KARMA YOGA RETREATA gift of mindful & adventurous experiences
Whether you are just beginning your yoga journey or have been practicing for a long while, a retreat is a way to kickstart new habits for your wellbeing.
Perhaps you’d like to deepen your knowledge and experience of these ancient techniques of yoga and meditation, all while in the relaxing and supportive environment of a retreat setting.
Or maybe you find that modern life and the fast-paced, consumer-driven culture is leaving you feeling disconnected.
The Karma Yoga Retreat in Southern Laos is an experience that will leave you feeling free, nourished and full of the vitality of life!
Set on a car-free island in the middle of the Mekong River, in Southern Laos, this is the perfect place to de-stress, detox and let go of the worries and busy-ness of life.
Influenced by the Lao Buddhist culture of the region, and the teaching styles and backgrounds of co-hosts Emily and Tiak, the focus of the retreat is on letting go of attachment. The true meaning of Karma – “action without attachment to the fruits of the action”.
By taking this time out to connect with yourself and a beautiful community of other yogis, you’ll be able to fully integrate the practices and teachings and take the tools you learn into your life.
Join sisters-in-law and yoga teachers Emily Rose and Tiak Saysana for this unique yoga retreat in the stunning Champasak province of Southern Laos.
Surrounded by the Mekong River, and immersed in Lao culture, you will be invited to surrender attachment and open yourself to the fullness of life through yoga, meditation, generosity and community.
Coinciding with the end of Buddhist lent and the Lao boat festivals this retreat has a focus on letting go of attachment and practicing Karma Yoga by giving selflessly to others.
10% of the retreat fee will be donated to one of the local community projects on Done Daeng Island and participants will also be invited to donate their time to assist with the project during the retreat.
And of course there will be daily yoga practice. As well as experiencing some of the wonderful nature and culture of Laos, participants will take part in twice daily yoga classes, Buddhist meditation practices and workshops, dharma talks and ceremonies relating to the theme of Karma Yoga and non-attachment.
ABOUT THE ACCOMMODATION
La Folie lodge is situated on Done Daeng island, a car free island in the middle of the Mekong River. This luxurious resort has a restaurant (where we will eat freshly prepared vegetarian food), a swimming pool and beautiful Lao bungalow style private rooms.
The lodge is a short distance from the ancient sacred temple, Wat Phou and there are number of other beautiful areas accessed from La Folie Lodge, including the waterfalls and coffee plantations of the Bolaven Plateau and the 4000 Islands in the Mekong.
27 luxurious rooms are set in wooden bungalows, each with private balcony and magnificent views over the Mekong or the garden.
Come and enjoy the exceptional natural beauty and unspoilt charm of Southern Laos, together with first-class facilities and the legendary traditional Laotian hospitality.
With an amazing view on the Mekong River and the Wat Phou mountains, the lodge swimming pool is the ideal spot to cool down after a day in the hot sun. The poolside restaurant offers continental cuisine and Asian specialties, from early morning breakfast to late-night snacks.
FIND OUT MORE:
You’ll arrive by boat and be greeted by traditional Lao hospitality at La Folie lodge…
After settling in, meeting the group and sharing a low key Lao dinner together you will be able to retire for the night in your beautiful, luxury bungalow room…
You’ll wake in the morning to the sounds of Laos – the river, the birds and insects calling…
Each morning we will meet for guided meditation, morning flow practice around the theme of the day and breath work…
With no rush, we’ll breakfast together…
And then, you’ll be able to choose a day by the pool, a book, an trip into Champasak or the Wat Phou temple or a coffee plantation tour. Grab lunch at the restaurant or enjoy a picnic lunch out and about…
If we are not out on an adventure the afternoons will offer an opportunity to completely relax by the pool or in the spa, deepen your knowledge with workshops & dharma talks or explore the island…
Followed by a more gentle practice to allow you to soak in the experiences of the day. Gentle hatha flow, Yin and restorative practices to truly nurture you and allow you to further practice letting go and finding presence…
Our evening meal, a mix of Lao and Western food, is an opportunity to connect with the group and reflect on the days teachings and activities…
After an evening meditation, you’ll most likely be ready for a nourishing sleep again but on some nights we’ll be treated to traditional Lao ceremonies and dance to fully connect to this beautiful and spiritual culture…
You’ll experience the powerful practice of generosity and kindness.
10% of the retreat fee will be donated to the local Ban Boungkham school development project on Done Daeng Island.
The school of Ban Boungkham has 115 students for 7 teachers. The village of Ban Boungkham itself is around a 100 families, but the school welcomes kids from 4 villages around. The school requires much maintenance work including toilet facilities and structural improvements.
