There can be few places on earth more conducive to attaining a state of blissful relaxation and complete peace than Thanyamundra, Thailand’s only true five-star organic resort, nestled amidst the mist-shrouded mountains and ancient rainforest of Khao Sok national park. Which is why leading Ashtanga yoga teacher Kim Roberts says the award-winning eco-boutique resort is the most perfect setting she could imagine for a yoga retreat.
Ashtanga master Kim Roberts will lead a yoga retreat at award-winning eco boutique resort Thanyamundra from January 21 to 24, 2012.
Kim, now yoga master for the innovative Thanyapura Mind Centre in Phuket, will lead a retreat at Thanyamundra titled Yoga in Nature’s Magic from January 21st to 24th, 2012. Those fortunate enough to be part of the retreat will quickly realise they are indeed in a magical place.
Kim has practiced and taught Ashtanga yoga everywhere from post-tsunami Sri Lanka to the Rocky Mountain mecca of Boulder, Colorado and from the cosmopolitan cities of Hong Kong and Paris to mysterious and beguiling Bhutan. But she says Thanyamundra’s combination of serenity, intimacy, breathtaking beauty and genuine commitment to organic farming and cuisine makes it the ultimate setting to explore the more meditative aspects of yoga.
“Thanyamundra is an exquisite place, perfect for experiencing first hand the benefits of yoga and meditation,” says Kim. “The beauty of practicing in such an environment is that you don’t have to work as hard to experience the results of the practice. Yoga is about settling the mind, so if you do it in a naturally quiet and spacious setting, you’ve already got a head start. Plus the food is great and it’s just simply wonderful to be there. There’s nothing like a joyful mind to help settle down and relax. It’s one of my favourite places in Asia.”
Thanyamundra, just two hours’ drive from Phuket International Airport, was recently voted one of Asia’s top three eco-boutiques by leading travel site agoda.com, as well as recently being elevated to prestigious luxury travel magazine DestinAsian’s Luxe List.
With nine Asian antique-filled rooms and suites in two modern, Thai inspired golden teak villas, 12 hectare organic farm, meditation rooms, a stunning 50m pool and forest walking trails, Thanyamundra is an impressive retreat offering the finest hotel service, gourmet organic cuisine, and holistic wellness in a breathtaking natural environment.
Kim said the retreat would draw on the foundation techniques of Ashtanga yoga to develop meditative awareness in both the traditional seated meditation posture, in yoga postures, as well as during movement. Mornings would see more invigorating sessions, while evenings would be devoted to restorative poses and sitting meditation. No prior experience was needed, she added.
Kim has been a devotee of Ashtanga since 1992. Her background as a student of Tibetan Buddhism lends a contemplative aspect to her teaching style; her view of the Ashtanga system is as a support to settle the body and mind into meditation. Programmes will explore the traditional practice of Ashtanga yoga, incorporating insights from the Buddhist teachings to offer an expanded and deeper view of the Ashtanga practice.
“I started practicing while I was pursuing a masters degree in contemplative psychology at Naropa University in Colorado,” says Kim. “Through sheer good luck, my first class was with Richard Freeman, one of the most respected yoga teachers in the world today. It was probably from him that I developed such a passion for the practice.
“These days, I’m more interested in exploring the inner practices that lead to meditation, and I teach Ashtanga in the classical sense - the eight limbed path that includes not only asana practice but observance of the full range of approaches we can take to settle the mind into its natural state of pristine awareness.’’ Thailand, she added, was an ideal place to practice. “It’s warm and beautiful, you can eat well, it’s clean, the people are friendly and happy.”
Thanyamundra is the luxury organic resort of Thanyapura, a campus of world-class health, wellness, sport and educational offerings, including the Olympic-standard sports facilities of the ground-breaking Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club, the Mind Centre, and Phuket International Academy.