Yoga Alliance E-RYT 200, RYT 500 (Yoga)
Aliya Galim is the founder and host of Woman of Wisdom retreats. She is a certified yoga instructor E-RYT 200, RYT 500 in Ashtanga, Yin, Vinyasa, and Hatha. Aliya is a ritualist and Reiki practitioner second level and works with people through guided somatic dialogue and intermittent hypoxic therapy. She currently lives in India from where she travels to conduct international retreats and workshops.
Island Yoga must be one of the best yoga resorts in Thailand. Located on a quiet, nature-close island, highly competent yoga instructors, beautiful wooden salas, and very well-run organization. My bungalow by the pool was more than I could expect. I felt like reborn
My 12 day yoga retreat at Island Yoga was a truly amazing experience, perhaps one of the best things I have done in my life. I met some great people, made some wonderful connections and came away with many beautiful memories. Everything just ‘flows’ perfectly, from the dawn rise and Tai Chi, the early morning chats on the beach, breakfast, the excellent yoga classes and the various workshops. I was so lucky to arrive on a Thursday and have the Meditation practice guided by Anna that evening. It just opened up my heart to all the wonderful things that happened later on. The ‘Love your body’ workshop was also very good and I just wish I could have done the 'hip opener' and ‘plank' workshops. The jungle trekking was also great and the massages amazing. All staff were warm and friendly and I can’t wait to come again. Thank you to everyone
My Island Yoga experience was in many ways much more that I expected. Absolutely amazing location, incredible nature, simple but clean accommodation, fantastic people,very friendly and helping staff. Everything wery well organised. Great place to rest and experience community of free, joyful, forever young spirits. Fantastic Tai Chi classes shared generously for free by Chinese Master Mr Ping were really special. Great trips,unforgettable kayaking. As for yoga, beginners will benefit more here than advanced yogis. Also food could be more Sattvic. Overall experience: very good!
Nataliya United States
The only suggestion I have for Island Yoga Retreat is to invite more experienced yoga teachers or add a third Advanced Level: some classes just didn't flow, some classes were just complete repeat of the previous (good) class. The rest was good.
Management response from Island Yoga:
Dear Nataliya, thank you very much for your feedback. At Island Yoga, we strive to provide a variety of yoga styles and make them accessible to yogis of all levels. We are sorry to hear that you did not find our intermidiate class sufficiently advanced, as we always aim to offer means of taking the practice deeper to experienced yogis and yoginis. We are looking forward to welcoming you again at Island Yoga someday, and perhaps then you can compare the experiences favorably. Namaste and best wishes on your yoga journey, Island Yoga Team.
Island Yoga offers a beautiful, restful retreat experience. I would give it a 9/10. I am a Canadian yoga teacher and I recently spent 5 days there staying in the mixed dorms.
The retreat centre is serious about yoga - the yoga salas (one for beginner, one for intermediate) are beautiful and airy, they bring in well-trained teachers and provide high quality Manduka mats.Classes are more vigorous in the morning and restful in the afternoon, with optional workshops during the day available at an extra cost. There is optional tai-chi available on the beach at sunrise. Between the morning and afternoon yoga classes, guests can explore the island, visit local restaurants and markets, have massages, rent bikes or scooters and enjoy swimming or excursions organized by the retreat centre. I did the kayaking excursion and really enjoyed the day - particularly how quiet and beautiful it was floating through the mangroves. Food is very good and healthy options are available. The mixed dorm was comfortable - bunk beds, with personal space for storing bags (no locks) and 2 bathrooms with showers. No A/C but numerous fans. Mosquitos can be bad at sunrise and sunset.
Rita Hong Kong
The teachers are all professional and passionate. Suggest to arrange a more intensive schedule other than yoga such as chanting and meditation.
I had a wonderful, enriching time at Island Yoga. It was exactly what I was looking for: an approach to yoga that goes beyond postures and includes mindset through meditation, breathing, chanting and words. I loved the "words of wisdom" from David that connected and reminded us of our own potential, our attitude, mindset, habits! All yoga classes and teachers were fantastic, I’m motivated to keep going and include yoga and meditation into my daily home practice. The big new yoga room with glass all around creates such an open, transparent and uplifting atmosphere and provides enough space even for big classes. I loved the additional early morning tai chi "gift" - a morning meditation with sunrise at the beach and an epic view of the islands and rocks.
The bungalows are clean, modern, basic but with everything you need for a relaxing time, reconnecting with yourself and meeting lots of likeminded people from all around the world! The food is great: clean, whole-food, always fresh and very tasty. A breakfast buffet to die for and a very big menu for snacks, lunch and dinner! I will definitely make the retreat at Island Yoga part of my yearly plan!
I attended the Island Yoga Retreat on Koh Yao Noi for a 4 day / 3night retreat. What an amazing place to practice and further my yoga practice, to meet new and interesting people, and to regroup and re-energize. Next time I will make it a point to stay longer so I can also appreciate all the other things the island has to offer. Thank you to all the amazing staff and the beautiful souls I met.
