Yoga in Haad Rin
Yoga in Haad Rin? you might ask in a mock serious manner. Yes, Haad Rin the home of hedonism, the temple of Dionysus, the bar of Bacchus, the arena of mayhem, the centre of psychedelics and the apotheosis of the unhealthy, the indulgent bucket list piss up. What place for yoga in this matrix of moon madness?
Yoga is making a big come back in popularity among young people. While the hippies always held a soft spot for asanas and pranayama they are mostly absent from the island, especially Haad Rin. However, the fun loving, strong beard loving hipster has seen the cuteness of the yoga mat and the potential for self-aggrandisement and has rather taken to yoga. Srithanu is now in danger of being over-run with vegetarian strong beards and girls with dreads espousing the virtues of being bendy.
But no need to make the bothersome journey to Srithanu if you are in Haad Rin and fancy doing a drop in class in yoga or even to take a more extensive course. There are now a number of Haad Rin yoga options both on the peninsula and nearby.
Blooming Lotus Yoga
This yoga centre is not in Haad Rin but on the next beach up the east coast in Haad Yuan. It is a 10-minute boat journey from Haad Rin or a short ride in a pick-up. For the more adventurous there is a trail from Haad Rin to Haad Yuan. It takes about 2 hours. For more details click here.
The centre is up a hill, a short walk away from one of Koh Phangan’s most untouched and beautiful beaches that has great year round swimming.
The yoga hall is a decent size. The centre offers drop in classes, private classes yoga retreats and teacher training courses.
Blooming Lotus Yoga also has spa facilities. They offer packages of yoga and spa with basic bungalow. They start at $380 for 5 days. Haad Yuan has a few restaurants and resorts so it is perfectly possible to stay a few days if you really get the yoga bug.
All Yoga Thailand
Again not in Haad Rin but in the next beach up from Haad Yuan called Haad Tien. The yoga centre is affiliated to a wide group of yoga schools using the same system for tuition. They run 200 hour and 300 hour monthly courses in Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. The emphasis here is to teach yoga teachers. With early bird discounts worth $700 sometimes available.
The school has a yoga platform shaded from the sun. They don’t have accommodation but they promise to find a place that is suitable for you. There are budget bungalows nearby as well as more luxurious options in the area.
The centre also has a ‘philosophy teacher’ on the staff. So mental stimulation might also be on offer.
On the same beach (Haad Tien) is the Sanctuary. It is like Agama and Orion Healing on the west coast of Koh Phangan in that it is a resort dedicated to healing, reconnecting and the spiritual path. Here you do yoga, detox and healing massage. They also have a range of accommodation options and a restaurant with a menu that includes delicious and healthy food.
The raison d’être The Sanctuary is to promote well-being and positive vibes. For some the lack of irony in those involved in this endeavour makes The Sanctuary a place to avoid, or at least avoid staying at.
On the plus side, Haad Tien is a fantastic beach.
Melanie at Blue Horizon
Melanie runs drop in classes as well as yoga courses. She is based at the Blue Horizon in Haad Rin. For some reason this place is also called Hua Laem Resort.
Melanie is qualified to teach Ashtanga, Vinyasa flow and Hatha yoga. She also includes breath work, meditation and mantra in her lessons.
Drop in classes are available at 300 Thai Baht a session. You can get a discount if you buy 5,10 or 20 classes at a time.
There is also the possibility of doing 3,5,7 or 10 day detox programs. Detoxing in Haad Rin sounds very contrary to the general mood of the place and might appeal to some.
Jungle Gym is a long running gym and Muay Thai training centre. The gym is situated near the pier. It is a large covered gym. They have regular yoga sessions lead by experienced teachers that normally follow Ashtanga or Hatha yoga. The classes are open to beginners and advanced students.
The yoga classes are held from 1pm to 3pm. They sometimes organise all day yoga workshops. Because it is so close, it is easy enough to stroll to Jungle Gym and have a look and see if you fancy joining a yoga session.
Jungle Gym has upgraded its image and its website recently. It is now Jungle Gym and Eco-lodge (that sounds like fan bungalow to me).
For more see www.junglegymandecolodge.com/gymandfitness
So you see, you can train mind and body in the sober but enlightening practice of yoga at the heart of a town that is primarily famous for its over-the-top beach parties. Indeed perhaps yoga offers a necessary balance to body damaging bucket session. Or perhaps you want to take yoga seriously as a handy profession to use to see the world, somewhat like diving.