Sep – Oct 2008

Media Reviews – Yoga + Joyful Living : USA

Have Yourself a Meditative Little Christmas

By Anna Dubrovsky

Koh Samui, Thailand

Paul and Jutima Dallaghan’s Ashtanga Yoga shala (school) and retreat center may be the only smoke- and alcohol-free getaway on the island of Koh Samui. The couple opened Samahita Retreat in 2003 after living and teaching in New York. This year, they’re relocating to the southern part of the island and reopening just in time for their annual Christmas and New Year’s Retreat. The new center can accommodate as many as 60 guests. Its eco-design features include rainwater harvesting and solar water heating.

Each of the 28 guest rooms has an unobstructed view of the sea, and most have an outdoor shower. The property includes a meditation garden, juice bar, saltwater swimming pool, and wellness center with four rooms for Water Irrigation Treatment, infrared sauna, massage, and other treatments. Samahita Retreat’s holiday retreats tend to be “big family affairs,” says Jutima Dallaghan, and the new center will include a children’s play area thats out of earshot from the beachfront yoga halls. The primary instructors for the Christmas and New Year’s Retreat will be Paul Dallaghan and Neil Barker, both senior students of Ashtanga Yoga founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and pranayama master Sri O. P. Tiwari.

Dates : Dec. 20-27 and Dec. 27-Jan. 3
Rates : Each weeklong retreat costs 590 euros (about $900) for shared guest rooms or 790 euros (about $1,200) for a private room.+