Agama Yoga

Agama Yoga, Ko Pha-Ngan: Address, Phone Number, Agama Yoga Reviews: 4/5

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Agama is the Yoga University on the paradise tropical island of Koh Phangan (Thailand). It is a place for spiritual seekers who are looking for Truth. We offer monthly Yoga courses and drop-in classes,Tantra workshops, meditation retreats, and specialize in Teacher Trainings. We also have an Ayurvedic & Holistic Healing Center. Our program consists of teachings and explanations of various techniques from many styles of Yoga, including Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Tantra Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Laya Yoga, Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana yoga, Nidra Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga, altogether constituting a genuine example of "Integral Yoga" At Agama you can discover yourself, reveal your full potential and evolve spiritually. Together, we form a supportive community of interesting people from all over the world. We offer a special atmosphere, great teachings, and profound knowledge. We make an authentic form of Yoga based on Indian and Tibetan traditions available to you in a practical and comprehensible way which is easy to apply in your daily life. Our aim is to guide our students into a journey of self-discovery and process of self-development.
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4.0
196 reviews
Excellent
134
Very good
25
Average
8
Poor
6
Terrible
23

Grig Burcus
Montreal, Canada2 contributions
One of the oldest, biggest and probably the best school of yoga in Ko Phangan.
I returned after 8 years and took the course of Hata yoga level two and also a workshop of tantra.
The school continues to impress me by combining traditional Indian yoga with a modern way to teach and learn. All the topics are well explained and documented by professional yoga teachers from all over the world including India. The teachers are very competent and devoted. The environment is warm and cozy and makes you feel very comfortable. You find everything there including a vegetarian restaurant, a library, shop, 4 big pavilions for yoga classes and nice people.
I will always return with great pleasure there
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

michaelchatzo
4 contributions
Solo
A spiritual diamond with a profound understanding in Yoga and general the nature of reality. Knowledgeable teachers, beautifully inspiring. Powerful, life changing teachings and a Swami with a spiritual verticality and a immeasurable clarity. A harmonious environment for spiritual seekers from every tradition and background.
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RubyTwoday
Home Free10 contributions
Solo
If I was rating on just the Intensive Yoga Level 1, I would give it a 4 or 4.5 out of 5. Yet Agama is not solely about Level One, so I had to factor in the other levels, the Tantric element, and the Swami.

Level One Intensive is great. It is the most detailed informative yoga instruction I have taken so far. Swami has clearly taken different methods of instruction – much of if from India and Sivananda Ashram in particular, and made a comprehensive Western version by telling us the who, what, why and how that you may not get in the Indian version of the instruction. The classes go into detail about what to focus on during each asana and even what chakra they influence and how you can heal ailments from incorporating certain poses.

I also found the lectures really informative with great information on maintaining natural well being including diet and cleanses. I found the instructors great and dedicated and really helpful when you had questions. Though I do find the yoga instructions rather robotic as they are all trained to say the exact same thing and that seems a bit clone like to me and lacking personal identity and character which they all clearly have.

I did not care for the instructors and helpers coming up to me and touching me without asking first. I am deep in my practice, often with my eyes closed and also very aware of my own energy and working with the healing aspects of it so I found it rather invasive to have someone touch me while I am in this state and sometimes the touch was in a sensual manner. I brought this to their attention and they take in these critiques and often make changes.

I wish there was an Intensive Level 2 and 3 that they offer with the same format yet they do not offer this. I talked with other students and they wished for the same thing so I proposed that to the school since many of us return to Level 1 again yet don’t continue with other Levels.

Instead Level 2 has three classes a week. Much of the lecture is via video with Swami speaking. Swami’s speeches were my least favorite part of the teachings, so to have his speeches and via video was hard for me to consider for a month duration as well as future Levels. I preferred instruction from the other teachers who were also there in the flesh.

The Swami is a very knowledgeable man and I am grateful for the information he put together for the Intensive 1 class, yet I do not care for his speeches and have walked out on a few because I felt his information during his story telling was not always accurate and I felt it unethical at times.

Tantric teachings are also part of the information taught at the school – this is slowly introduced to students once they start Level one. I took Tantra 1 and liked the information presented and in this case it was presented by the Swami and I appreciate his instruction during this class. I cannot say what the other levels or related tantric classes are like since I have not taken them.

