I first met Shakti in 2007, but that was the original, smaller fitness centre at Kamalaya Koh Samui and now it seems only fitting that we give the new Shakti Fitness Centre some attention as it's arrived at a time of celebration....
Have you met Shakti...
ST: What was the reason for expanding or getting a new Shakti Fitness Centre?
Since the beginning Karina and John Stewart (founders and owners of Kamalaya) had always dreamt of a large swimming pool and gym overlooking the sea, ensuring the best wellness experience Kamalaya’s guests. Karina, who is also a Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine, knows that “Physical activity is foundational for our overall health, vitality and wellbeing. In addition to maintaining an active metabolism, it is essential for circulation and cardiovascular health, transportation of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and brain, as well as ensuring efficient elimination of waste, all of which are essential to our health and longevity. While our fitness level is pivotal for physical health, it also has a positive impact on our emotional health, mental clarity and ability to focus.” People have evolved from a lifestyle of being hunters and gatherers and that was very active, however today, people’s contemporary lifestyle has become extremely sedentary so they now need to consciously make an effort to integrate physical activity and exercise into their daily routines in order to maintain vibrant health.
ST: How long have you been open now?
Now in 2015 Kamalaya is celebrating its ten year anniversary and John and Karina are extremely happy and grateful that their dream has become a reality. I, the new Shakti Fitness Centre opened at the beginning of January 2015 and houses over 22 pieces of the latest equipment for cardio, resistance, strengthening, weight, Pilates and TRX training. My space covers approximately 294m2 with three areas comprising of an upper area for cardio and stretching, two lower sections for weight and resistance training, as well as a consultation room for private personal training sessions. The original Shakti fitness studio has been re-named “Padma” and is available for personal one-on-one Yoga or Pilates training or small group classes.
ST: What does your usual day look like?
My doors open at 7am until 8pm. Many guests come to exercise in the early morning before breakfast – for both private classes as well as free training. After some cardio training, with that involving a session on the treadmill, many enhance their workouts with some strength exercises. My personal trainers will also assist guests using free weights, the power plate, leg press and the other machines for safe training and optimum results. It’s also good to see that guests delight in a morning swim in the 25 meter lap pool which is also a new addition along with me. Afternoons are our dedicated time for group classes such as circuit training, fit ball, suspension training, aqua yoga or aqua aerobics. Those activities are offered as Kamalaya’s scheduled daily holistic fitness activities, and also include various styles of yoga suitable for different levels of experience, Pilates, Meditation, Pranayama, Thai Chi, Qi Gong, stretching and many more. As the evening settles the pool side is a wonderful spot to simply enjoy the sunset over the outlying islands.
ST: Do guest mostly participate in classes or private fitness sessions?
My guests enjoy group classes as much as private sessions. During personal fitness training my team of fitness and wellness experts can address specific fitness goals and areas to suit individual needs. After a tougher workout, such as Muay Thai Boxing, the session ends with stretching exercises to ensure a balanced healthy way of training. My group classes such as aqua yoga and aqua aerobics are a gentle and fun way for guests to get their body moving and are also highly recommended and beneficial for guests experiencing joint conditions. Group holistic activity classes run throughout the day, all day, seven days a week. The classes are complimentary for all in-house guests and they love it! There’s no need to book in advance and it’s a great way for guests to meet each other and start to share their experiences.
ST: What do love about your job as a fitness centre?
There’s a strong positive vibe. I’m open each day and no matter if you’d like to hop on one of the bikes, run on the treadmill or spend some time on the cross trainer or one of the elliptical machines – my entire cardio area boasts stunning views over the Gulf of Thailand. I provide our guests with amenities such as fresh chilled lemon water, electrolyte drinks, fresh fruit and of course towels. Who would not love all that!
ST: After guests have had a fitness/training session with you, what do you recommend they go and do?
In line with Kamalaya’s holistic approach to wellness, my fitness team not only supports guests in developing their workouts, but also stresses the importance of finding a balance between tough exercise, relaxation techniques and stretching, optimum nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Often my trainers will suggest a session in one of Kamalaya’s two steam rooms to relax the muscles after workout and calm the mind. Conveniently located is the larger “Leela Steam Room” which is also a new addition along with me earlier this year, it’s amazing; it is lined with colorful mosaic tiles with daylight falling through the ceiling. Also suggested are specific wellness treatments such as the Asian Foot Massage, Ayurvedic and Thai Massage to work synergistically with physical exercise, soothing and relaxing the body after training. Additionally, some guests might benefit from nutritional guidance by one of Kamalaya’s naturopaths ensuring optimum nutrition to complement a continued active lifestyle at home. All in all it’s about encouraging people to live their life’s potential.
Visit Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa here to discover the inclusions to spa and wellness programs such as:
Ideal Weight, Optimal Fitness, Intro to Detox, Asian Bliss, Relax & Renew, Yoga Synergy, Sleep Enhancement, Embracing Change. Retreats range from 3 to 21 days.
Also, for select dates we have bonus nights available for new and repeat guests.