Vikasa Yoga Retreat
I've just returned beyond well rested from an 8 day stay at the ultimate health and wellness retreat: Vikasa Yoga. Located on the eastern side of Thailand's Ko Samui island is this magical gem of an ocean-cliff side resort with incredibly scenic views of sea green waters, the best yoga & meditation classes, as well as the tastiest organic local dining I've ever had. Everything at the retreat is well thought out and holistically representative of the importance of feeding yourself with goodness from both inside and out.
Upon arrival, you're greeted with a tasty made-to-order freshly squeezed Watermelon Mint Juice at the award-winning Vikasa Life Cafe while they walk you through the classes, dining schedules, and everything in between including the Bliss Spa (not related to the US one!) which cannot be missed.
CLASSES: This is the main activity and there is something for everyone with all varieties of Yoga, Meditation, and Pilates available throughout the day. There was another yoga retreat happening the same time so all my classes were at the While Sala which is definitely the tony room with the best ocean view so I didn't mind one bit. My favorite classes that I would recommend: Complete with Costa (the founder!) or Ann, Yin with Ann, Flow with Alicia. I would recommend sticking to these instructors overall. Serge is also quite fun and teaches challenging yet interesting classes like AcroYoga and Pilates. Craig is good too but has a strange, raspy voice which is hard to get into sometimes. Ronnie is unsettling and too nervous of an instructor so I would avoid his classes if possible. I once left Ronnie's Meditation class and felt like I needed to do a self-meditation to unwind afterwards.
FOOD: All dining takes place at the amazing Vikasa Life Cafe which is a destination in it's own right on the island so I felt incredibly grateful my stay included 2 meals a day here where the food philosophy is built on raw, vegan, organic principles. There is something for every diet and everything is clearly labeled so you can easily avoid meat, tofu, dairy, and gluten which was perfect to accommodate my 30 days to healthy living round 2! I did sneak in some papaya and pineapples as I figured they are not terrible offenders after all. I'll be doing a separate post about the food itself so stay tuned if you'd like to read more about it!
FRIENDS: Yoga retreats are like adult summer camps and such an amazing way to meet new like-minded friends that are inspiring and teach you even more about yourself. Some of the most interesting conversations I've had were over this past week with new friends from the UK, Lebanon, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Ukraine, and even my home country of the USA! We quickly became a small family of our own and spent the next week doing everything together: attending yoga classes, spending endless hours dining & chatting, exploring more of the island, and exchanging book recommendations like my now current read, Inner Engineering, a Yogi's Guide to Joy by Sadhguru.
MASSAGES: No trip to Thailand is complete without having a massage and the ones at Bliss Spa are the best! I tried the 2 hour Thai Massage as well as the 60 minute Swedish Massage of which the latter was my favorite since you have both the firmness of a thai massage but also the oils which makes it more relaxing. Pro Tip: When staying here, you also receive a complimentary 15 minute foot reflexology session when booking a spa service so don't forget to mention this when booking your treatment.
Overall I feel incredibly grateful to have discovered Vikasa on Ko Samui. I loved being able to relax and take yoga classes as I please, meet new life long friends who have the same life outlook as me, and also thankful for working remotely which allows me to have more experiences like this throughout the year vs. dreading going back home to a desk job. I love my digital consulting clients and Arbonne business for allowing me to work when and where as I please and avoid having Sunday blues. I now feel incredibly inspired to continue on my wellness journey and am looking forward to incorporating more raw and vegan food principles into my diet alongside continuing my daily yoga practice. I highly recommend this retreat for anyone who's ever wanted to try one. Feel free to message me if you have any questions about the experience and I'd be happy to share my thoughts.
DETAILS: I did a package I found on Yovada.com which includes your stay, daily breakfast & dinner, as well as all yoga/meditation/pilates classes. When I booked, they had a special so if you book 6 nights, you get another night for free! Learn more about the whole experience on Vikasa's website here.