Island yoga on Koh Yao Noi is a beautiful place to do yoga and chill out, relax, recharge and be in touch with yourself again. The staff was very friendly and welcoming and always there to answer questions if needed. It really is a perfect place to escape for a while and do as the cats do around the premises: Roll onto your back and do nothing but exist. There are lovely restaurants around the island to have amazing food at. It's fun to rent a scooter from island yoga to go around and explore. I can really recommend this place and give it a ten out of ten!
My whole experience at Island Yoga was really positive. The yoga was intensive with reminders for everyone to work at their own level and check in with their bodies. There were two sessions per day: Vinyasa in the morning and Yin in the afternoon with free time to explore the island or relax by the pool. The teachers vary but during my stay, Evi and Roni were intuitive, dedicated practitioners and I felt supported and sufficiently challenged to develop my practice. Island Yoga, on the beautiful friendly island of Koh Yao Noi, was a delight. I felt very cared for by the staff, especially Fon who calmly sorted everything out when I messed up my booking and Ning who organized taxis to the pier and also from Bang Rong pier to Phuket airport. The food was fantastic also.Any trip is always about people you meet and I was very fortunate to meet like minded, open, friendly people who made my stay even better; some good bonding, laughter and friendships made.I felt it an honour and a privilege to be there and will definitely return to continue my yoga journey. Thank you!
Marion Tampon-Lajarriette Switzerland
I have enjoyed and extended several time my yoga retreat at Island Yoga! I appreciate especially their flexible drop in mode..and the island was just as quiet and far from any touristic spots as I wished!
We were lucky to be a small friendly group, as it was low season, but new people were still coming, making a perfect balance between calm and conviviality, sunny days and rainy times...Their very quiet beach subject to tides is better to walk and meditate than to swim! The small female dorm was nice.
The classes were challenging and precise..in a awesome natural environment. An intense experience both physical and emotional for those who are not used to an intense practice!
We've just regret that their was not more exchange between staff and students out from the class. The good idea of weekly collective diner could be a way to meet and get to know better staff who teach, who cook and who organise...
Eveline and Joep Netherlands
We’ve had an wonderful time at Island Yoga. The lessons are intense and inspiring, and have a great effect on body and soul. The accommodation is comfortable and on a nice place. Good kitchen too.The island itself is small and very relaxed, the ideal place to settle down after so many impressions in the rest of Thailand. At home, we’re still doing a yoga-session each morning, so you can say that the retreat has left its marks ;-) Highly recommended!
Kate Fletcher Australia
I spent 5 days at Island yoga and it wasn't enough time. The island is far from the general tourist trappings of Thailand and so quiet and peaceful as soon as I arrived I was immediately relaxed. The daily yoga classes were a perfect mix of intensity of practice and the Tai chi at sunrise a must. Yoga, bike riding around island exploring, island longtail boat hopping, massages followed but hammock book reading then more yoga... bliss. I would suggest Nina's Thai cooking class too, learnt a lot and look forward to cooking a Thai feast for friends at home! My bungalow (with fan, situated perfectly near pool) was clean and perfect for my needs although next time I would stay in air conditioning when trying to sleep in 36 degree heat but it is all apart of the Thai experience I guess! I would go back in a heartbeat (but maybe 2 weeks next time...)
Ashley Corkins United States
Absolutely incredible! Island Yoga was above and beyond my expectations. My stay wasn't long enough. I appreciated being able to wake up and get the day started with something new (Thai Chi). The food was excellent and staff super accommodating. I will speak very highly of my stay at Island Yoga to all my family and friends. Thank you for a wonderful experience.
Kristel Arabian United States
Island yoga was a real treat. I am a solo traveler and a beginner yoga enthusiast. It was great to arrive and see many solo travelers (mostly women) who also enjoy yoga. I found the fellow travelers open minded and easy to get along with. Welcoming as well! The grounds are simple, yet have everything you'd need for a basic island/nature stay. I was in the comfort bungalow with a mosquito net and fan. The April heat was fine for me with these furnishings... Once I acclimated from big city/ air conditioned life. Sunrise Thai chi after morning coffee was my favorite part of every day. My second favorite part was the big breakfast! Ning is great at helping book and organize logistical things. Sinnead was great with her spirit as an instructor and the orientation I overheard her giving. Evi was great with her physical practice instructions and David was great with morning Thai chi and his words in regards to the deeper elements of yoga (aside from the surface physical aspects). The pool was a great relief from the heat, as were the few hammocks around the beach. The beach itself is gorgeous but very shallow. Your best bet is walking out to the deeper waters during low tide or walking to the next beach over to the south (in front of the fancy yacht/ bungalow resort nearby). Most people during my stay were moderate or advanced yoga practitioners. My advice to beginners would be to research general breathing and alignment practices before coming. I've had a great time in my 5 days here, and even extended another night! It's like adult summer camp and I feel as thought I've made some lifelong friends!!!
