Now how the hell am I supposed to get my body into that position? I thought. I looked down and watched as, somehow, my arms interlocked between my legs.
Well that’s a first, I thought.
“Now bring your right leg to the side while balancing on your hands and left leg,” instructed the instructor.
Yeah, right, I chuckled on the inside. There’s no way I’m gonna be able –
What the..? I stared at my right leg as it followed through with the command.
OK, I thought. Now the hell am I supposed to get out of this position?
“Now we go into vipasana and relax,” Konstantin ‘Kosta’ Miachin, the owner and founder of the Vikasa Yoga Retreat in Koh Samui ended the hour long session.
This was my favourite part of yoga. The part where after you’ve contortioned your body into impossible positions you get to lay down on your back, palms up, relax everything and just breathe, loosing yourself to the sounds of the nearby sea, lapping gently against the rocks on the beach. Because in yoga, it’s all about the journey that you take your body and mind through to reach that pinnacle moment of self-reflection within your own soul.
Escorted by the chiming sounds of Japanese bowls played by Kosta, your mind, body and soul embark on a journey that’ll have you feeling enlightened.
Kosta isn’t just the owner and founder of this magical place. He is also the creator of the Vikasa yoga method. I would say it is a power-based form of yoga, helping to strengthen your body and mind, stretching your ability of balance and centering one’s self while combining an essential diet of meditation and organically healthy food, which is another highlight to look forward too after an hour long session – morning and night.
I first reached Vikasa on Monday via taxi from the Nathon ferry dock on the western side of Koh Samui, a peaceful island whose name translates to ‘Safe Haven’. The retreat is located on the eastern side of this jungle paradise, in Tambool Maret where it is built on a cliffside above the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
Vikasa Yoga Retreat has a variety of yoga classes from Ashtanga to Hathay and the signature Vikasa yoga – the evolution of yoga.
But Vikasa isn’t just about the yoga. With the rocky beach at its feet, there’s no better place on the whole island to meditate whether it be from the balcony of your bungalow that’s facing the water to greet the rising sun every morning, or perched on a rock on the beach. Better yet, take part in one of the meditation sessions the place has to offer – for free.
Vikasa Yoga Retreat also combines the most important element to any budding yogi – nutritiously healthy, organic amazing food. With the help of world renowned raw chef master, Boris Lauser from Berlin, and the help of Cider Organic’s restaurant chef from Ubud, Bali, Kosta has helped create a balanced meal for brunch (served daily between 10:30-11:30) and dinner (19:30 – 20:30) including freshly squeezed tropical juice.
Fish and chicken are served on occasion and eggs are served with brunch but the majority of the food is purely raw vegetables. As a carnivore, I wasn’t sure what to expect but besides the meditation at the end of a good yoga session, my next favourite thing to look forward too was the amazing food being served as a self-serve buffet.
The view from the dining area – with options of bean bags or standard tables and chairs – is of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
Vikasa Yoga Retreat also offers a 200-hour teaching course. Students of all ages congregate from all over the world to take part in the three-week intensive course, studying and practicing the art of Vikasa yoga.
With its friendly and always smiling accommodating staff, Vikasa Yoga Retreat is the place to relax and kick back – even if there are 109 steps to the yoga salas from the dining area. And although it’s still a young place, only open for a year, its growing reputation on the island and around the world as the yoga place to be has already got itself booked out for the upcoming high season.
And you don’t have to stay here just for yoga. You’re not forced to partake in any classes (although its all inclusive so why miss out?). There’s great swimming to be done off the rocks below and snorkeling (although there’s not much to see).
And whether you practice yoga daily, or just once every few months. Whether you’re a carnivore or a vegetarian, Vikasa Yoga Retreat has it all and is all inclusive when you book. There’s an inviting infinity pool and spa and for a little extra, you can get a variety of massages from Thai to Swedish, foot to full body.
But the most important thing to remember when at Vikasa is too simply relax and enjoy the serenity.