Searching for a haven of tranquility where you can retreat from the stresses of everyday life and embark on a journey of wellness and self-discovery? Thailand offers some of the finest yoga retreats in the world. At any of these luxurious respites, you can practice yoga with top experts, delight in delicious health-conscious cuisine, and meditate and relax in serene accommodations surrounded by the lush beauty of verdant jungles.
In this article, we’re going to share some of the most exciting yoga retreat destinations in Thailand with you. But first, let’s talk a little more about travelling to Thailand to do yoga.
Best Destinations for Yoga in Thailand
You might choose a retreat for yoga based purely on the accommodations and activities available, but a lot of yoga practitioners travelling toThailand pick their retreats based on what there is to see and do in the surrounding area as well.
Popular destinations include:
This area has dense tropical foliage and pristine beaches. Come here if you are a nature-lover and a beachgoer
Phuket is a bustling city with an amazing nightlife. The nearby island of Koh Phangan is a great party destination.
You’ll notice when you read our recommendations that a number of the yoga retreats we suggest are located in these areas.
What Months Should You Go?
Now you might have some thoughts about where to go to practice yoga inThailand, but when should you go to enjoy the best weather?
- The rainy season starts in June and continues through October.
- The most temperate, mild weather starts in November and continues through February. This is the dry season.
- If you are visiting northernThailand, the dry season extends through April-May.
Whether you want to avoid the rainy season or not is up to you. If you plan to spend significant time outdoors, the dry season is definitely preferable.
Types of Yoga Offered inThailand
There are numerous types of yoga practised inThailand. Here are a few popular styles that you will find at yoga retreats around the country:
- Hatha: This is one of the original branches of yoga, incorporating most modern yoga practices. Pretty much any form of physical yoga can be grouped under the hatha yoga umbrella.
- Vinyasa: Also known as “power yoga,” this type of yoga appeals to those who are searching for a more aerobic exercise. Styles of Vinyasa yoga can be quite diverse from one instructor to the next.
- Kundalini: This type of yoga aims to kindle and awaken the spiritual energy at the base of your spine, referred to as the “kundalini.”
- Bikram: This is a form of hot yoga performed in a sauna-like environment. Expect to sweat a lot with this one.
- Yin: Also known as Taoist yoga, yin yoga involves working with gravity, relaxing, increasing flexibility, and meditating.
Other Wellness Programmes
While yoga is itself a deeply cleansing and restorative physical and spiritual practice, many yoga retreats inThailand feature a holistic approach to wellness. This means that while you are practising yoga, you can also take advantage of other wellness activities and benefits such as:
- Massage and other spa treatments
- Raw food or vegetarian cuisine
- Meditation (classes may be offered)
- Other exercise classes
- Thai chi and other martial arts
And of course you can always just take a walk on the beach, staring out at the sparkling waves ... or you can relax in the pool or mediate surrounded by the verdant beauty of nature.
Not sure where to place your reservation? Let's take a tour of the top five yoga retreat in Thailand!
Kamalaya Koh Samui is an award-winning holistic wellness spa which offers personalized packages for those who want to de-stress and renew themselves. The spa is located on the island of Koh Samui, which has been used as a traditional spiritual retreat by Buddhist monks for centuries. Surrounded by jungle, it is tranquil, quiet, and completely disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Incorporating both eastern and western techniques, Kamalaya Koh Samui offers comprehensive programs for ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation. Here you can take classes in yoga, tai chi, chi gong, and pilates. Meditate on the beach, relax in the plunge pool or sauna, or pamper yourself with a traditional Thai massage.
Tips from Travelers:
- If you can, spend a little extra for a seaview room. While all of Kamalaya Koh Samui’s rooms are beautiful, these ones offer incredible unobstructed views of the water.
- Take full advantage of the spa treatments, which are all top shelf.
- Be sure to enjoy fresh coconut water and fruit drinks!
The Sanctuary promotes itself as “Something else,” and has been called “Truly Magical” by The Times and “Brilliant, Quirky, Unique” by TimeOut Magazine. The Guardian has even described it as striking “a novel balance between hedonistic and healthy.”
In short, The Sanctuary is where you go if you want to detox and indulge yourself. The focus here is on neither minimalism nor excess, but a balance between the two.
Set on the shores of Haad Tien Beach, The Sanctuary offers daily yoga classes, yoga inclusive holidays, and even training for instructors. Additionally, there are classes in pilates and a full detox program. Make sure to make time for a massage at the spa, and don’t miss out on the chance for delicious vegetarian and seafood dining!
Tips from Travelers:
- The detox program is very comprehensive and one of the best features of the resort.
- The food here is somewhat expensive compared to some other resorts, but the servings are generous.
- Enjoy all the activities offered by the resort, but don’t miss out on the chance to explore the nearby beach and hills.
If you are looking for a yoga resort with a cool modern vibe and gorgeous minimalist architecture, you will love the open, airy ambiance of COMO Point Yamu. Big glass windows in the rooms mean that you are surrounded by the sea and stay fully immersed in the splendor of nature.
COMO Point Yamu offers yoga training, though it is not the primary focus of the resort. Much like Kamalaya Koh Samui, COMO is a holistic resort with an integrated approach to health and wellness, providing an abundance of opportunities. Along with yoga classes, you can also take other fitness classes, head out on a private charter, or take a snorkeling trip to the Khai Island. You can even visit a rehabilitation center which rescues captive gibbons.
Tips from Travelers:
- Choose this hotel only if you are looking for a stay in a remote location. You will be pretty isolated out here (which is sometimes exactly what you need to really recharge).
- Bring lots of sunscreen, as the pool offers lovely views but little shade. Avoid the rainy season too for the same reason.
Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood Island is a world outside of the ordinary. It takes an hour’s flight from Bangkok to arrive at its unspoiled shores. Once you arrive, you will find yourself in a magical paradise like no other.
Along with yoga at Soneva Kiri, there are an abundance of unique experiences you can look forward to. Gaze at the stars in the astronomy, or watch a moonlit picture at the outdoor Cinema Paradiso. Relax on the private beach, and dine later that night in a “treepod,” a bamboo pod with a table in it which is hoisted high into the trees for incredible views!
Tips from Travelers:
- Stay here if you are looking to get away from the bustle of city life.
- Take advantage of the free homemade ice cream and chocolate. Many travelers report this is a great destination if you are travelling with kids (perhaps the ice cream is part of the reason).
- Make sure to enjoy the cinema, observatory, and other unique features of this distinctive resort!
With its vibrant yellow buildings and colorful interiors, Absolute Sanctuary is instantly recognizable—and a cheerful, exuberant place to practice yoga and revitalize yourself. In fact, the trainers who provide yoga classes at Absolute Sanctuary have more than 15 years of experience running yoga studios in Bangkok. Retreat here as a student or train as a teacher.
While staying at Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui, be sure to take advantage of any of the dozen different wellness programs available, and also enjoy the gourmet cuisine at the Love Kitchen.
Tips from Travelers:
- The yoga classes are some of the best fitness classes offered at the resort.
- Ask for a room which is higher up. Even though you will have to climb to get there, the view is worth it.
- Enjoy the fresh smoothies at the restaurant. The strawberry smoothie is said to be particularly refreshing and delicious.
Whether you are looking for a resort which focuses primarily on yoga or one with a broader, more holistic approach to wellness, you cannot beat the tranquility and harmony of Thailand's yoga retreats. Book a few days and nights at any of these five luxury accommodations, and you will be on your way to a restorative journey that cleanses both body and mind, unlocking your full spiritual potential!