Brid Shaughnessy Co. Mayo, Ireland
Yes I had a very pleasant and positive experience with you in Island Yoga , thanks very much and yes I would return. I felt the initiation chat was a little short on the practicalities of the experience but I overheard one done by a different members of staff and it was much better ! For example trying to figure out which sala your session would be in & the fact that your type of accommodation dictated which instructor you had in the am and pm. We were also not informed that actual yoga did not start til 7:45 AM so when you're jet lagged and getting up earlier than necessary and going from sala to sala it all felt a little disorganized -that however was day one and was a Sunday so maybe it was just a weekend glitch . In my opinion , the accommodation was of a good standard, lovely and quiet. The location is idyllic and the beach was as nice as any on the island- we were just the right distance from other places to eat and shops with necessary products. Breakfasts were enormous as well as excellent and the on tap supply of water and hot drinks , extremely appreciated. The variety and amount of trips , lessons etc provided was just right. Regarding the yoga itself , I thought that the amount of classes , length and quality of instruction was excellent-obviously each instructor has her own distinct qualities ,and preferences but I did find that there was a huge array of various postures , stretches and styles provided for students to practice .I personally didn't try the Tai Chi as I struggled to get up in the mornings but heard from many others that it was great .Furthermore the fact that there was a great variety in students experience and ability really enhanced the inclusive & openness of the experience. I personally would like to single out Anne (Anna) out as the instructor from whom I learnt most , I found her classes to be very well structured, her instructions very clear & precise and she took enormous care to ensure all students understood what they were to do .( She often adjusted directions for our benefit or redirected us as was necessary). Anne was also hands on in maneuvering your body into the correct position , I felt most invigorated after her classes and as if all areas of the body had been efficiently attended to . She also played wonderful music in the background and read out some excellent pieces ( I recall in particular one on the importance of Prayer). I very much enjoyed my classes with the others too but for me, Anne stood out -although I never told her :(! It might be helpful if the timetable for the boats and buses to /and onward from the island were placed on the noticeboard as the information via Internet is not very accessible and it would spare those on reception frequently answering the same questions on a daily basis. Also , the sign for Ulmer's Lodge is quite difficult to read in the dark , returning after dinner -some illumination would help as there is no street light on that stretch of road."Once again thank you for a wonderful & memorable experience , I have no hesitation I recommending you to other practitioners!
Lucia Tam Hong Kong
I absolutely loved Island yoga. My first experience in a yoga retreat and I would recommend it to all my friends. I even want to organize a trip with my work to get my colleagues to come. I would have liked a better bed and pillow though. There were nights I couldn't sleep but I'm not complaining. The food and people are super nice and lovely. Thank u for such a wonderful experience.
Sabina Parra China
I found Island Yoga amazing, i loved the peace and silence of the island
Naomi Wood England
I loved my stay at Island Yoga! Although I haven't done much yoga in the past, I wanted to try something new and it was a great place to learn all sorts of styles of yoga and meditation. I thought the sessions were going to be for more advanced people but the teachers gave you thorough guidance. The breakfasts were delicious and the restaurant also did good food for lunch / evening meals. I would definitely recommend Island Yoga to others - thanks for a great 4 days!
Anna Kyprianou Cyprus
I had a really great time in Island Yoga. It was an amazing experience for me. I strongly recommend that place for people that want to experience something strong and different. It was my first yoga experience and I found my self becoming better on that in only 3 days. I was honestly thinking to extend my stay for more days. The most of the people that I met their stay longer. I felt stronger physically and psychologically. David, Geda and Eve was amazing and very helpful. My life has changed... and I know that after that I'm a better person. Recommended for solo female travelers :)
Spending 5 days at Island Yoga, I had a fantastic time and came away refreshed, revived and ready to embrace new daily practices. The teachers, instructors and staff are all super welcoming, friendly and full of advice and guidance at all times of the day - not just during class- and are all extremely knowledgeable and experienced in practicing yoga, meditation and mindful ways of living and being, as part of everyday life. On top of this, the food is great and the environment provided really fosters a community spirit, for example group breakfasts every day after morning yoga, and family dinners once or twice a week. An extra and unexpected treat was the (free) sunrise Thai Chi sessions on the beach; can't think of a better way to start the day!