Plus you will have the opportunity to volunteer your time on the project during the retreat.
Together they combine to share from their hearts to yours their deepest and most inspired teachings.
Your yoga teachers and hosts for the week have a passion for the location and practices included and have developed a retreat schedule to combine their love for and experience in yoga asana, philosophy, Buddhist meditation, social justice, dance and self reflection.
Emily brings her 20 years of yoga practice and depth of teaching knowledge and experience, her background in international development and her commitment to sharing the teachings of yoga and the Buddha dharma for the benefit of all beings.
Tiak brings her love and knowledge of her home country, the Lao Buddhist tradition and ceremony, her love of all things movement and the integration of these in her yoga teaching.
I would highly recommend the Karma Yoga retreat; when I signed up to it I was in a moment in my life where I felt like I needed a break, I needed to reconnect to myself, my values, what I believe in; And the place where the retreat was taking place was a country that I wanted to visit for years. This retreat felt like a “soul massage”, the location, the people, the teaching, the practice, Tiak and Emily’s experience and energies, everything felt in harmony (and was so well organised). It felt like this week gave space to my soul, my body to exist, to move, and to make me feel their presence. Laos is a beautiful country and experiencing it with the retreat is a magical way to discover it. So going to this retreat is something to do for yourself and that for sure you won’t regret. It was an unforgettable week.
Emily & Tiak worked straight from their hearts. They are totally calm, organised and focused on giving. Due to all components of the retreat I have let go completely and now have complete inner peace along with the tools and wisdom to maintain. We were culturally immersed in a spiritual world of the earthy untouched remote Island. Within the western comforts of LA Folie Lodge. I highly recommend this life changing retreat ~ Penny Heslin – in a happy, resilient place.
Where do I start? From the first moment I read about the Karma Yoga Retreat, I was hooked and it totally exceeded my expectations. The location was remote which enhanced the adventure aspect of the experience. The accommodation, pool and food were outstanding which meant I really felt the relaxing holiday vibe. The yoga, talks and cultural experiences with the energy and understanding of our teachers was challenging enough to bring about personal change in myself while still having lots of fun. I had to overcome the guilt of treating myself to a holiday while leaving my responsibilities to others at home, and I am so glad I pushed myself to do it. It will be an experience to remember for many years.
There is so much of this experience that I cannot put into words except to say that it has left a beautiful space in my heart reminding me that love and kindness exists and is key to human connection and positive experiences. Emily & Tiak took us on an amazing adventure together where we laughed and cried and laughed even more building beautiful friendships and nourishing ourselves completely. I would highly recommend this experience to others. You deserve it! Thank you thank you thank you.
Your retreat brought back nourishment to my body and being, a peaceful calmness to just slow down, be earthed, and live life in a slower, smelling the roses lane. The breath of life flowed through my body to be expelled into the universe, thank you, thank you.
Such an experience is difficult to put into words, what I gained from the retreat was truly priceless. I spent 7 days with the most wonderful women I have ever met who taught me so much about myself and life. The location was amazing. The teachers were passionate and the meditations were beautiful. The community engagement was so worth while. Definitely a must try experience for all people searching for their soul because you will find it on this retreat.
I would recommend this retreat to anyone and everyone. If anyone I know was thinking about going I would definitely say do it! I hoped it would be great but I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d never been on a yoga retreat before. But everything was better than I had hoped. The classes were fantastic, the location and accommodation were gorgeous, the food was amazing and the staff at La Folie were just so lovely. I loved our two inspiring teachers, Emily and Tiak who had organised things so perfectly.
The package includes:
- 6 nights accommodation in a Private Superior room at La Folie Lodge. The Superior rooms are all located in wooden bungalows, and offer approximately 37 square meters of space luxuriously furnished with local materials. Each Superior room has its own terrace with stunning views over the Mekong and the sacred hills of Wat Phou.
- All return transfers from Ubon Ratchathani or Pakse airport to the Lodge (including boat from Champasak)
- All vegetarian meals, snacks and coconut water for the duration of the stay
- Use of La Folie lodge amenities including hire bikes, swimming pool and garden
- Twice daily yoga and meditation classes with yoga teachers Emily Rose and Tiak Saysana (Lao national), suitable for all levels and conditions
- Workshops, ceremonies and dharma talks on the theme of non-attachment and karma yoga
- Contribution to a local Community Development project (financial contribution and optional selfless service on retreat)
- Immersion in local Lao Buddhist culture through temple visits, Lao cooking, Water Ceremony and Baci ceremony
- Spa Day in historic town, Champasak, with 90 minutes massage included (Additional spa treatment available at extra cost)
- Excursion to the Bolaven Plateau to see stunning scenery and coffee plantations
- Flights and insurance
- Extra spending money
Our 2021 Retreat has been cancelled due to COVID-19 health concerns.
