DETOX YOUR SOUL AT SAMAHITA YOGA RETREAT
We all experience different things in life. Some of them are meant to be captured in photographs, a few others in only our memories. However, there are very few experiences that are captured by our mind, that remain etched on our soul for the rest of your lives; experiences that have indescribable healing effects and are capable of transforming one as an individual. I had the good fortune of experiencing the same at the Samahita Retreat in Koh Samui.
Before I begin narrating my experience – just sit back, take a deep breath, relax your mind, calm yourself till you can hear your heartbeats, and come on a once in a lifetime journey with me. A journey of refreshing your mind, of renewing your thoughts and rejuvenating your soul.
Samahita Retreat, I first heard of this place about a year ago from my dear friend Shamira Mitha, Founder and MD of the well-known PR agency ‘Verve.’ Nestled in the southern end of Koh Samui and surrounded by turquoise blue waters, Samahita Retreat was nothing short of a health heaven for Shamira. The wellness freak inside me was craving to visit a detox and rejuvenation destination and Shamira’s strong recommendation only added to my curiosity for this place. Thus, this September, I took some time off from my busy schedule of the ongoing season of ‘The Uma Show’ at that time and took off to Koh Samui, all thanks to the visit arranged by Shamira.
A six-and-a-half-hour long flight from Dubai to Bangkok with Emirates Airlines followed by a short flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui in a Bangkok Air flight and I was at my destination.
Turquoise blue waters on all sides, tropical climate, a warm & humid atmosphere and a hint of monsoon showers lingering in the air! Just the perfect set-up and weather to take a break from my long, hectic and grueling schedule back in Dubai. Far away from the hustle bustle of the International City, I was now in the quaint, serene and picturesque Samahita Retreat, a lifestyle center for yoga, detox, and holistic fitness. Founded by Paul Dallaghan, a certified Masters of Pranayama and Ashtanga Vinyasa, Samahita Retreat has achieved the distinction of being known as the most authentic yoga teaching locations worldwide. Leading from the front, Paul has combined meditation and mantra practice from the yoga lineage with his study of the Buddhist and Vedic text along with modern science; and adding Ayurveda and Detox programs have only added to their credibility and popularity. Precisely yoga teachers from around the world come to Samahita to hone their skills, enhance their knowledge and get certifications
Don’t mistake it for a 5-star resort, though, as Samahita Retreat is a lifestyle oriented retreat center, focusing only on helping their guests Experience the Connection – and connection I did experience. The warmth and the positivity around almost immediately calmed by senses and made me feel more constructive and balanced. No wonder then, I just couldn’t wait to start with my regime.
Day one was all about me knowing more about the therapies and regimes available, and the health experts knowing more about me, my medical history and my preferences. Ellie, my wellness advisor, was extremely patient with me and explained each and every detail of the tailored and guided detox programs that are inspired by Ayurveda and modern physiology. What is more interesting than the programs is the approach, which is very holistic yet open-ended, allowing us to choose the nature and the duration of the detox program.
On the days that I was on a detox, the food as expected was frugal yet nutritionally complete and satisfying. Here, I must make a mention of Tracy McDonald, a certified Ashtanga Yogi, and a Holistic Nutritionist. It is thanks to Tracy that I was introduced to S.O.U.L. food – Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed, Local. As much as the. S.O.U.L. food was healing my soul; it did leave me craving to sample all the other amazing food that was on offer for people who were not on a detox. I did promise myself that a few days of detox then I would sample all that there was in the culinary delights, all the specialties that the chef was dishing out for all the meals.
Another intriguing aspect of Samahita is the accommodation. Guests have their own small apartments or rooms with tropical gardens and little temples dotted everywhere in the compound. The smell of frangipani and soothing incense prevailing and lingering in the entire garden and open spaces of the retreat add to the spirituality and tranquility of the space.
Samahita Retreat is indeed a haven of peace and tranquility. Be it the accommodation, the detox centers or the Yog Shalas – each and every space, allows one to refocus and recharge with positivity.
Talking of the Yoga Shalas, I must admit that they had the most incredible energy infused by years of practice, by different yogis and yoginis, and that bought an ethereal quality of stillness within me, especially the one facing the beach and the ocean is almost surreal with an indescribable calmness. Even if you are not an avid yogi or have a daily practice – the energy, the teachers, and the practice made me feel as if I had been doing yoga all my life. Such is the tranquility that going into meditation has never been easier. The calmness and the serenity, lets you slip into your subconscious realm with ease, to a place that can make even the most stubborn mind slow down and relax. As I always say, not every experience can be described in words…and the yoga session at the open-air Yog Shala makes me short of words.
However, it is not just Yogic postures that Samahita Retreat focuses on. Especially for people like me who are more used to the city life and the gym sessions, Samahita offers way more than yoga. In fact, as they call it, the whole program is known as Yoga Core Cycle, wherein Yoga sessions involve mediation and breathing practices, followed by foundational yoga. Core combines functional fitness, core and strength work with TRXs, Bosu, Stability Balls, Uggis, to work on specific muscles. Pushing my mind and body through all of this was calisthenics and fitness
instructor David Tilston. His enthusiasm for life and movement through fitness and yoga indeed brought out the best in me.
Last but not the least, Cycle classes with high-intensity cardio workout… all of that, not in an air-conditioned all glass, artificial environment, rather in the open air, on the sea front, with the picturesque beauty of the rising or the setting sun.
After the intense Yoga Core Cycle, the option of jumping into the delicious cold water of the swimming pool or the open ocean that is just a few steps from the Yog Shala is a perfect way to awaken the life force after taking your body through those difficult yet renewing postures.
Being an avid reader I had forgotten to take a book along and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of books on different subjects available in their mini library to borrow and read as I spent many tranquil afternoons, lying on the hammock under the coconut trees with the wind whispering in my ears and the waves of the gentle sea, creating the perfect music that my heart, soul, and ears needed to after the hectic month of shooting my TV show in Dubai.
My days would not be complete without a massage at the spa, where the trained therapist’s hands kneaded out all the tensions, knots from my muscles and muscular system, inevitably putting me into a deep sleep every single time.
The rituals of the detox took a few days for me to clear my body of all the accumulated toxins built up over the months of a hectic lifestyle, long working hours, motherhood and social commitments. However, at the end of the detox, my skin was glowing, I felt radiant and light in my step. My sleep has never been better, and I arrived at a spot of deep satisfaction and peace.
All the stress, timelines, deadlines suddenly did not seem as important as I made them out to be earlier. Life slowed down, to a perfect rhythm of inner peace, calm and serene. Moreover, this is a fundamental piece if us that we forget, and which I found again.
Many places around the world have the most mesmerizing views and extra-ordinary energies, but what sets one place different from another, is the positivity, the tranquility and the serenity and the warmth. A special mention and a heartfelt gratitude goes to General Manager Janet Allen who ensured that I had an amazing self-exploratory yet extremely comfortable stay at Samahita. Equally commendable is the outstanding service, the promptness, the attention to detail and the personalized sessions by the staff, the teachers, the nutritionists and every person who constantly strives to infuse that calmness in us.
Having spent seven days, I can only say in the end it left me wanting more. And if you are wondering, when you should taking your next break, let me tell you, the time to revive and rejuvenate is when you don’t have time. Watch the video and let me have more from you if you agree with me on this