Being that there is Tantric teachings, it draws a variety of people. Some come there looking for spirituality, others for sexual experiences, others both. Beware that unsafe sex also seems to be a practice with some. Some ‘Shakti’ sessions seemed to lean towards women being submissive towards their partners and surrendering to them. It makes me wonder what is brought up in the ‘Shiva’ (male) sessions. I would like to hear a male’s perspective of the ‘Shiva’ sessions.

Swami is known for having sex with his students. He claims he is helping them learn Tantric skills by doing this. He is also a practitioner in hypnosis and has books in his library on charisma. I question his integrity and ethics in some of the way he discloses information and conducts himself. This was also a prevailing discussion among many students and sometimes instructors while I was there on both occasions.

I have a guru who exudes love and beautiful energy and I never question her ethics. I believe she is enlightened and is free of ego. I do not feel these same qualities from the Swami. However I appreciate the yoga information he offers at Agama and am grateful for what I learned there. I am also grateful for some of the cool people I met who were students at Agama, some I have remained friends with.

The center is known as having a bit of a cult flavor along with using their own jargon (ie referencing each other as ‘Shivas’ and ‘Shaktis’) yet you can be in it as much as you like and leave whenever you wish. Some, including instructors, use the term ‘being in a bubble’ at the Agama Center, yet you can still pop your way out of there when you choose. There is nothing to keep you there except your desire to stay. You can also take with you any great information you learn and leave what does not work for you.

You could become part of the flock yet I was not. I questioned things and the answers from the Swami were sometimes like what I might hear from a politician or a lawyer defending himself. Yet I never heard my own guru defending herself – because there was nothing to defend.

I recommend Level 1 teachings, I think they are amazing and the instructors are great. I have taken it twice yet find I have no desire to continue with the course set up for the next levels as they are currently structured.

Students from Agama received emails from Agama requesting that they write to Trip Advisor about their experiences at Agama. After two such requests, here is my honest synopsis. I hope it is helpful.
Written November 3, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

linda c
Lisbon, Portugal1 contribution
Solo
I stayed at agama for 2 months last spring. I found myself being elated to finally 'have arrived' and felt blessed to gain such a level of knowledge about tantric yoga. I participated in the tantra workshop and met my lover there. I had a wonderful time. Muktananda seemed personally interested in me and I could'nt believe this, i felt flattered and confused.
I had some issues I needed to speak about so I went to Maha, then to Swami and then to Muktananda.

I had a serious issue and fell betrayed that swami looked at me like a was a piece of flesh disguised as a hot shakti that he could help heal. He didnt want to listen to me, he kept repeating that I needed sex 3 hours a day since I am Scorpio, that would heal men . Ofcourse he offered himself. He saw the look on my face and told me not to be prude, surely the sex in my life has been meaningless, but this kind is pure, since it is consecrated to shiva. I wanted to get back to the subject of my visit, but he would't have it. If I didnt want him, there where many other tantric men on the island who would be thriled to have a shakti like me..He hugged me and said all it took was 20 sec to know if you want a man inside you or not. I left angry and confused, and yes emotionally raped.

I heard the talk before, I heard about all the relationships breaking, I heart about the condemnation of monogamous couples and many yogis interfering in their ways by trying to seduce one of them, and plainly telling them 'this is not the way'. ( what Is the way ?)

Ofcourse when you are a spiritual searcher, by the time you get to the island, you are tired, like me. You sooooo need someone you can trust, who has the answer to your inner demons and a cure for your suffering. And they offer all that, and you are happy to accept. I do love the school's teachings, I am in awe for their extensive knowledge on the subject. But somewhere they srtayed. They honestly believe they are helping people getting rid of the pollution in their brains by church and society about monogamy by promoting sleeping around.( surely you see the mess and the tears it creates) They say they are sex counselors, and they had sex with thousands of women, all unprotected.

I had a talk to Muktananda about this, he is a grand speaker, very convincing. He nearly convinced me to leave my lover, see other men, set my lover free to be with other women, surely I was jealous if I didn't do it, he told me so. And how would I grow spiritually, how would I end my suffering if I stayed possessive towards my lover and not grant him another shakti? That was all I needed, I dont want to be a worthless woman So I went to see him the week after, and I left, I didnt sleep with him. And it was the best decision I ever made to turn these tantric clowns down. For some this is great, and just what they are looking for, but most females who end up in their ( and other) beds, will not feel so good as soon as they leave this island.

