Volunteering in Thailand – Samma Karuna Healing, Awakening and Yoga School

by Aly Hazlewood on May 12, 2016


For the past couple of months I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering at Samma Karuna School of Healing & Awakening, located on Had Cha Pao beach, Koh Phangan.

With the energy exchange of 4 hours work a day, 6 days a week, I am able to participate in the school’s full Healing and Awakening programme, not only during the first month’s commitment to volunteer there, but subsequently access is also free for the next 3 months.

The programme consists of a diverse range of non-dogmatic classes, meditations, music therapy, tantra, yoga, dance and healing modalities, and volunteers are fully encouraged to dive in to as much of the programme as possible.


Located on a beautiful stretch of beach on the north west coast of the island, the four yoga shalas benefit from breathtaking views of the sparking, turquoise ocean during the day, with nightly sunsets to rival any you might have seen before.


Not only has my yoga practice improved dramatically, I’ve also benefited from different types of Osho meditations, pushed past many of my limiting self beliefs with tantra classes and dance therapy, and am generally evolving in all sorts of unforeseen ways. Although it’s not perfect (after all, what is?), I’m grateful that a place like Samma Karuna exists at all, and I can see the enormous potential for growth in the years ahead as the school embarks on an investment programme to expand and improve its facilities.


As a volunteer, it is possible to stay in the dorm for a very reduced rate of 200 baht per night, but at 43, I’m one of the oldest volunteers at Samma Karuna and my days of bunking in dorms are long gone. I stay in a little bungalow in the coconut groves close to Srithanu and receive the benefits of volunteering in a close-knit community, along with much needed privacy and undisturbed sleep.


Outside of the work schedule and Awakening and Healing programme, there is also a weekly community dinner by donation, conscious cinema events, camp fire concerts on the beach, and coming soon, a sauna built into the rock face.

Volunteering duties are diverse too. Anything from helping in the kitchen, to gardening, cleaning, social media, poster campaigns, maintenance and collections/drop offs of guests. The school also requires volunteers to work in projects outside, such as the animal welfare shelter and the local organic farm in order to contribute to the wider community. Never a dull moment!


If you’ve never volunteered before, I recommend the experience. Not only do you get to offer your gifts in service to others, you develop skills of collaboration, empathy and community spirit, all the while meeting like-minded souls, many of whom become friends for life.


If you think you might like to volunteer at Samma Karuna, you can apply online here. Or if you’re simply interested in staying as a guest in order to experience this fairly unique school and its Healing and Awakening programme, this recent video shows a flavour of the last yoga teacher training course held in April.

If you have specific questions about volunteering at Samma Karuna, please email the school directly.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Marina June 17, 2016 at 5:22 pm

Thank you for this beautiful blog post and stunning photos. I discovered “Samma Karuna” center last March when I was on Koh Phangan and now I have a plan to go there and stay for a while. So, your informative and interesting blog post was exactly what I needed. Many thanks!


Aly Hazlewood July 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Hi Marina
I’m glad you found it useful. It really is a special place, I’m very much looking forward to going back there.
Maybe see you there!
Aly :)

Marie November 4, 2016 at 6:01 pm

I’ m planning to be volunteer there…could speak about that together please?

Aly Hazlewood November 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Hi Marie

You are better off contacting the school directly to discuss your questions.

Huiee December 30, 2016 at 9:45 am


I am planning to do a volunteer there, but their female dorm is not available anymore. Can you suggest any budgetary accommodation near to the place?

Hui Ee

Aly Hazlewood January 5, 2017 at 7:59 am

As far as I know, there is room available in the dorm right now (Jan 2017), but we don’t have a female dorm, it is a mixed dorm.

Check booking.com for alternative accommodation.

manish April 22, 2017 at 11:05 am

I am available to offer services foc,and as volunteer.i am peace lover and highly spiritual personality.

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