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Samma Karuna

Koh Phangan, Surat Thani Province, Thailand

Samma Karuna is an international school which offers yoga teacher training and retreats for people who want to learn to live a happier and more fulfilled life.

Yoga Teacher Training 2

Speaks English

from US$2,794

Good

Based on 27 reviews
from US$2,794
Price for:

28 days / 27 nights

Good

Based on 27 reviews

Speaks English

from US$2,235

Good

Based on 27 reviews
from US$2,235
Price for:

28 days / 27 nights

Good

Based on 27 reviews

Instructors 2

Satyama

Satyama integrates the healing benefits of yoga from the experiments with her own body and uses this knowledge to help others in developing a deeper mind and body connection. She is passionate about bringing the teachings of the east to the west and has taught yoga and meditation in India, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.

Doni

Doni is an experienced and certified Hatha yoga teacher who trained in India. He has over 10 years of experience in yoga and has worked as a full-time yoga instructor for the last six years. Yoga is his biggest passion in life, professionally and personally. Coming from a background of martial arts, he has vast knowledge and skill with regards to movement, anatomy, and the physical and mental bodies working together. Doni is also a senior yoga instructor at Samma Karuna.

Reviews 27

  • Kim Ang Malaysia

    December 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining

    The participants and facilitators are both warm and welcoming. Feels like a family with them.

    Hope there's a cafe where food is provided inclusive in the cost.

    Mosquitoes are aplenty there. Suffered more than lots of bites there.

  • Taylor Bell United States

    December 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining

    So much better than I could've wished. It was such an open, loving, supportive community! I was welcomed with open arms and made relationships that I'll never forget! I absolutely loved all the classes and instructors; so much variety! I took more from Samma Karuna than i ever could've imagined, I hope to have the chance the revisit.

  • Pablo Rindernecht Thailand

    August 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining

    Staff super friendly, great classes.. I liked that there is a spirit of working with yourslef but also celebration and relax. :-)

    Food in the restaurant is not so good and only vegetarian.

  • Tetyana Sytnichenko United Arab Emirates

    June 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining

    Meditations were just so helpful. Very qualified teachers))) Thank you!

    All was just great))

  • Anonymous

    June 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining

    * Stunning location on the beach

    * Art Cafe over the road and local restaurants served delicious food

    * The place is run by volunteers, so quite disorganised

    * Overpriced. Very, very disappointed that I paid for the massage upgrade when they just send you to the cheap, untrained Thai massage place next door.

    *Despite advising the cleaning volunteer not to clean my room & placing the 'do not disturb' sign on my door, my requests for privacy were not observed and on returning to the room, was met by a man in my room three times.

    * Yes, the yoga mats do smell as although they are sprayed with vinegar water, they don't dry between uses and will make your clothes smell

    * There is no facility to do your own laundry

    * The food was bland (vegan or juice fast)

    * The shower tap was broken, no soap or tissues were provided.

  • Glory Requena Switzerland

    April 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining

    Yoga teachers were the best especially Alejandro, Sophia and Nathalia

    The welcoming. Not body was waiting for me after flying 24 hours. That was a lack of respect and organisation

    The yoga mats are so old and smelly. They really need to be changed

  • Anonymous

    January 2018, BookYogaTeacherTraining

    Die Lage ist ganz toll und ich konnte viele unterschiedliche Richtungen von Yoga und Mediation kennenlernen. Hohe Qualität der Mitarbeiter.

    Durch die Feiertage Weihnachten/ Silvester fielen 2 volle und 2 halbe Kurstage aus, ich hatte aber 11 volle Tage gezahlt, erhielt aber kein Geld retour.

  • Anonymous

    December 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining

    La diversité des cours de yoga

    L'ambiance calme et paisible sur le site

    La vue sur la mer pendant les cours

    Le materiel disponible pour la pratique du yoga

    L'accueil à l'arrivée

    Le nombre trop élevé d'élèves aux cours (les personnes extérieures peuvent assister aux cours)

    Le manque de places dans la salle

    La plupart des professeurs ne corrigent pas les postures pendant les cours

  • Maike Valerie Roth Switzerland

    May 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining

    Everything <3

    I had a wonderful time at Samma Karuna. I also extended my stay there for a couple of weeks cause a was so good.

