Immersion into Alternative Building

Event Highlights

  • Learn useful skills to build ecofriendly structures
  • Become part of a community of people trying to live sustainably.
  • Food, room and course all included.
  • Small class sizes.


The workshop will happen over a 3 weeks period. We will have one to one and a half day off per week depending on the flow.
One normal day schedule will consist of approximately 6 hours work and 2 hours of lectures, sharings and questions and answers (Q&A).

The program:
1. Week one. Intro to alternative building, intro to the dome sauna project, classic and alternative foundations, building with earth principles and methods, choosing the earth, Earth bag building part 1.

2. Week two. leading a building project part 1, earth bag building part 2, design and energy, walls and floor finishes, arches,vaults and domes.

3. Week three. Roof classic and alternative, aircrete 1, aircrete 2, planing and budgeting, leading a building project part 2.

It is compulsory to attend from 09:00 to 18:00.

Day schedule is subject to change.

Note: The morning yoga is dedicated to warm up the body for beginners and advanced. The format of the class will change as the days will pass. It can be very dynamic to slow long stretches. It’s an open class and not compulsory.
The workshop plans:

An Ancient Greek saying: “If you want to make the gods laugh tell them your plans”

About This Event


During this 3 weeks we will build a small dome to be used as a traditional Thai steam room using innovative building technologies. It will be a hands-on experience mixed with interactive lectures as we progress.

The aim is to immerse you into what it takes to build a structure from an original idea that feels so easy and simple into the reality of its materialisation. Indeed, most of the time the brain storm and planing part of a project is the easy part, it feels simple but it can quickly lose its momentum and enthusiasm without the right course of action.

You will learn to face the challenges of construction. There are a few principles to master. It’s not only the plain knowing on how to do things but more an inner attitude to hold within as the project goes forward.

Upon completing the workshop, You will have the confidence to both lead the project of, and actually build, your own structure.

We will use diverse techniques.

The foundation will teach us about the earth, proper planing, flexibility and the notion of strength in a building.

The walls will take us to the world of earth bag building and the diversity of building with earth. Understanding the principles that make earth the prime building ingredient of alternative building. We will also discover the world of beauty, colour and design with the wall rendering finishes and also by creating the floor.

The roof will be innovative. We will use aircrete, a cement filled with millions of tiny air bubbles. We will learn about form works, lightness, waterproofing and insulation.

We will also touch on plumbing, electrical options and placements.

The pace of the workshop will follow the pace of the group and will move organically with the challenges. Everyone will be involved and in understanding of where we are at each step. Like any construction work, we will have a plan of action with expected dates of completion. And like any construction work we will learn how to adapt when things are not happening according to plan and turn the problems into solutions.

What do I mean by alternative building?
First it refers to a cheap, low cost, low environmental impact way of building a home.
It’s also alternative in the sense of not being a common way of building that is based on principles of solar passive and energy saving.

So for those who want to learn the skills of materialising an idea into reality, this workshop is for you. Also for those who want to be integrated into a team where we will tend to move as one and keep everyone on the same page.

This workshop is not just about learning how to build, a big component of it is to empower you to be able to achieve your ideal project, while working together with others as a team

Recent studies have shown how our society is becoming a world of lonely people disconnected to each other with the virtual world of social media and entertainment. Let’s change that and make friendship an integral part of our existence.

There is something magical about reconnecting with the use of our hands. It becomes rare to be in direct contact with the elements, earth, water, fire and to feel the unique inner satisfaction that comes with completing hands-on tasks. This is exactly what we will experience in this workshop.

For all participants, they will need to bring:

Light comfortable clothing for work including a hat.


A good pair of working cloves.

A water bottle.

Mosquito repellent.


Creative, loving community in a beautiful part of the island. I feel so close to Nature here and enjoy sharing space in a heartfelt place. The yoga space overlooking palm trees and greenery is very special

Venue Highlights

La Casa Shambala is situated in the lush tropical environment of Koh Phangan, only about 10 minute from the beach. We build with the environment, not against it. We have cozy, bamboo bungalows, composting toilets, and a beautiful mandala garden. In addition to yoga, we also offer various eco-retreats such as permaculture courses.