The position they have as teachers makes them get away with this. They highly insulted my intelligence. Sure, it has been nice to wear sexy clothes and to be transfigured into a goddess. But it is my power, not anyone else to take. When You feel you are being manipulated, good chance it is true. Be careful of yourself when you go out there, for it may not be what it seems.
Written February 10, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DigitalNomads
London, UK24 contributions
Business
Recently I checked into Agama because I wanted to find out first hand if all the accusations about the leadership were right. Honestly people, how can anyone with an intelligent mind and life experience be subjected to such humiliating levels of degeneration all because these so called teachers hold the key to inner happiness or because they have studied with the best teachers in India? Wake up please. Agama is run by a bunch of halfwits with a good instinct for sucking money and energy out of unknowing and naive spiritual shoppers and it seems that they are protected locally because of huge bribes. How can a 'guru' pray on such weak people? A guru is supposed to be a person whose students can trust him or her for 100% because it is necessary to let all your guards down and be perceptive for the truth. A guru is supposed to be a beacon of light and a good example to their students. These 'teachers' still seem to be operating on lower levels of vibrations though. Thats the funny thing about it all. How are they getting away with it? There are so many genuine lovely teachers out there who will never do the slightest thing to upset your energy or even bring you out of balance. Instead these clowns who are driven by their infalted identity self-ego's do the opposite and seem to get away with it. I have decided to send in the karma police to wrap it all up. Sorry to you guys who have been able to seperate the yoga teachings from the bs and actually learn a lot from these people but as long as Agama is still praying on the weak the whole show needs to be dissolved. I've seen these kinds of people many times before in India and in the end Karma always bites them in the butt. It only took me 2 days to figure out that Agama is a waste of money and the people who run this circus like Swami(come on dude, how do you even have the nerve to call yourself a Swami. you are a disgrace to all teachers around the world) and Muktananda are having a big laugh on the expense of unknowing and naive soul searchers. If you are looking for an ego trip full of darkness or you want to become more attached to illusionary sexual feelings dressed up in spiritual jargon, by all means go to Agama but if you are looking for enlightenment or real happiness through yoga and meditation avoid this place like the plague! Shop around more, read forums, check places out better. Please don't be sucked into this Kali Yuga dark energy. It will absorb you like it has many and many before you.
Written April 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Acid A
Chiang Mai, Thailand63 contributions
Serious safety incident
Solo
Yes, when you do your Level One course it all seems super-exciting, but Agama Yoga has a dark underbelly. The senior male teachers are, almost without exception, sexual predators who think nothing of using NLP techniques to seduce young (and often vulnerable) women into their rarely cold beds. Sure, you will learn a lot of interesting facts about yoga and you will be inspired to imprve your yoga practice and change your lifestyle for a healthier one, but if you are a woman (or a "Shakti" as they like to say at Agama) expect to undergo an ongoing regime of brainwashing. You'll start your career at Agama as a feminist and end up a Stepford Wife. You'll briefly be flavour of the month with a senior teacher and you'll feel "special" for a bit, even if you've got to share him with two others. Before you know it, you'll be volunteering to cook the head of the school his suppers, or you'll be one of the minions of his second in command, whose main Shakti will give you a list of "dos and donts" to please your man. You think this won't happen to you? You think you are above it all. Well, I've seen many a feisty feminist turned into an adoring doormat at Agama. Be warned!
Written July 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FlowSolo
Chiang Mai, Thailand8 contributions
Solo
The "swami " has been balcklisted from India forever for sexual violations.. should say it all.. the tantra is thinly velied sex magic and Swami often cites people like aleister crowly and william butler years in his tantra courses, condoms are bad and dont work anyway ect... also he tryied to hypnotise the audience at one point and tell us Buddism , hindusim , ect is wrong.. but he is right. AVOID!.. loads of good yoga on KPG if you must do it here.
Written May 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

littlegreenlondon
London6 contributions
Solo
I really enjoyed the physical practise of the yoga, and have found few classes as great as the first month intensive classes. This makes it really disappointing that I don't feel like I can give a better review. Senior teachers at Agama, specifically Swami and some others, routinely pressure and manipulate their female students into sleeping with them. This is fairly well known around the institution, and not many people seem to trust Swami, except for a few loyal teachers, but generally people just keep quiet about the whole thing and pretend it isn't happening. People might think that the women are consenting so it's all ok, but I've met women who have been traumatised by Swami not taking no for answer very well. Swami tells women that sex with him will bring them closer to enlightenment, and when you've invested so much in an institution it makes it hard for women to say no to someone who has an (unhealthy, in my opinion) amount of power and influence over the students.

