FitHealthyFab – interview with YOGA LIFE Founding Director, Andy Betancourt www.yogalifesamui.com
Andy Betancourt, owner and co-founder of Yoga Life in Koh Samui was kind enough to sit down and give us a little insight into the background of his two retreats, based in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, and Koh Samui, Thailand. The Koh Samui retreat is a month old, and is open for business. Definitely keep them in mind if you are visiting beautiful Koh Samui.
FHF: Firstly, congratulations on the opening of your beautiful facility in Koh Samui. It must be very rewarding and inspiring, especially having the opportunity to spread the yogic message in such an exquisite space. You have a sister facility in Isla Las Mujeres, Mexico, which was where Yoga Life was born. How long have you been in business?
YL: We opened Yoga Life Isla Mujeres in Nov 2010, and exactly one year after that, Yoga Life Samui.
FHF: Why Mexico/Koh Samui?
YL: Mexico is a country that represents a lot for Jackie and myself (Yoga Life founders) so opening a school in a place that we both love so much it was not a hard decision to make.
FHF: I have read a bit of your bio – I agree with you that yoga is more than an exercise, and that it can improve your mind, total awareness, and overall life experience. Was there a moment in your life that you realised this was something that you wanted to share with others….to help them? If so, tell me about it.
YL: Since I was a teenager I always felt an interest for knowing as much as possible about everything, and that is what pushed me to get in to Philosophy, Yoga, and Meditation. So the need to share is really my own need to find my answers.
FHF: I like your philosophy and ideologies surrounding Yoga Life’s mission. You strike me as being in business more to help people rather than to be in business merely for profit. Do you find that having those values is ultimately more beneficial for you and the business in the long run, and why?
YL: To be honest, yes, is hard to keep them both apart when one needs money to get things done. But it is one of our main concerns to make sure everyone that interacts with us understands that money is just another tool, that it will give results according to how we use it.
FHF: For someone wanting to join a retreat/workshop at Yoga Life for the first time – what can they expect? Do you find that most of your guests want to relax; deepen their current practice; make a life change? What do you hope they will take away with them when they leave?
YL: We try to encourage people to find their own answers, to attain more awareness and to get to know themselves a little more deeply.
FHF: Do you get a lot of repeat business?
YL: We have regular students in Mexico that enjoy being around, we expect to achieve the same thing here in Thailand.
FHF: I notice that you practice the Sivananda, Hatha, and Kundalini styles at your retreats. Are you able to offer classes to people at various levels of yogic practice? How does someone who has never practiced yoga benefit from one of your retreats?
YL: We are able to teach anyone who is interested in learning Yoga, we have different retreats for different needs, the benefits will vary depending the program, but something they all guarantee is you will leave to relax and feel healthier. It is important to understand that the benefits of everything in life are related to our commitment toward the activity we are doing.
FHF: What is the most popular undertaking at Yoga Life? Do you find people have a strong preference for one kind of workshop/practice overall?
YL: People enjoy easy going programs mostly. Most of people are trying to get away from a stressful everyday life.
FHF: What has been the highlight of your experience since Yoga Life’s inception?
YL: All the amazing people that have crossed our path since opening day, both teachers and students. It is incredible how many wonderful people are out there just waiting for the right environment to show and share their best.
FHF: What are your hopes and goals for the future of Yoga Life?
YL: Our only hope and goal is to provide the right tools for others to find their path in life.
FHF: Is there anything else you would like to add?
YL: First at all thank you for letting us use this space to share some of the work we are doing here at yoga life and also to invite anyone that would like to know us a bit more to check any of our websites, here you have two of them, www.yogalifesamui.com, and www.montevistathailand.com.
FHF: Thank you for your time, it is much appreciated. I wish you well in all your future endeavours. Namaste.