Founding Story and the Growth So Far
We have long believed that a place like home can exist that is totally dedicated to personal growth and the upliftment of each and every individual through personal effort. A place which emphasizes and thus helps educate people about living healthy and embodies all that is spiritual without being limited by a group or identity. A place which sticks to its ideals, beliefs and principles without having to compromise on quality, value and integrity just to survive in this modern, commercial world. The best we found was to live the path, do the practice, employ our skills to organize, plan and serve, and then offer this home to everyone who has an interest. This is our story where we believe in a healthy and spiritual way to live and finding a way to make it work today.
Paul's direct path in Yoga began in 1995. By 1999 into 2000 Centered Yoga had become a reality and by 2003 Samahita Retreat had officially come to be. Late 2008 sees the opening of the new fully built home for Samahita Retreat, which is now known as Samahita Retreat. It has been a long journey over many years keeping a vision in mind from a dedication to practice, growth and the belief in inwardly empowering all who care without the need for compromise.
First, I offer deep respects and thanks to my direct teachers, whose guidance has enabled me to grow in the path of yoga. I am also grateful to the long line of teachers who have come before them, who have spent their lives learning and coming to understand the practice, and who have passed down the knowledge they received through direct teachings of their teachers and their teachers' teachers. Each day I learn, too, from my young sons, Sean and Dylan, from my loving wife, Jutima, as well as from the students. These interactions keep me reflecting on myself, which in turn helps me grow.
My yoga path has been grounded in certain practices that have grown in intensity over the years. These practices have refined my behavior and influenced how I live in this world--taking care of family, making a living, and interacting with others.
Early on, I was exposed to many different gurus and teaching lineages-but my growth came out of practicing a particular approach and letting go of my ego to go under my teachers' direct guidance. Sri O.P. Tiwari has had the greatest influence on my journey. With his focus on classical Pranayama, the main source for my ongoing growth, Tiwariji is my primary teacher. I have also spent a lot of time with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the Asana practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.
I spent half my life in Thailand, and half in the United States. I was blessed to have been introduced to Buddhism as a young child living in Bangkok, rediscovering my path to spirituality later in life while working in New York City.
Paul and I spent many years studying in India before we started our family. Now, with two kids in tow, we live most of the time on Koh Samui. We love our simple life in nature: the tropical mountain air, beach walks, sunsets, and starry nights. We watch our kids grow and remember why we left the big city life behind.
We are blessed with a growing international community that has developed over the years at Samahita Retreat. Sometimes we have more than twenty nationalities in residence at the same time, which makes life very interesting around here.
My role has always been behind-the-scenes handling all creative and marketing communication as well as working closely with our teachers and Thai staff to try and make our operation as efficient and enjoyable as possible.
I am so grateful for my wonderful family: my two boys, Sean and Dylan, and alongside me, my loving husband, Paul.
At Samahita Retreat we specialize in classical yoga practices, philosophy and approach.
It is a composition of classical pranayama, classical asana and classical vinyasa. It includes the wisdom of Patanjali with the practices of Hatha. A base from Kaivalyadham Tiwari and Ashtanga Pattabhi Jois. At its heart is to care - care for others, care about what you do, care about how you live. This causes mindfulness but from a kind and compassionate heart center. It truly is an inner development, a refinement of our behavior and inner process. In terms of getting things done in life, including the ability to get up and practice, our philosophy is quite simply to do it - but with awareness.
Let every day begin with focused thoughts of gratitude, forgiveness and the request for inner help.
Om Sri GurubhyoNamaha
The teachings, our practice, the creation of Samahita Retreat Yoga Thailand are all due to grace, passed on through many Masters and teachers, some direct and others indirect. It is here we must begin this website and honor them with full thanks and respect.
Jai MA !the force that pervades all.
"I have had the honor to study with many wonderful teachers. They have all been instrumental in my development. Even as I go out and offer the teachings I am always a student. Through their actions and teachings I have been taught on specific parts of the practice and lifted higher by the experience. The work they did has paved the way for my learning. The connection I feel so strong in my heart. I cannot express enough thanks. My words are imperfect and incomplete." An offering from Paul.
Paul is a senior teacher of Pranayama, Asana and the meditative art and science of Yoga. He has been a dedicated student since the late 1990s of both Sri O.P.Tiwari, one of the few remaining classical yogis and masters of Pranayama, and the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in ashtanga vinyasa. Both of these great teachers have personally certified Paul in these practices, a unique position as the only one to receive this double honor. Paul continues with Mantra practice from the yoga lineage and meditative approaches, influenced by the Thai Forest tradition. This combination of practice and study through dedication and devotion has helped him gain some understanding of practice and to apply this appropriately in Asana, Pranayama, Mantra recitation and Meditation for the different level of students he has the privilege to share the teaching with. He continues his studies in health, philosophy, anatomy and physiology. Paul is also conducting PhD research on the yoga practices at Emory University in Atlanta, USA. One of his main gifts is to be able to relate the teachings in a very down-to-earth way for the modern seeker. He does not take life or yoga too seriously and as a result the discussions and philosophical sessions are lively and humorous, helping to explain the meaning behind the practices and philosophy.
Paul is the happy father of two lovely boys. Together with his wife, he founded Samahita Retreat. For more please see his full bio.
Elonne has been a committed yoga practitioner and devotee since the early age of 14. She has lived and taught in the Bahamas, Canada, India, the United States, and Taiwan where she has taught asana, pranayama, and meditation at yoga studios, ashrams, resorts, schools, orphanages, hospitals, and clinics. In 2006, Elonne moved to Asia, where she met her teachers, Paul Dallaghan, O.P. Tiwari, and Richard Freeman.