Antoine Brossard France
I stayed at yoga island for 8 days in one of the bungalows by the pool, which was just perfect for what it costs. I was expecting something simple, clean and kinda cozy and that's exactly what I got. I found a couple of cockroaches and lizards in my room but I think that is a fair price to pay for being in such amazing nature. The practice room is also very nice, practicing and meditation with the sounds of nature around you and that view is just fantastic. They also have tai chi classes in the morning by the beach, which is great to look at the sun rise. Overall I had a very good experience there, especially because the island is very quiet and that it was I was looking for. The team is also, overall, very friendly and approachable. In terms of yoga teaching, I was also satisfied, although I think they could do a better job at giving options for advanced yogis, there were a lot of very new people and some of the classes were too easy for me. I would like to praise the German teacher, a blonde lady, whose name I forgot, for delivering very good and challenging classes, I loved her classes and approach to yoga. The only thing that I would mention as an area for improvement was the welcome experience. When I checked in, the first and only thing that was mentioned to me right after a simple greeting was : " there is xxx left to be paid". To be honest you would expect something else after such a long trip, a simple "how was your flight" would have done it. That young lady probably isn't trained so I wouldn't blame her but I think it is not something to be forgotten, actually that same person also taught us a yin yoga class on my last day and it was the most boring class I ever attended, it was also weird that the receptionist would suddenly teach us a class... That being said, I would definitely recommend yoga island, I had a great week there and I would probably go back after trying out a few other options in the region.
Kate Stroud United States
Island Yoga was the perfect place for a yoga retreat. It had the feeling of being on a private island- with little traffic and plenty of spectacular views. It was truly an island oasis. The mix of yoga instructors were a good balance of challenging but relaxing- leaving plenty of room for meditation and reflection. There were also many activities offered such as additional workshops, day trips off the island and activities on the island such as cooking classes, scooter rentals, and sunrise Tai Chi. I would definitely recommend this retreat to anyone who is looking for complete relaxation, tranquility and just a beautiful vacation destination packed into one place. Hopefully I will be back here for longer in the future! Thank you to all the great staff who made my stay wonderful!
My week at Island Yoga was a truly wonderful experience. The atmosphere and soul that this place has is something I have not experienced on my travels before. It felt like being part of a community, rather than simply staying on a retreat / in a hotel. The four yoga teachers were all very different and each offered something unique in their approach. The style of yoga is very different to that I have experienced in gyms, with the emphasis being less on speed fitness, and more on the gentle meditative / spiritual side of things. This is not to say that the classes were not challenging; I pushed myself on many levels and by the end of the week felt great about the achievements I had made and the positivity I felt about how to continue this practice in my everyday life. The accommodation is basic as I expected. This does rather add to the nuance of place though and living this way for a few days serves as a reminder of what is and what is not essential to our existence. Beware the cockroaches though!! The food was amazing. A huge breakfast is served after the morning yoga class and all the guests really looked forward to this everyday. It was lovely eating together at large tables. The pool area is nice for relaxing in between classes and provides a welcome cool down after using the bicycles or walking back from one of the nearby cafes. As I left the island I had a wonderful calm feeling of peace and serenity. I hope it continues!
Gabriela United Kingdom
Island Yoga is a fantastic retreat. The yoga classes are some of the very best that I have experienced, with teachers that are fun and very experienced. The yoga studio is beautiful and the mats and props etc. are excellent quality . The atmosphere is friendly - there are people arriving most days - but I was also able to find some quality quiet time in one of the many hammocks overlooking the beach, or in the small sitting room with its lovely view over the pool. The food is delicious and the staff are kind, professional and efficient. On the first night I noticed the fan in my room made a loud noise. I mentioned that the following morning and by the afternoon it had been replaced by a brand new one. For those of you wondering whether to book a retreat, I would say the only thing to decide isn't whether or not to go, but how long to go for!
If you want to know how much you can get for your money this place is not for you. But if you come with an open mind and want to learn something that is worth more than money can buy then you're in the right spot at Yoga Island. This place makes you rise early in the morning even when you're a night owl, it teaches you about yoga and meditation, it's surrounded by unspoiled nature and offers spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The food is delicious and everybody working there feels like friends. The place is so good - I hesitate to let everybody know about it.
Ive been welcomed by these three phrases written on a board: (1) Learn to love yourself; (2) Find the humor in your life; (3) Have compassion for your imperfections. After a long hard time, I was looking for a place where to find my energy back and I did and also got my smile back. An amazing place, perfect for self-examination and relaxation, fantastic environment, peaceful atmosphere and incredible smiley people: thanks to Tammy and Evi for allowing the best yoga and meditation experiences!! I left Koh Yao Noi with the certitude that smiling in life is actually possible, despite what / who we see in our everyday life. See you soon, Island Yoga.
Karolina and Zdenek Czechia
We really enjoyed our staying in Island Yoga. People there are friendly, very helpful, everybody speaks english. The meal was great, one of the best we've tried in Thailand. We like, that yoga teachers were different, one was more spiritual and yoga class with her was slower and the other one really increase our physical stamina :-). I highly recommend this place.
