Samahita at 20 Years of Wellbeing
Samahita completes its 20th year this year, from 2003 to 2023. And just like a new born baby back then it has gone through its infancy, growth stages, fresh maturing, to now, what feels like, a clear and comfortable confidence in what Samahita is and why it was set up.
Before the physical Samahita took form we would lead retreats and trainings, initially in Costa Rica (1999-2001) and then in Thailand (2001-2003). Around March 2003 while leading a training I was asked would I not open my own center. I still recall my reply, “No,” but I did elaborate. “Why would I want to run a place and deal with all the hassles and burden when I can teach a program and then go home and do my own thing?”
Well literally a month later I had to reverse those words back into my mouth. Not from any ambition or plan but rather the place we rented put a proposal to us: do we want to take over the lease of the bungalow setting we have been using? Now a dilemma. Do I say “yes or “no”? And if I say “no” then why? Am I avoiding something?
I did my due diligence and analysis and saw financially we would be no better off but, and this is what it’s about, we would run and guide a place that was dedicated to wellbeing, to practice, connecting with oneself, transforming. And we would not compromise on food or the essence of what a Wellbeing Retreat Center stood for. So within 10 days of deliberation I answered “yes”!
Right from the beginning we offered complete courses on the breath as I was already established as a senior prānāyāma teacher, along with the reputation in what everyone called “yoga”, basically the physical part. Meditation and healthy, but importantly, delicious food rounded out our simple early formula. We were on the beach, but no pool, no fitness, no wellness, just the yoga shala. Simple.
And people came. So by 2008 we moved to our current spot, on the beach in the south of the island. What grew with us was to value and take care of our staff, like family, and support them and their lives. This extended into the community where we found ourselves supporting the local school and the animal shelter.
A key factor to run our own place, now being known as Samahita, was to make earth-conscious, eco-friendly, sustainable choices. For 20 years we have never stocked or sold disposable plastic, always offering free drinking water stations to use with a refillable bottle. We never put those little hotel-style toiletries in our rooms. To make the point, 15 years after us making that decision the State of California passed a law banning such single disposable products by hotels.
We also got involved in tree planting, mangrove forest support, and, of course, beach cleaning. At different times of the year we see what humankind has thrown in the water and the sea in its power and wisdom throws back on the beach asking humans to clean it up. And so many guests staying with us join in. Thank you.
This is love. Love all beings. Share. Love the nature we are in. Care.
To run and manage a place with the utmost attention, so expenses are covered, people earn a good living, taxes are paid – is an example of yoga in action.
In addition to what we do here: Wellbeing for You. Through practices, treatments, the environment. Care and share.
What we offer, we do, we believe in, and stand by, and literally put our money where our mouth is. We demonstrated this through two years of covid closure, taking care of all employees and the care of the center at considerable cost.
And we’re still here, reaching 20, and growing. Happy, full of joy, and delivering that to anyone who comes here.
This is why I can comfortably state at this point that Samahita is a pioneering sustainable Wellbeing Retreat Center. And what is wellbeing? This is how I wrote it in our information:
Wellbeing means being proactive, engaged and involved in how you take care of yourself and the world around you, every day in life. “Wellness” is only one component of Wellbeing. This means participating in practices with an integrated breath-body-mind approach. And, more conscientious by being conscious of your impact on the environment, supporting sustainable business, and thinking of others, both people and all living creatures.
My research work looks at wellbeing “for you” from the point of view of psychological, physiological, and metabolic markers. But operating a living, vibrant center means we can help others and love the earth. Every bit makes a positive difference.
Please take a look at our Wellbeing page.
On there you will also see our effort to support the Burmese migrant kids who had to flee their native Myanmar and need support and education. Join us and donate to the Andaman Center for Migrant Education.
Wellbeing for the Planet.
Wellbeing for Humanity.
Wellbeing for You
Come join us
Paul Dallaghan’s expertise with breathwork, body and meditative practices comes from three sources: over 25 years of daily dedicated practice and teaching these techniques; immersion in the original culture through one-on-one direct training in practice and study of ancient texts; doctoral scientific research at a leading US university (Emory) on yoga and breath in terms of stress, health and aging. Paul occupies a unique space to impart genuine teaching and science on these practices, acknowledged by his teacher and lineage (Kuvalayananda) in India as a Teacher-of-teachers and a Master of Breath, identified to carry the tradition (Pranayama). This places him as the only master-level yoga and breath practitioner currently immersed in scientific academic research on breathwork, stress and health. His sincere and ongoing role is to teach, write and research to help put out experienced and authentic information on these areas in a world full of confusion and conflicting messages both off and online.
For more on his background see his bio.
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