As Elonne's understanding of the practice grows, she feels more and more like a beginner, and she is excited to continue this journey. She feels blessed by the opportunity to teach at Samahita Retreat, and she is extremely grateful for the chance to help others while she continues her own studies. She has completed the Training at Centered Yoga along with trainings from Richard Freeman and Sivananda. For more please see her full bio.
Amy completed her Centered Yoga teacher training in July 2010. As a resident of Koh Samui, Amy continued her studies under the tutelage of Paul Dallaghan and Elonne Stockton, growing as both a teacher and a student. She joined the teaching team in February 2011, which she combines with her role as SYT Marketing Manager.
Amy studied acting and theatre in London and has been living in Thailand for seven years, working as a freelance writer for magazines, focused on wellness and travel. She has two young daughters, and lives her life immersed in raising children, writing and the biggest practice of all; learning how to live yoga, finding balance and joy through all of life's many adventures.
Rachel has practiced and had interests in various styles of yoga since 1999, and felt that all of it led to a greater understanding of her current practice. She completed her Centered Yoga teachers training with Paul in 2005 and has returned regularly to SYT over the last 5 years.
Her main focus in teaching is to create an appropriate intelligent bridge to the dynamic form of Ashtanga, breaking it down so that each person is practicing to their own level and reaching their potential.
She has taught in London, and more recently in Sydney focussing on courses, workshops and Mysore classes. She uses her experience from her daily yoga practice, workshop intensives in yoga therapy, back bending and inversions combined with Thai massage experience for a holistic approach to teaching and when giving adjustments to share the joy of yoga. bio.
Ivana is yoga teacher and Wellness Director at Samahita Retreat. She trained ballet and modern dance for many years, taught elementary ballet classes and barre á terre and it was at that time she was also introduced to the world of hatha yoga as an assisting tool for dancers to go deeper within.
Realizing that there was so much to explore about the connection between the mind, body and breath (and how to relate this connection with one's life) she started to seek more insight by practicing different styles of hatha yoga, going to meditation classes and various spiritual lectures before finally settling into an ashtanga based self-practice.
In addition to receiving her yoga teacher training certificate in Croatia in 2008, Ivana feels very blessed to have had the chance to deepen her knowledge by completing the Teacher Training with Centered Yoga in 2011 under the guidance of Paul Dallaghan, Elonne Stockton and other wonderful teachers. She is grateful for having the chance to be a part of the Samahita team and thus contribute to the wellbeing of our guests as well as continue to grow as a yoga student and teacher. (see full bio )
Sara completed her Centered Yoga Training in June 2005. She is a dedicated and focused student of yoga, which is evident in her teaching and sharing of the practices. Sara has studied both Pranayama and Asana intensively and is a senior graduate of Centered Yoga Institute. She teaches yoga regularly in Stockholm, Sweden, and is developing her own center on Gotland, Sweden. In addition, Sara is a student of and practitioner of ayurveda and nutrition. Sara spends about four months a year teaching at Samahita Retreat. For more please see her full bio.
Stephen completed his Centered Yoga Training in 2003 and has been a regular dedicated student and friend since. He has been teaching retreats, workshops and trainings throughout Asia in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka. We are happy to have him be part of our regular teaching staff in 2010 onward. For more please see his full bio.
Jessica has been involved with Samahita Retreat since the foundation in 2003. She came as a dedicated student to then move on from her corporate professional career to commit full time to Yoga and Ayurveda. She lived and taught on site for many years. She now runs her own studio in New Orleans and returns to Samahita Retreat for specific programs. For more please see her full bio.
Adarsh teaches a contemplative style of yoga that embraces both modern innovation and traditional wisdom. Since 1995, Adarsh has been engaged in the field of natural healing and has received certifications in therapeutic massage and active isolated stretching. He continues as a student of Ashtanga Yoga and its sister sciences of Sanskrit, Ayurveda, and Bhakti. Adarsh has continuously traveled to Asia since 2001 for study and pilgrimage and has received teaching Authorization by his late Guruji Shri. K Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Adarsh directs the Ashtanga Yoga Shala in Palo Alto, CA specializing in progressive instruction for beginner through advanced levels.
Through in depth study of human anatomy and physiology and formal training as a massage therapist, Adarsh is highly regarded for his sensitive yet deep adjusting style. He has experience working with a wide variety of students of diverse abilities, ages, and backgrounds. With a deeply held belief that anyone can develop a personal yoga practice, Adarsh is an energetic teacher who infuses his enthusiasm for practice and hard work in his students.
Sean completed his Centered Yoga Training in November 2004. Since 2003 he has spent most of his time in Asia for both yoga and chiropractic, until recently relocating back to Australia with his family where he now teaches and is in the process of opening a shala. Sean's passion for holistic health not only resulted in him becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic but also led him to the path of yoga. His chiropractic studies gave him a deep understanding of anatomy which he is able to apply when teaching yoga and also when treating yogis as a chiropractor. This has proven to be of great benefit in helping people advance their practices and recovery from injury. For more please see his full bio.
Dorien started practicing Ashtanga yoga with Paul at the young age of 60. She spends most of the year on Koh Samui and spends her time as a retreat advisor to our guests. Most people have never been on a "retreat" so having Dorien to give personal guidance is a great support. She also teaches other non-yoga related classes such as Qi Gong.
She is the author of three books; UnBound, Tao Passages and The Way to the One I AM. She is a Reiki Master, Yoga teacher and Qi Gong practitioner.
In 1984 after a "near death" experience resulting from a severe automobile accident Dorien discovered she was given the ability to access ascended information (channelling or direct revelation).
In 1997 Dorien came to Koh Samui on a one week vacation and never left. During that week she had a "transcendent experience" (satori). Now at the age of 65 she is a remarkable reflection of what is possible in body, mind and Being when one aligns their life with their highest values and real identity.
More information on Dorien and her services