Island Yoga is the best thing that have happened with me in this past year. I came there as a total beginner in yoga. I got my first actual yoga lesson with amazing teachers like Tammy and Evei. This place is so peaceful and perfect for self-examination. My yoga skills approved a lot after a week and I'm ready to practice proper yoga on my own now. I'm thankful for all the staff, who are so kind and friendly, they made that stay comfortable and carefree. Also, I wanna thank our yoga teachers who made that experience unforgettable.Thank you all again and hopefully we will meet again soon!
Susan United Kingdom
This place is great. I would wholeheartedly recommend staying here and then extending your stay. However long you book won't be long enough! It's down to earth, the staff are friendly and helpful, and it's in a beautiful environment. We've had two excellent teachers who have complemented each other very nicely also offered other workshops. We've had some great healing workshops.My body feels strong, my mind relaxed and my soul uplifted!
Island Yoga was exactly what I had expected and more. As female solo traveller, felt safe with access to help, local expertise if I needed. I wanted a yoga retreat that was about centring myself instead of performance. Didn't much feel like interacting with others and the set up made it easy for socialising or not. Three and half hours of yoga per day was more than I wanted to do and lots of permission to do and be as needed. Teachers Evi and Tammy outstanding, different and complimentary. Ning, a genius keeping all names, travel arrangements and preferences in her head at the same time. Home cooked Thai food to die for. Bungalows very clean and comfortable. Enjoyed the pool, gardens and good massage just 5 minutes away. Recommend hire of motorbike at least once to see rest of island and shopping.
Gabrielle Trundley England
I had an absolutely wonderful time at Island Yoga. I stayed an extra night, but wished I could have stayed longer.I had profound experiences on a spiritual level which included all the amazing connections I made. I wish I had had more classes with Laura and even just one with Carolyn!(I just chatted to her, but thought she was a beautiful person). The Tai Chi in the mornings with David were incredible. When I am connecting with nature now, I still remember his phrase 'the beating heart of the earth..' :-)I met some wonderful people and made some great friends. And I adored all the cats!The staff were super friendly and the food was delicious.It was a very special experience and I want to return every year! :-)
Michael Otremba Germany
I had a wonderful stay there. The classes are just superb. They vary in terms of the focus and approach of each teacher, but every teacher has a very high standard. i just enjoyed it! The staff was more than helpful, and the rooms are absolutely sufficient for that stay.
Island yoga was fab, had a great 5 nights there and came away with a determination to turn my yoga practice into a daily routine. The teachers that I had were brilliant. I mainly had Laura but I didn't mind that as I thought she was great and loved her classes. The vegetarian breakfast was gorgeous although not good for the waistline when so much tasty food to choose from, only thing I would say is that would have been nice to have more vegan options to offer but apart from that I couldn't fault it. The rooms were very basic but comfortable but just as I expected anyway. One of the things listed on the paperwork when booking was an optional guided meditation from 07:00 - 07:30 am but nobody seemed to know anything about that when I arrived, however the qi gong on the beach with David was a nice touch and was a great start to the day, the bonus was seeing the gorgeous sunrise on the beach! I would definitely recommend it to others, I met some great people whilst there and brought home some new yoga and meditation techniques with me too.
I had a wonderful experience with Island Yoga. Everyone there was beyond hospitable & friendly & really made me feel at home which made easing into the island from the city life a lot easier.Accommodation was spacious and homely with my own terrace which was a nice surprise.The two teachers were really experienced with their own styles and work really well with everyone with different levels of yoga background.I will definitely go back again and will be recommending to anyone looking for a 'no frills' yoga retreat in the beautiful island.
Geoff and Lean Australia
We thoroughly loved the Island Yoga retreat. It was so great to be able to do both meditation and yoga, then have a wonderful breakfast in dining area which had lots of great eating choices and some very yummy fruits. We'll come back for longer next time!
Island yoga porte bien son nom en y arrivant on pénètre dans un espace de zenitude et de bienveillance. Tout le monde est aux petits soins pour vous.
Le confort des chambres (budget room) est simple mais très suffisant, l'essentiel est ailleurs. Vous bénéficiez de 3h30 de yoga par jour qui passent très bien (même c'est parfois challenging). La variété des professeurs permet de voir différentes approches. Offrez vous plusieurs jours à Island yoga pour en tirer un maximum de bénéfices et découvrir tous les plaisirs alentour
"Me Myself and I" Yoga Detox Course for Women in Thailand
When I first signed up to have a session with Aliya I had no idea what Mind Body Therapy involved. But her warm smile and gentle personality made me feel so comfortable and open that I just went with it and put my trust in her. It turns out that it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Through deep relaxation I explored memories from my life that were once forgotten. These minute experiences turned out to be the keys in understanding so many things about myself and the distructive patterns in
my life. With these realisations I have been able to really see, understand and let go of my past, moving forward with my head held high to take on my real purpose in this life. I am and will always be grateful that I was sent something so wonderfully healing.
