Yoga Retreat Thailand: My Experience (Part 1)

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Photo of yoga session with Brett Moran in main yoga sala at Vikasa Yoga Retreat.  Photography by Andrae Love – Instagram @iamandraelove

And so my new life (created using the Law of Attraction, oh yes my friends!) has begun!

I’ve moved to Thailand and am now beginning my dream life, doing work I love, travelling to exotic locations and spending time with beautiful people who are also on the same journey of awakening and inspiring others to raise their consciousness and improve their lives.

Yep, all that woo-woo garbage!

During my very first week on my tropical island paradise, I took part in a yoga and transformational retreat, hosted by my mentor, YouTube and Instagram star and now housemate (yep, you heard right!) Brett Moran from Brett Moran TV!

It was my first experience of anything like this but I was looking forward to it tremendously. Yes, 2-3 years ago, I would have laughed at this kind of spiritual, head in the clouds, airy-fairy nonsense, but as I’ve awakened, I now realise that this kind of thing can change lives and yes indeed, the world.

No bullshit.

But I have to say, it didn’t quite go as I’d planned………….

I arrived on the island of Koh Samui full of hope.

This was a huge break, a magnificent opportunity kindly offered to me by Brett Moran; ex-con, crack addict, football hooligan and racist (yep, I’m living with someone who was banged up for racial hatred!) turned reformed yogi, vegan and motivational coach.

You couldn’t make this shit up!

Moving into a house with him and 3 other young, spiritual bucks, a stone’s throw away from the beach, with an ocean view and an infinity pool, seemed almost too good to be true.

5 years ago, I was suicidal.

2 years ago, I was stuck at home, my life in tatters due to a rough recovery from anxiety.

And just 2 weeks ago, I was in cold, snowy England, sleeping on a single bed at my Mum’s house, springs digging into my body, virtually penniless and extremely lonely.

But I knew it was all about to change.

I was ready to take life by the reigns and smash it, finally slide into the greatest version of myself and take the world by storm. Nothing and no one was going to stop me creating the life of my dreams now, finally putting to the sword my lifetime of stress and hopelessness…………

Nah, that didn’t happen!

Instead, the retreat brought up a whole bunch o’ crap I thought had long since evaporated from my life. Insecurities and worries appeared by magic, issues I thought I’d dealt with, never to return.

Brett Moran says:

“This island (Koh Samui) has a funny habit of giving you what you need, not what you want.”

I actually think life does that. But places like Koh Samui, which have a special energy to them, definitely seem to accelerate this process.

 

 

I should first start by saying that the retreat itself was wonderful.

And yes, I’m hugely biased as it was run by my mentor, housemate and I’m now proud to say, friend……buuuuuuttt, I would still have given it a 5 star review, despite the fact it didn’t personally go as I’d have liked.

What I do know, is that the 20 people who attended all got something out of it. For some of them, it was literally a life changing experience. There were many tears shed, by men and women, and many realisations dawned and lessons learned.

This was not just about learning a few fancy poses on a yoga mat or fawning over some self-aggrandised guru. Brett says:

“Yoga is 10% on the mat, 90% off the mat.”

and

“You should never follow a guru. Only your inner guru.”

Profound shit.

Brett’s retreats (and I believe, any quality retreat) are about looking within and finding your true self; discovering answers to life’s big questions that perhaps you won’t be able to get back home, stuck in a busy, stress-filled, 9-5 rat-race existence.

In Koh Samui, the environment of sun, sea and stunning vistas and wildlife, alongside healthy, fresh food (all at the Vikasa Yoga Retreat), allowed people to switch off and spend more time with their thoughts without them whizzing around, worrying about what to buy from the supermarket, what to prepare for work and who is pissing you off on Facebook or Whatsapp.

Me at the Andrae Love Shamanic Ceremony, Brett Moran Yoga Retreat at Vikasa, Koh Samui, Photography by Andrae Love Instagram #iamandraelove

 

The schedule was pretty full-on and definitely challenging.

From 7.30 am, we were straight into meditation and yoga every day and back again for a workshop in the afternoon (looking at things like the Law of Attraction, removing limiting beliefs and self-love) before another 2 hours of yoga from 5-7.

Afternoons and evenings were free but with activities planned, often in the baking heat or intense equatorial humidity, days ended up very draining, especially after an often tough yoga session (some of us were relatively new to yoga, with a couple of complete beginners).

There was certainly no way you would be dancing the night away in some dingy nightspot, downing Chang and gawping at ladyboys! No, the great thing about this retreat was that it was populated by people looking to find peace, love and happiness in their life.

That’s not to say they didn’t enjoy a good party (we had a pool party and a cacao party!) but there was no alcohol involved (or drugs, thankfully for me, as this has always been my dark temptation!). This was just about being totally natural around beautiful souls, many of whom connected on a very deep level and will undoubtedly become friends for life.

What I particularly loved was the breadth of personalities. From a nubile yogi in her mid-20s, to an ecologist built like a brick shit-house, a mixed-race aspiring shamen and musician, to a 58-year-old book publisher, a young head-mistress, to a single Mum with a weed habit, a strapping 30 something property developer / wannabe rapper, to a petite middle-aged Venezuelan who loves to tango.

It sounds like a recipe for a disaster but because each and every one was coming from a place of insecurity, struggles and vulnerability, looking for love, reassurance and a better way of living, the differences were vastly overshadowed by one core similarity – we all want to spread love.

So why am I complaining about my own part in all this?!

Well, I spent the first 4 days without almost any sleep! Initially, I thought it was jetlag but as the retreat got underway, I began to realise it was more than that. In fact, I realised that my old nemesis, anxiety, had reared its ugly head once again, to try and destroy my life………

Check out part 2 here.

 


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