The teachers are forbidden from approaching students of less than three months practise for sex, so I think you're safe if you're not looking to get invested. But the fact that this rule exists at all should tell you about the atmosphere. In no other student-teacher situation would this abuse of power be legitimate or acceptable, which is why I'm so disappointed that it happens at Agama, a school I otherwise feel very warmly about and where I have met a lot of amazing people. If it wasn't for the abuse of power I would be giving the school 4 or 5 stars.

Would like to add in addition - I heard lectures from Swami and other teachers where it was said that masculine women have something wrong with them, that gender roles are legit, and skirted around the subject of homosexuality but basically implied that it went against the natural spiritual path. So bear in mind that if you feel strongly about sexism and homophobia some stuff you hear might be a bit upsetting.
Written November 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nomadonnas
Bangkok, Thailand1 contribution
Couples
I've done quiet a lot at agama (many levels and some retreats, workshops) and although I had the bad feeling pretty soon about the school and about the human 'interactions' there I wanted to give it another try as I had enjoyed a lot the first month teaching and it's content. But pretty soon I saw that the whole 'system' shares simmilarities with certain sects having and using sexuality as their tool.

There is a huge brainwash going on and especially some women easily fall into this as they come there with broken hearts. Open relationships are promoted. This is not necessarily bad if it's your way but the poor part is that monogamous relationships and people who want to live a monogamous relationship are not respected at all. You could be even more interesting to some of the 'advanced' hungry wolves if you have a partner .. So in this regard it's like in a very low level village bar ... Lots of drama, broken hearts and intrigues ... In the end I observed women and men going through tremendous emotional suppression - trying to overcome this by unhealthy sexual lives which turn into addiction.

Mr. so-called Swami loves to talk about sex with women in his private meetings (personal experience) and loves to advice men to work on their minds ... Very sexist and not the attitude someone 'achieved' should have, in my opinion of course.

The first month intensive course can be very inspiring but that is all. If you really want to dive into spirituality Agama is probably not the place to be. Better look for sth. else. If you're interested in some easy going environment with sexual adventure and intrigues then go ahead!

The retreats are cool though .. As they have a very clear goal you're not really involved into all the previously mentioned 'weird' spiritual perceptions...
Written July 24, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

The Traveler
New York City, NY34 contributions
Serious safety incident
Solo
I visited agama and took a few of its classes. The culture really weirded me out and I always had to leave early. The teachings and energy felt real off and Cult-like, but I kept going back because I wanted to learn about yoga and tantra. Then the leader of the school, the swami, and many of the senior teachers all of a sudden disappeared and it has been a month without any word from any of them. The Agama managment had a meeting for everyone and we were all informed that the leader and many teachers had been accused of sexually abusing many women at the school by many students and other teachers. its funny that they'd just run away and not say anything and just leave. it kind of makes me think they're guilty along with everyhting else. After some time away, my experience at agama really sank in and I started to see it as a sex cult. It’s one of those things that you don’t easily realize because it was hidden just enough... but everyone would stare at me like a piece of meat. I was repeatly told that unprotected sex with many people would heal my trauma, I was told to go on a strict diet, vomit every morning before eating breakfast that its ok that it produced brain fog. I was also offered genital massage by many within the school and was told it would heal me. Everyone wore white and they had coloured sashes they’d wear that showed their rank within the cult. The agama management said they'd do a review of the sexual abuse, but if its a cult, and it's reviewing itself, so I wouldn't expect anything to come out of it... Plus its Thailand and all those who were have accused the abuse are foreigners and there isn't really much they can do and the school will probably just try to keep on doing what its always done.
Written August 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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