    Nothing

  • Sarah Kmieciak France

    May 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining

    If youre looking for a full reset go to That place. This is much more than a yoga retreat! This is also about your mind, how to release deep emotions and feel safe and happy. People are nice with you and if you do the classes you gonna feel better. For me 2 weeks minimum

    Food is too expensive but there are a lot of places outside

  • Martina

    BookYogaRetreats

    P: I loved the Place. I came there after i went through a lot off things and this place really helped me to heal, release and accept things. After 28 Days Program I really found the Love in my self again and i am Thankful and Happy for this time. Great People - Teacher and Program. Especially the different Meditations (Rebirthng, BioEnegertics, Active Meditation..).

    N: I Missed a Hangmat in front off my Apartment to Chill.

  • Pascale

    BookYogaRetreats website

    I had a very good experience at Samma Karuna for the 11-day Detox-Awakening yoga retreat in June 2017. Specifically what made the experience so good was the relaxed, cohesive and kind management of the place. In the absence of the manager, SK was run by very few paid professionals and a lot of dedicated volunteers. Together they did a superb job of managing Samma Karuna and making guests feel welcome. As a guest I could see that volunteers and staff formed a family-like team, were allowed initiatives and thus had a sense of ownership of the place --for example, they came up with ideas for new classes, they took initiatives to paint on the outside walls to embellish the place, they were willing to spend some extra time on lessons when requested. I think this style of management made SK quite unique and distinctive in what is, after all, a business and an expensive way of spending time for guests. In particular, the following people made an enormous difference to me: Touba (the chef) whose delicious smoothies and especially warm heart attracted people near the kitchen, Alon who is a superb and rigorous yoga teacher (as is Anja), volunteers like Adelaida and Jasmin who were available beyond their hours of duty, Lola whose "love in the water" class was actually my best experience in SK, Colin who did his very best to tailor to our needs as daily coach . And of course, the person who held the place together was Tania, a wonderful and efficient Catalan lady. My thanks to these lovely individuals for putting meaning into love and peace.

  • Rosalind

    BookYogaRetreats website

    I had a wonderful week in Samma Karuna . The location is great , right on the beach and I had this cute bungalow with me , facing the ocean. The program was great and I wish I could have stayed longer . The atmosphere in this resort is loving and I met some great people and great teachers . It has been an amazing week for me and a life transforming experience . Coming back , I have a fresh perspective of life and feel a deep joy and peace inside of me . Definitely recommend this center to everyone who is looking for self discovering and life transforming experience .

  • Adriana

    BookYogaRetreats website

    This summer I did YTTC programme in Samma Karuna and I would love to share my experience with people and give some reviews for this school :) BTW, sorry for my grammar.

    I can't be grateful for this experience. I spent 1 month in very life-changing and transforming programme in this school and I learned a lot about yoga in general. It was emotionally and physically very challenging but I had to be ready for it. It wasn't just vacation, it was hard work, but on the other side, it was the best decision in my life. Teachers were so helpful, we did a lot of aligments about asanas, we had few classes about energetic channels, chackras and energies and also anatomy, philosophy and I figured out my purpose in life because of this school and this new knowledge. I had the best group of people, enviroment was also beautiful, my accommodation was clean and nice and food was so delicious! It gave me a lot wisdom about me, my body and also about people. I can highly recommend this school for people who wanna explore more about bodies, energies, yoga asanas and people who wanna try how it is to live in paradise with open minded people and yoga. I am giving 4.5 starts for this school :) Thank you for sharing! Namaste.

  • Sarah

    BookYogaRetreats website

    If I have to give my feedback, this Yoga Retreat changed me a lot. I did two of them, and Samma was higher. Indeed, this is not only about Yoga, this is about find peace, feel better, communicate and express ourselves. I will go back there and I highly recommand this place.

  • Valerie

    BookYogaRetreats website

    De très bons cours de yoga, un super coach détox; Je garde un excellent souvenir de mes deux semaines passées au Centre Samma Karuna. Tout était parfait (le lieu, l'accueil, la qualité de l'enseignement). Ne ratez pas les massages thaï et les séances de reiki.

    An excellent place to practise yoga, do a detox and... rest.

  • Julia

    BookYogaRetreats website

    I had a really relaxing time at Samma Karuna. I stayed an entire month and i was pleased. The detox was gentle on my system, the environment and people are light and kind, and the coach is supportive and reassuring. I recommend Samma Karuna highly if you need to get rid of toxins in a healthy environment!

  • Madeleine United Kingdom

    BookYogaRetreats website

    I completed the TTC in Feb 2017. I had the most amazing time in the most stunning setting. I met so many wonderful people and a few life long friends, whom I am still in contact with and have visited since coming home. The yoga teachers were fantastic, I learned so much in my first week alone! It has helped my own practice in so many ways, I still have my Samma Karuna students manual on my bedside table, it helps me plan my practice for the following day! I would love to return to this amazing school and beautiful island! Definitely one of the best experiences i've ever had!! Thank you!

  • a traveler

    BookYogaRetreats website

    My experience in Samma Karuna was very mixed. I found a knowledgeable, warmhearted and spirited teacher, a group of eager students of all ages, many countries and backgrounds in a gorgeous environment.

    But that's about as much positive as I can say. For paying around 100 USD a day for a 4 week / 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Course, which is European level, the quality was a lot lower than taking workshops in Europe.

    The teaching was sub optimal in many ways. The classes where too big with two classes of 15 people and no assistants present. The yoga lessons were great for the first 2 weeks, then students would do the teaching from Tuesday to Friday, lowering the quality significantly. There were hardly any adjustments during the first two weeks, some teachers claiming adjustments were just “not their style”.

    The theory lessons are taught full frontal, mostly with no support of other media, only tiny white boards which would be used little. No flip charts, posters or drawings are used. The 4 anatomy lessons taught were Powerpoint slides read from the screen, exact words as in the book.

    The amount of material pushed on the students in short time is very high, meaning that you have to work through the material on the only free day of the week. That same free days have to be used to prepare 3 practical test lessons of 1.5 - 2 hours you have to give. Some of the material seemed pretty irrelevant to me like the function of the lung, while the anatomy of the foot was not properly covered. Of the 200 hours all together, 27 hours are spend meditating (24 mornings, plus 3 more in the evening). I doubt, that other schools can have a less crammed schedule for a 200-hour training in 4 weeks, but there is some choice in how to use the lessons.

    The student manual did not include important topics like “alignment” or the Sun Salutation with names, it was partly unreadable, containing photos of tables or diagrams. Teachers did not agree on some topics and were not coordinated, their judgment for practical exams varied widely. On some occasions teachers only turned up when the students checked in the welcome center, even during practical exams.

    Compared to the quality of teaching the weekly tests were hard and the first test surprised many of us after teachers had played it down.

    The class rooms were sandy and dirty on many occasions; non-TTC classes where scheduled back to back to TTC classes and would overstay, even if a practical exam was going to take place next in the same room. One of the class rooms has aircon and many students said they got sick after classes there. Switching the aircon of was no alternative, because it got smelly and sticky very soon. Support cushions and blocks had to be found in other rooms and carried around, with bad luck they had been outside over night or during rain and were damp and smelly.

    Food was very simple and some students reported that the choice had been better a few month ago when there were less students. There were usually 5 different dishes, being a salad, rice or similar, fruits and 2 more warm dishes. Often pretty soon after the start 1, 2 or 3 dishes where empty and it would take up to 20 minutes for refills.

    The yoga covers many styles, but the meditation and self development parts are Osho / Bhagwan centered with no alternatives offered.

    Most of the students live outside of the resort and the room standards varied widely for the same category, requests to change category would take a long time to be honored. The price for having a room for yourself is 587 USD ( 307 USD include in the base price, plus supplement for category B) if you book via Samma Karuna. It’s easy to find better and cheaper accommodation yourself. E.g. students who extended their stay in the same neighbor resort Niramon paid 400 USD. Booking a room on your own is an option but not offered on the website.

    Upfront communication was slow, often taking longer than the 48 hours they mention on the website. Some answers were incomplete, I got a wrong amount to transfer, a group email contained all recipients email addresses openly. Communication during the course was problematic: practical exam plans changed without notice, week plans did not turn up till Tuesday, did not contain rooms or teachers most of the time, lesson material was posted to a Facebook group which included less than half of the participants and only co-students forwarded it to people without Facebook accounts.