Contact us below if you are interested in finding out about the next retreat when it is announced.
I'm interested this experience!
HOW TO GET THERE
There are a number of different air travel options to get to La Folie Lodge depending on your budget and starting destination.
**From Melbourne you can fly to Bangkok via Jet Star or Thai Airways. From Sydney you can fly with Qantas, which has slightly better connecting flights.
**From Bangkok you may wish to travel to Vientiane first (Laos’ capital city) to explore the central region and then fly to Pakse international from Vientiane.
**If you are coming directly to the retreat you can either fly via Lao Airlines direct to Pakse (40M transfer to La Folie lodge) or fly Thai Airways to Ubon Ratchathani on the Thai / Laos border (2H30M transfer to La Folie lodge).
Any questions contact us and we can provide you with the retreat information pack and put you in touch with our recommended travel agent!
Laos is a land-locked country located in Southeast Asia. The key geographic feature of Laos is the Mekong River (Mènam Khong – in Lao), which means the Mother River. The River flows through the country right from the north to the southern-most point of the country and it is the lifeline of Lao people and the surrounding region. Laos is one of the few countries in the world that is still rich with green tropical forest resources. It also has a long history of Buddhism practice that can be dated back to the 7th or 8th century and Buddhism remains the main spiritual practice of Laotians.
2018 is the “Visit Laos Year” and Simply Beautiful Laos and the Lao people warmly welcome you.
To find out more about Laos visit Tourism Laos
Champasak is one of the 18 provinces of Laos and located in the Southern Laos region. The province and this southern region are charmed by much untouched nature and cultures – The 4000 islands, the Bolaven plateau which has numerous waterfalls and home of the best coffee from Laos and the Wat Phou (Temple (on the) Mountain), which is said to have close connection to the Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The province is also the home to Done Daeng (the red island), the car-free island and place for you to slow down and relax.
The best way for you to experience the region is for you to visit but you can find out a little bit more here or view this beautiful video of the ‘secret place’ Southern Laos!
ABOUT YOUR TEACHERS
Emily has been a student of many styles of yoga over the past 20 years but particularly loves to teach a strong yet slow flowing vinyasa style, that blends alignment based principles to build strength with a softer mindful, often philosophical side.Emily has over 500 hours of teacher training (including Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative, Prenatal and Kids yoga), has been teaching for 5 years, with over 1000 hours of teaching experience, and is registered Level 2 teacher with Yoga Australia. She is currently undertaking further study in Mindfulness Meditation teaching and is passionate about bringing the life-changing practices of Buddhist meditation and philosophy into her classes and retreats.
Emily loves whole foods, nature, adventures in the mountains, taking action on injustice, teaching and above all connecting people in love and kindness through yoga. You can read more about Emily here.
Vonesili (Tiak) Saysana
Tiak is a yoga practitioner and instructor from Laos. “Yoga” and “Laos” are two aspects that Tiak loves and is passionate to promote, especially since she moved to Melbourne in 2014.
Tiak has been practicing yoga since 2004. It was initially the practice to help Tiak to be more focused in studying and maintain her physical fitness. At the same time, Tiak has discovered that yoga helps her to reconnect with her inner happiness and peace. Tiak has been self-practicing Power Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, and meditation and loves sharing her practices with friends and families.
In 2017, Tiak completed a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) from Yoga Flame and commenced her certified yoga teaching since. She also completed Mother and Baby YTT and is soon to complete her online Restorative YTT and Yoga for Fertility Course. These courses have helped Tiak to gain more insight in nourishing yoga and the restore – yin practices that are more in need for today and to balance with the yang practice. Also, coming from a Buddhism background, Tiak has been exploring and integrating Buddhist practice and meditation into her own yoga practice and the yoga classes that she has been teaching.
Prior to moving to Melbourne, in Laos Tiak travelled to almost every province both for pleasure and work. She visited many beautiful and exotic places and met with different heart-warming and interesting people, yet, there is still much more to discover and explore in Laos. Tiak would like to invite you to visit and experience the less touchable Laos, in Champasak province, on the car- free island called Don Daeng (the Red Island), where the Retreat will be organised.
Does this sound like the retreat for you?
Request more information in our Karma Yoga Laos Retreat Information Pack by completing the form below: