A tropical beach evokes images of palm-fringed shores, cool breezes, a cool glass of cocktail, and great travel companions. Sometimes, however, the beach is associated with getting marooned on an island, which is not always an entirely bad thing.
It’s actually a scenario that’s rife with possibilities — a gorgeous stretch of sand, you on a hammock swinging back and forth in between tall shady coconut trees, beach reading on hand, and crystal-clear blue waters.
That, more or less, is what it’s like being in the islands of southern Thailand. And if you get really lucky, you could get “stranded” on a fabulous little hideout like The Sanctuary in Koh Phangan.
Blissful beachfront break at The Sanctuary
The Sanctuary is a scenic beachfront retreat in Hat Tien Beach in Koh Phangan, an island that’s popular for its full moon parties. Partygoers flock to the island of Koh Phangan typically from November to April (peak months for full moon parties), to party until the wee hours of the morning. Tranquility-loving travellers might find such a scenario unappealing, but that is an incomplete picture. This part of the island is delightfully serene, but it may be impossible to block out the “noise” coming from the rustling of leaves from the jungle and the crashing waves.
The Sanctuary in Koh Phangan is actually where creatures of the jungle and creatures of comfort find shared habitation, far from the bustle of the city and the busier nearby islands. You might be alarmed by the lack of things that city dwellers are all familiar with: roads, streets, and chaotic traffic. But it’s precisely for that reason that it’s such an ideal place in which to get lost in one’s thoughts and rejuvenate.
A yoga retreat that heals the mind, body, and spirit
“If you were stranded on an island, what would you bring?” is always a fun question to answer.
If you were to be stranded on Koh Phangan, you probably wouldn’t need a lot, except perhaps a change of clothes and a yoga mat. But then you wouldn’t actually be stranded in a conventional way — you’d have very comfortable lodging, great food options, and the care of hospitable staff. Plus, you’ll be with your travel companions as well as a couple of yogis.
Also, it's fine to be stranded on the beach if you plan to do a lot of yoga. And it’s certainly not a bad idea to go to the beach to only do yoga.
The physical benefits of yoga are well-known: increased flexibility and muscle strength, improved cardiovascular and respiratory health, and much more. Yoga reduces stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression, and these benefits are supported by numerous studies, with medical practitioners prescribing it to boost physical and mental health.
Yoga also helps you develop a more positive outlook, and doing it in a tranquil beach lets you invoke peace…in peace. It’s not just because of the stunning scenery; practicing yoga in the sand actually yields its own specific benefits. Unlike doing yoga on solid ground, beach yoga strengthens the hip, leg, and shoulder muscles because of the uneven surface of the sand.
There’s the added benefit of breathing the clean fresh sea air and the sun touching your skin as you cleanse your body and mind of impurities.
Those who wish to visit Koh Phangan would be pleased to know that hosting yoga retreats is The Sanctuary’s specialty. Its yoga halls are nestled within the jungles so you can practice yoga in complete harmony with nature. They also offer different yoga programs, training sessions, and holiday packages, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced practitioner.
Early morning meditation followed by a healthy, hearty breakfast and relaxing yoga practices is best. After a detoxifying yoga session, you’ll be ready to explore and seek out what nature so graciously provides.
Paradise found: The island of Koh Phangan
The Sanctuary in Koh Phangan is the perfect destination for a yoga retreat, but there are other spots you shouldn’t miss while you’re there, as well as activities you must try.
The Ang Thong Marine National Park is a beautiful place to observe marine life. Discover any of its more than 40 islands on a day trip and see dazzling turquoise blue waters, fishing boats passing by as your own boat sails along. Be enthralled by the spectacular intermingling of the tree-covered rocky cliffs, island peaks, and sandy shores.
Those who are on a meditation retreat must trek to some of the island’s intriguing temples, such as the Guanyin Temple. This colorful Buddhist temple, dedicated to the Buddhist goddess of compassion, is a place for reflection and peace and should be included in your itinerary. Divers, on the other hand, will be thrilled by the enchanting nearby island of Koh Tao. It’s an ideal launching point for adventures, whether you’re in it for superb diving or simply want to be lulled into relaxation by the gentle sloshing of the sea.
Getting stranded comfortably in an astonishingly beautiful tropical island has never sounded more enticing. Wheel & Anchor’s tribe of travellers are headed to Southeast Asia. Join us on our wellness tour, Yoga for the Mind, Body, & Soul in Koh Phangan, Thailand, to experience a spectacular island escape.