    While it’s possible to keep up spirits with all this circumstances and many of us did, it’s felt like the school is not doing their best to create a good training, leaving problems open which could be fixed by a little dedication, time and money. This doesn’t mean that they did not do many things really well and the staff and lots of volunteers were all friendly and tried their best. But it did not meet the standards set by the price and the promises on the website.

    Doing a TTC of 200-hours in 4 weeks is hard, it meant lessons 6 days a week from 7:15 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or longer, additional hours to learn theory and prepare practical tests in the “free” time. Every school offering to do this yoga teacher training will have to have really full schedule. If you plan to participate it’s a good idea to bring everything with you and not count on shopping or sight seeing. Also have a correct visa, otherwise you need to skip lessons for a visa run.

    One of the reasons I choose Samma Karuna as a school were the great reviews it got on the internet. I feel that the reviews do not reflect the school very well. That’s the reason why this review is longer and more detailed.

    Management Response from Samma Karuna

    Dear valued student, we sorry your experience at our school was not as you expected. We will take your feedback in consideration for future courses. We welcome all feedback as this is for us the best way to grow and do better everyday. Although we strongly believe as well in the quality, love and value that is delivered in our YTTC course. I would like to point in this sense that only 2 of 30 student qualify the course you took under 4 points of 5.

    As part of your feedback might mislead other students that are considering to come to SammaKaruna we would like to comment to some of the points on your review:

    We do not consider a maximum of 15 student per yoga class a big amount, we sorry your standards were different.

    Yes food is simple at Samma Karuna but healthy, vengan and nutritious, we sorry your expectations were different.

    We sorry your expectation about how the teachers should teach a class and about the content we have for the course where different.

    19 or the 25 days of Meditation is Vipassana Anapana meditation from S.N Goenka, Active Meditation from OSHO are introduced the last week only. With the due respect this information you are providing is incorrect and misleading.

    We sorry you didn't like our air conditioner hall. I would like to clarify that it does not provide any risk to student's health as you suggested. Filters are regularly clean and both the hall itself and the aircon are less than 5 months old.

    We sorry the upfront communication felt slow, we reply to over 90% of the inquires within a day. Some others that require analysis (such as the analysis of your application for the course) might take a bit longer.

    We sorry some halls where sandy, volunteers sweep the halls 4 times a day but being a front beach hall this is almost inevitable.

    Thank you again for your feedback, we wish you a lovely day.

    SK Team.

  • Tanja Finland

    BookYogaRetreats website

    On the positive side, I would like to underline the generally very good quality of the yoga teaching: there is a good variety of different types of yoga (from Hatha flow to Ashtanga) suitable for all levels and the teachers were all experienced professionals. I really enjoyed all the classes. The only complaint was that the spaces were sometimes a bit too crowded. Also on the positive side, there is a good choice of different meditation and other activities. Generally, the center's facilities (yoga halls, toilets, restaurant etc.) are pleasant, comfortable and clean and there is a positive, respectful atmosphere. The program was clearly announced and I was always well informed of changes. The staff working in the reception were very nice and helpful. The school's location in Koh Pha Ngan is perfect, there are lovely beaches, good restaurants and all the necessary commercial facilities just nearby. There were however a few negative points, the first being the fact that not all the guests are accommodated in the center (actually, it seems to be the case for only a small minority) but in the surrounding resorts. I think people should be made aware of this prior to booking, as it might influence the choice of the retreat. For me, the problem was that whereas there is a rule of silence at night in the center's ground, this is not the case for the other resorts and the one where I was accommodated was pretty noisy. However, after I complained, the reception staff dealt with the problem very promptly and professionally and changed my accommodation in another resort, which was fine. The second negative aspect was the quality of the meals provided, especially for lunch. Moreover, there was often not much left if one arrived after 12 and the food was left on the table with open containers where flies could reach it. This seamed to have changed by the second week of my stay (I saw closed containers) but by then, I was not anymore having my lunch at the center.

  • Rebeca Briceno Sri Lanka

    BookYogaRetreats website

    I recommend Samma Karuna School no doubt. The Yoga Teaching Training was an amazing and transformative experience. Samma Karuna is a loving community and the location is amazing, next to the ocean. They have a great variety of teachers, each one with their own style. They teach you different styles of yoga, hatha and vinyasa, and they give you the opportunity to try other types, such as kundalini, yin yoga and Sivananda. They also teach you different styles of meditations, so you can find the one that suits you better. Amazing!