"Me Myself and I" Yoga Detox Course for Women in Thailand
I attended the 3 days workshop in Beirut last weekend and I would like you to know this: I feel Blessed and most of all I feel very proud of myself to have taken good decisions in my life that led me to meeting you and learning from you. It was never easy for me to change.... I’ve always seeked “change” and chased after it and for the first time I feel “change” is chasing after me, wanting me so bad to listen and take what I’m receiving seriously and Change. A teacher is everything. And I’m grateful for your teaching. I respect the way you loaded us with precious information and guided us even after you left, making it very clear that we are always connected with you and to the power of knowledge you’re willing to keep in our reach at all times. Aliya, I’m very thankful because I have a foundation of knowledge I can share now with my two teenage daughters who desperately need all this love and guidance.
"Me Myself and I" Yoga Detox Course for Women in Thailand
I met Aliya at Island Yoga in Koh Yao Noi and was first positively surprised by her willingness to help and her disposition as well as openness. I did attend her one day women’s workshop where I did learn about the feminine body and the connection to the moon. Later on, I had two guided healing sessions with her which did truly shift my life and helped me to transform old personal belief patterns. She did guide me to find answers within and to connect to my true self. I feel at peace, my inner chatter did stop. Each time, I need help Aliya is an eager teacher to help me find my stuck beliefs and advance in my path. I can only express my deepest gratitude to her.
The place is fantastic and the island was just what I needed: small, welcoming and not touristy. I enjoyed the intense and good-paced yoga classes twice a day with two great teachers (Anja and Tea). Even if I have been practicing yoga for a few years now, I have managed to learn a lot of new things from them.
The other residents were exactly "my people" and we formed a wonderful group with a strong spiritual bond. It was a really challenge to leave and go back to real life. Unforgettable holiday retreat, I hope to go back one day.
I loved my experience at Island Yoga! My friends and I did the 3 day retreat, which was the perfect amount of time to unwind and relax. I was a little apprehensive coming to a yoga retreat because I hadn't done yoga for a long time - I had visions of being surrounded by people who could put their leg behind their head without breaking a sweat. In fact there was a great mix of all skill levels, with quite a few people who had never even taken a yoga class before.
The classes were challenging but definitely rewarding. I especially liked that there was a mix of yoga styles, breathing exercises and types of meditation incorporated into the classes. Anja and Tea were both excellent teachers with different styles. In fact, all of the staff were helpful, friendly and welcoming.
The resort itself is gorgeous and so serene. It's right on the beach, perfect for watching the beautiful Phang Nga Bay sunrise or reading in a hammock. We stayed in the 8 bed dorm which had two private bathrooms and was always kept very clean. The restaurant has very yummy food, including the delicious (!!) breakfast buffet.
My tips are: make sure to get up at least one morning to watch the sunrise, and try to book a Reiki treatment with Anja early on in your retreat (my friend had a treatment with her a few weeks ago, and said it was phenomenal. Everyone was raving about them, but unfortunately she was all booked up by the time I asked).
I just completed a 6 day yoga retreat and had an absolutely wonderful time. The location is absolutely breathtaking, the staff are welcoming and organized, and the yoga instructors (Tea and Anja) know their stuff and teach with love and passion. This is definitely a place where people practice what they preach and it was very inspiring to be around the instructors, staff, and other guests. I had a regular yoga practice before coming to Island Yoga, so while I didn't learn any new poses, I most definitely benefited from the atmosphere and knowledge of the staff and instructors. This is a great place for a novice yogi but even more experienced practitioners will learn a lot if they are open to the experience. I would recommend it to anyone looking for relaxation and renewal.
Anaconda333 Lord Howe Island
We did a 3 day mini retreat at Island Yoga and loved the experience entirely. As soon as you arrive you feel so welcome and at home. All staff, teachers and guests are extremely friendly. My partner had never been to a yoga class before and whilst it was challenging for him the teachers Tea and Anja were very accommodating to his level. I have experienced yoga on and off for many years and found the classes to be both challenging and relaxing... so relaxing that at the end of the class during shavasana I drifted off and fell asleep every time! Despite falling asleep I came out of the classes feeling invigorated, relaxed, grounded and very balanced on all levels of wellbeing.
The island Kao Yao Noi is simply beautiful. Not touristy like other islands in the south of Thailand - I highly recommend hiring a motor bike and exploring (be careful if there is lots of rain) Fortunately we had some beautiful sunny weather despite being July. Some of the beaches are so idyllic and untouched it's as if you are in a post card.
If we had more time we would definitely have extended our stay.
Wow beautiful spot to do yoga so relaxing. Great yoga teacher very friendly and helpful. Loved it can't wait to go back. Very clean and plenty of room for everyone. We got a free go with our deal which was fantastic after the flight.
Island Yoga website
I attended the 3-day workshop in Beirut last weekend and I would like you to know this, I feel Blessed and most of all I feel very proud of myself to have taken good decisions in my life that led me to meet you and learning from you.