What separates us from other studios is the community atmosphere. It is common outside of class time to see our students and our volunteers leading their own classes and sharing knowledge with one another in their fields. We host people from all over the world that have wonderful experiences to teach and everyone is always so eager to learn.


We offer basic accommodation dormitory type on a yoga loft platform at Ground of Being with toilet/shower block.
The project will take place at La Casa Shambala, which is situated half way between Srithanu and Ground Of Being.
For participants that do not wish the dormitory option, they can rent any accommodations the island has to offer at their own costs.

All participants staying at Ground Of Being, will need to bring:
Your own bedding, we recommend a single size set of bedsheets, or a travelling sheet bag or a very light sleeping bag. A light blanket is also welcome. We provide a single size mat, a pillow and a mosquito net.
Also, please be sure to bring a torch/flashlight.

***Please note students will be responsible for their own transportation to and from La Casa Shambala each day. It takes about 15 min by motorbike or taxi to go from Ground Of Being to La Casa Shambala. Regardless if you will stay at Ground Of Being or outside, it is recommended that you rent a motorbike to move around the island as taxis do get quite expensive. If for some reason you can’t drive, it may be possible for you to share a ride with another participant but you would need to arrange on your own. Approximate cost of transportation for 3 weeks will be about $200 USD so please plan accordingly.


All our meals are served buffet style. Meals are cooked Indian style and are all made with vegan, organic ingredients.
La Casa Shambala may be able to accommodate special dietary requests. Please contact us if you would require this.


The fastest way to get to Koh Phangan is to fly to Samui Airport (USM) and then take a 20 minute ferry, but this is also the most expensive. You can also fly to Surat Thani Airport (URT) and then take a bus to the pier and ferry to Koh Phangan (bus + boat takes 3 - 5 hours), There is also the possibility of buses and trains. Length of time and rice would depend on where you are departing from.

La Casa Shambala is only about 10 minutes from the main pier in Thong Sala. If you book a retreat with us free pier pick up is included (Thong Sala pier only)

earthbag ecobuild sustainability

Reviews     To review this event, visit the page for the venue or retreat leaders (above).

  • Shelby Hoefling   January 07, 2019


    I did my 200 yoga teacher training here and LOVED it. La Casa Shambala is amazing. All of the food and accommodation is included which was awesome and makes a huge impact. I can't imagine doing a yoga teacher training without food... you are so busy with the training it was lovely to finish each session with our next meal all ready for us. The food was delicious and always prepared in the most beautiful way. It was also so nice to sit with the whole group for every single meal and really connect with one another. It helped us to all grow together as a family. I loved staying in the little bungalows they had for us and the fact that it took 1 minute to walk from the bungalow to the roof top area where we had class or yoga or meditation was so nice. It's right in the jungle so you have a beautiful view while learning or doing yoga and can hear nature all around you. Bring ear plugs for sleeping though as the frogs can get loud at night. Connecting with nature at La Casa Shambala is something you just wouldn't get to experience if taking a yoga teacher training in a city area and makes an amazing difference in your journey as you ground down. The staff on site was extremely helpful and nice. They became like family along with the group that I took the yoga teacher training with. The course is perfectly outlined and material is so interesting. We not only learned the information just to memorize the background of yoga but had in depth conversations that made you think. The instructors for my course knew what they were teaching and helped us to grow so much. You leave here feeling more confident as a person and also as a yoga teacher. I couldn't recommend the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at La Casa Shambala more! I encourage ALL of my friends to this teacher training if at all thinking of doing a yoga teacher training in Thailand. This is the best :). Honest review - not getting anything at all for this. I just want for others to benefit from this experience like I did!

  • Serene Stewart   November 08, 2018

      Life changing experience in a beautiful community

    I did my 200 hour yoga teacher training course at La Casa Shambala and it was one of the best decisions of my life! Rakkel has created a beautiful community where all can feel at home and flourish. The space is close enough to all the amenities you need. Yet still far enough away from the hustle to hear the beautiful sounds of nature and be surrounded by jungle in the lovely open air yoga space. The food was delicious. Teachers incredibly knowledgable and kind. The staff and volunteers quickly became our friends. The accommodations are basic in the best way. The beds were comfortable and you had everything you needed while respecting the earth. If they ever put on a 300 hour training I'll be back!

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