation. The longer, more expensive packages have other goodies like an Eco-Yoga mat to keep, nature hikes and massage. Personalized yoga retreats are available too – like the structured packages these are excellent value for money and the detailed tailoring is invaluable when aiming for specific personal goals.

Teacher Training Courses (TTCs) are in 200- and 300-hour certificates, accredited by the Yoga Alliance. Spread over four weeks, they cover all the bases you would expect from high-quality training: philosophy, nutrition, anatomy, asana, and how to teach (a seemingly obvious but sometimes overlooked component of many TTCs!). At around $2300 for the month, it's hard to find a less expensive TTC outside of India. There are prerequisites though: You must have at least two years of deep yoga experience and be older than 24 or be able to demonstrate that yoga is truly your calling. Ramananda are the stem and petals of Blooming Lotus and are responsible for the teaching of asana, meditation, pranayama, yoga nidra, ayurveda, yogic lifestyle, vedic astrology, vastu and yogic, tantric & vedantic philosophy. They show concern at what they term “the lack of discernment” by yoga schools who are more interested in revenue than creating true wealth – i.e. good yoga teachers. Their pure and ethical approach to teacher training means that a certification received here is truly deserved and a teacher trained at Blooming Lotus is one to be trusted.

Because Blooming Lotus is a yoga school rather than being in the business of hotel management, they do not offer food or accommodation onsite. Instead they are well-networked with a variety of nearby accommodation options and have the inside scoop on the best places to buy nourishing and authentic Thai and vegetarian food in the local area. Accommodation choices vary wildly. A shared dorm room is as little as $4 a night, while a high-end luxury suite can range over $100. A happy medium is one of the beachside huts with a double bed, veranda-hammock and simple bathroom (bucket flush) for $12 a night. A paltry $33 a night will net you a bungalow with two double bedrooms and a bathroom with all the mod cons. A friendly warning if you're new to Thailand: Squat toilets and 'bum guns' (a hose used instead of toilet paper) are pretty common. Go with the flow.

Lily and Ramananda have created a retreat full of love and an environment rich in education in the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga. The setting is one of the most beautiful places on the planet and the pervading atmosphere of gentle acceptance means that many past guests have become repeat visitors, yearning for the metaphorical and literal warm air of Blooming Lotus Yoga. It has been called “more than a yoga retreat – a life-changing experience.” The people who make up the Blooming Lotus family are true yogis. Not stereotypical - there's no vows of silence or years spent alone on a mountaintop - but truly warm-of-spirit, light-of-heart, deeply knowledgeable, and with a genuine desire to share the power of yoga with as many people as possible. Time spent here means being introduced to your best self.

About the area: Ko Phangan

Ko Phangan is one of Thailand's moderately well-kept secrets. It's certainly much calmer than its hectic cousin Koh Samui and is popular with tourists who prefer backpacks and beads to Best Western hotels. A 30-minute boat-ride from Koh Samui, Ko Phangan is known for its eye-popping natural beauty and resort culture that has a strong streak of 'alternative community' running through it. This is a great area for retreats, yoga, ayurveda, massage and beach gatherings that run from family-friendly to Full Moon. The climate of Ko Phangan is consistently warm year round, and temperatures of 28 degrees C (82F) are normal.

Image credit: Blooming Lotus Yoga

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