It was never easy for me to change, I've always sought "change" and chased after it and for the first time, I feel "change" is chasing after me, wanting me so bad to listen and take what I'm receiving seriously and change.
A teacher is everything. And I'm grateful for your teaching. I respect the way you loaded us with precious information and guided us even after you left, making it very clear that we are always connected with you and to the power of knowledge you're willing to keep in our reach at all times. Aliya, I'm very thankful because I have a foundation of knowledge I can share now with my two teenage daughters who desperately need all this love and guidance.
Pia Bou Khater
Island Yoga website
Woman of Wisdom was one of the most heart opening workshops I've ever embarked on. I really had no idea what to expect - I knew we would be practicing asanas, meditating and dancing at some point, and so I made sure not to set any expectations. I never was one for women circles and women-driven activities. Until WoW.
Day in day out for 3 days, Aliya spoke to my soul; her words, ideas and intuition were spot on and resonated in my heart and mind. She helped me tap into my true self - the little girl full of wonder and passion that I had lost along the way - albeit briefly, but at least I found out she was still alive and well! Connecting with my female ancestors brought a whole new perspective to my life; my role and my journey, the importance of them all: the good, the evil, the kind and the cruel ones.
Soft yet strong, traditional yet modern, this workshop speaks to all women - wherever they are in their lives - and I simply cannot recommend it enough. I hope to reconnect with Aliya in another workshop, retreat or teacher training, as she is a formidable human being and a truly wise woman.
Island Yoga website
Woman of Wisdom 2016 in Beirut has been a wonderful experience! I have met Aliya during my TTC at Trimurti, Goa in 2015 - Aliya taught me Yin and Ashtanga and she obviously marked as an inspiration!! From there on, I knew that this special being is to be shared with the world and so I invited Aliya to my country... Aliya is a beautiful combination of a disciplined and free soul which is very rare to find. Her continuous creativity and strive to deliver quality is what makes her successful and good at what she does! Students at Woman of Wisdom were super engaged and motivated with her upbeat playlist and heart felt story tellings. I personally noticed my body, mind and emotions change in her workshop - especially in the magical Yin class which targeted the myofascial meridians. She is an inspiration! A very well balanced strong and soft teacher who genuinely cares about her students. Anyone who crosses path with Aliya has so much to learn, I know I did and still do.
Jeng Yi Sow Singapore
It has only been a day and I am already missing this place! If you are a female solo traveler look for a quiet and authentic place to find yourself and meet like-minded people as well as pick up yoga and do a couple of sports such as kayaking and snorkeling - this place would be a paradise for you. People are beyond nice, they are genuine, kind and family-like we don't even lock our doors because there is no reason to!This is one of the easiest place to do a solo travel, the air is crisp clear and you will hear nature and only the nature - there's little noise or light pollution on this island and even the moon casts shadows.Lodging is great, if you want to treat yourself you can go for the AC bungalow (shampoo and bath gels are provided - things on this island are not as cheap as other parts of Thailand but this is because people have to go out of their way to obtain many items). The food is really good, people on this island are self-sustainable and restaurants serve home-cook delicacies.Classes are really helpful for me as a beginner - I felt myself getting stronger in the middle of my 8 day retreat.People lose track of time here and have homesickness when they leave.
Laura United Kingdom
I had the best time at Island yoga. The yoga classes were awesome, I really enjoyed Caroline's in particular. It's a beautiful yoga room, fully equipped with pillows, blocks, bands etc. The breakfast was the best I've had in Thailand; fresh fruit, muesli, eggs, noodles, toast, fresh juices, etc.The accommodation is pretty basic but clean, and fitted with fans. I'd recommend joining the family dinner, it was a great way to meet all the other guests who were wonderful and like minded. I did the island hopping activity which was great fun, even though the weather wasn't the best! You can also do rock climbing and kayaking which looked fun.
If you want that peace of mind and a very good vacation and also deeper knowledge, then this is the place to be. It is a great place to start doing yoga or learning more advanced postures. You can also engage in open discussions and feel like a part of the family.