  • Cleo Whitehead Thailand

    BookYogaRetreats website

    Pros

    I think the location of Samma Karuna is fantastic and felt so relaxed in the environment.

    My accommodation at Benjamin's Hut was perfect. It was far from basic and the room was lovely, clean and modern.

    The food offered at the local restaurant was beautiful and I enjoyed every meal.

    The yoga classes were brilliant and my yoga improved a lot!

    I loved the daily Qi Gung class it resonated with me and I looked forward to it everyday.

    Cons

    I do think the information sent to me prior to arrival was limited. I paid online and did expect some form of welcome pack with maybe a map and who to ask for and what to do on arrival. I live in Thailand and luckily know Phangan quite well but maybe for a tourist who doesn't know the island more info should be given prior to arrival.

    In the offer that I paid for free lunch was included. However lunch was served daily at 11:00 AM which is quite early and clashed with the daily Qi Gung class. As a result when I came to eat at 12 the food was all gone. Lunch could be served later or enough prepared so that not just the yoga trainers got to eat.

    I did think the retreat was more catered to the yoga teacher trainers and volunteers. This is excellent however I felt a little forgotten and excluded at times. One example being the lunchtime issue and another being that when I arrived on day 1 the volunteers didn't really understand who I was and didn't have much idea about the retreat offer. I kept having to explain throughout the week I was on a retreat and had prepaid so wouldn't need to pay drop in prices again and again. I also felt a little like this at the restaurant in the evening ..when I presented my food voucher they seemed a little put out and confused as to who I was and why I wasn't paying. Maybe you could offer a paper wristband for people on retreats so that staff are aware of who retreat customers are.

    Summary

    I loved the week and found it both relaxing and uplifting. The food was beautiful, the environment was great and the accommodation was fantastic. The teachers were both inspirational and very talented. I only think the retreat customers could be made to feel a little more included and noticed with the regulars and teachers as a lot of money has been spent to attend the retreat.

    I am currently a teacher in Bangkok but am looking to volunteer at the end of this year so would love to explore Samma Karuna as an option.

  • Laura W. Finland

    BookYogaRetreats website

    Staying at Samma Karuna was a wonderful experience. The people were really friendly and helpful, the classes are very versatile and the whole atmosphere was so welcoming and cozy. I'd definitely do a yoga holiday at Samma Karuna again.

  • Carmen Signer Switzerland

    BookYogaRetreats website

    Das Detox Programm war ein sehr positives Erlebnis und der Ernährungsberater war große Klasse. Ich kann es nur weiterempfehlen.

    Leider war das "Awakening and Healing" nicht wirklich Bestandteil.

    Ich habe null Guidance von Samma Karuna erhalten. Das ist ein großer Kritikpunkt und es sollte mehr Wert von Samma Karuna darauf gelegt werden . Zudem wurde ich nicht wirklich in die Community integriert und den Leuten vorgestellt. Wenn ich nicht selber Freunde gefunden hätte, wäre ich ganz einsam gewesen.

Testimonials 5

  • Maria

    Samma Karuna Facebook page

    I am a big fan of the kundalini yoga at samma karuna - taught by the two beautiful souls jewels and alex. Always challenging but very much rewarding at the same time I felt a deeper connection to my true self and in general more receptive for the beauty of life. Thank you!

  • Sophia

    Samma Karuna Facebook page

    I completed my yoga teacher training here in February this year. Beautiful place in a fabulous location on the beach and wonderful trainers. Thank you for this great experience

  • Kacper

    Samma Karuna Facebook page

    Fantastic beautiful place, full of wonderful people and positive energy. Thank you for fantastic acroyoga experience

  • Anya

    Samma Karuna Facebook page

    Samma Karuna is the most magical place on Earth. You plan to stay a week, and you're likely going to [want to] stay much longer. I'll be back again for a MUCH longer stay.

  • Laura

    Samma Karuna Facebook page

    I have just spent an amazing 6 weeks volunteering and being apart of the Samma Karuna family. It really is a special place, with the beautiful energy of Ishi, Darina and all the other staff and volunteers it's a welcoming and excepting place for everybody to come. I would highly recommend spending some time here, not only because of the wonderful people but also for the varied program they offer. Here is a place to love, heal and be excepted.

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