I had such an amazing time at this retreat! Myself and my girlfriend stayed in an AC bungalow in the first week of April. It was by far one of the top experiences of our 3.5 month trip in SE Asia. We got a chance to meet David before he left on his trip to Greece and we felt very lucky because we got to partake in the tai chi meditation in the morning. We even continued getting up early to make it for the meditation even after he left because he had taught us the moves so well!The beach is home to the most stunning sunrise I've been able to witness. Where I'm from there are tons of mountains and so you don't always get to see all the amazing colors of a sunrise like we did while we were here.All of the teachers were wonderful, I appreciated all that Laura, Caroline, and Geda had to offer. I bonded with Laura in particular and truly connected to the way she taught and how she went about talking about different parts of yoga such as locks, breathing, positions etc. She was very professional and knowledgeable, while having a very approachable and friendly disposition. I appreciated her attitude towards yoga, she is extremely dedicated in her own truthful way-- she does not try to be something she is not. Geda was a great teacher that really pushed us to go farther in our practice while still making sure we were being safe. Caroline has a very peaceful way about her and I enjoyed the energy she created in class.Some things I have actually brought with me home from this amazing 10 day stay?Laura emphasized so much how important meditation is for cultivating a peaceful mind and strong heart. She discussed this both in and out of class, and I could plainly see her excitement and love for her practice. I have been meditating almost every day whereever possible, something that I have not always been mindful of. I also rose every single morning at 5.45 am to do the tai chi on the beach, something that I value now are early morning hours.I also do a little bit of yoga almost every day or every few days. Even if I do not have time to do a full hour, I will do 20 minutes just so I can connect back into myself and appreciate everything I've learned from this retreat.Thank you so much Koh Yao Noi! The island has some delicious restaurants and beaches nearby for swimming if you feel like bike riding or driving a short distance. We loved Chabas! Best chocolate chip oatmeal cookies I have ever had. And the best goat cheese salad!Also, the breakfasts at Island Yoga Nature Lodge each morning were AMAZING! So much variety and so much DELICIOUS food! The staff are mostly Thai, and so they usually keep to themselves but they are very kind and easy going people. Also, BEST BEST BEST PUMPKIN CURRY in ALL OF THAILAND goes to this restaurant! And I spent a good 2 months there travelling around. I have tasted many curries.I would definitely like to come back to this magical place. It has a special place in my heart.
It is a beautiful resort surrounding by nature! Shalas are clean and appreciable! Caroline is a very gentle, calm and skillful teacher! I felt in love with the island! Exquisite food, wonderful local people, gorgeous landscapes I am happy to know this place. And I will for sure come back!!! I definitely recommend it!
Danielle United States
I was traveling around with my sister in Thailand for 2 weeks and when we parted I needed some time to do what I wanted. Going on a yoga retreat was just in order and I'm so glad I picked Island Yoga. It's on an island not traveled by most tourists. The facilities are great. The rooms aren't huge but I don't need that as I'm not in them much. There is a very nice restaurant with great food and it's kept tidy. I rented a bike one day and did a cycle around the island. The bike was actually in good shape which I'm not used to when renting bikes. Lastly, the yoga classes are amazing. The teacher (I mostly had Caroline) was extremely knowledgeable and offered advice to all levels. I even took her workshop on creating your own practice at home. Very useful. Would definitely come back here one day for longer than 3 days.
Love this retreat very much! It was a great, quiet and peaceful place to recharge yourself. The dates and length of retreat program is very flexible to meet anyone's need.
Sasha United States
Exactly what I was looking for in the Thai islands. The retreat was great. Yoga was wonderful and catered to all levels. Teachers were very good and all had a different style which was nice. Some more challenging than others, some classes more relaxing. Focusing on breathing and meditation too. Accommodations were very nice! I stayed in the mixed dorm and it was great. Met incredible people. A quiet island that is not completely overrun by westerners, yet. However there are still restaurants and a few bars on the island to visit. Easy to get around by motorbike or bike. Free time during the day to explore or do an activity that is offered. Great breakfasts and food you can buy at the restaurant at the retreat. Exactly what I was looking for and I feel so grateful to have found this special place!
Ling is a kind hearted and welcoming Thai woman who cares about your comfort while at her resort and prepares the most amazing breakfast! David, Akiko, and Heather are excellent yogis who provide three very different styles of practice, but are each inspiring in their own right. During the 8 days I stayed (extending from the original 5), I was able to take classes with each and learned a ton to improve my yoga practice. The lessons learned have really improved my home practice. The location is completely tranquil and I had zero issues with the bungalows. They were clean, roomy, and all around pleasant. No, it's not located on a white sandy beach, but is only walking distance from practically empty beaches. You will have to be fairly independent while here, but if you need help, just ask! If you want a busy, touristy area that perfectly accommodates and caters to the European/American lifestyle, then maybe this island isn't for you. But if you want a taste of the natural beauty that simple living provides and a peek into true Thai island culture, try this retreat. I'll never forget Koh Yao Noi nor Island Yoga. It seriously set my 2013 on the right path.
a traveler Thailand
This was my first yoga retreat. I never got to meet the male instructor but the female yogi, Heather, was a dream! She was empathetic, skilled, communicative, and knowledgeable about the island. Koh Yao was the perfect place for the retreat. The beaches (a short scooter ride down the road from the resort) are lovely and nearly empty. I loved the serenity of the resort and surrounding beaches.
a traveler South Africa
Great workout. I would love to have done more sessions. Classes held on Sundays at KYN Gym. If youre not doing Muay Thai, then you may have to skip a few classes and travel down the road to do yoga.
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