Category Archives: yoga practice

The perfect yoga snacks : my ideas

Nutrition is fundamental for your life and for your life balance. Such as yoga, the nutrition will help your body to feel better and to ease a lot of pains. As you practice yoga, the nutrition will usually flow quite naturally as you will get more in touch with your feelings, your needs and you will tend to more natural and healthy food (at least, that’s what happened for me).

As you’re practicing, I propose to list here a few yoga snacks that you can easily buy or cook before or after your yoga session.

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down facing dog

Sore muscles and yoga : how to deal with it ?

It’s not unusual to feel pain in your muscles the day after your yoga session. This happen often, especially if you pushed a little hard and especially if you haven’t practiced for a while. Why do you have sore muscles ? and how to prevent this… here are some answers to all your questions.

Sore muscles are normal after a yoga session !

As you’re practicing your yoga, you’re actioning your muscles in a way they’re not used to. You push and stretch a lot of muscles as you perform your session, and your body needs to react to that. The microtraumas that your muscles  suffer will create this stiffness that people call sore muscles of DMOS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

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Yoga accessories in Bangkok

If you’re a yoga addict, you might need to upgrade your gear from time to time. Of course, you can find all the yoga accessories you need to practice yoga in Bangkok : there are some specific et specialised yoga shops, but you can also find some stuff on general sports shop.

Multi sports shops

Yoga is now so popular in Bangkok that you can easily find some accessories in more mainstream sports shops. For example, you can find yoga mats at Super Sports, a big store located in over 15 malls in Bangkok.

yoga mats

Specialised shops

Many yoga studios diversified their revenue by selling some yoga accessories to their students. That’s very practical as you can sometimes try them before buying them. This includes yoga mats, yoga blocks, bags, studio t-shirts, leggings for women, etc.

A lot of yoga studios propose that but you can definitely find a small shop at Trika yog, Yogatique or Yoga Space.

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Sun Salutation – Surya Namaskar

The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) is generally the first basic sequence of asanas that you learn. It’s pretty simple to execute and perfect to do at home as a warm up or cardio exercise. It also opens much of the longer series because it’s quite complete and soft but also powerful at the same time. It’s a routine that is usually used in most yoga studios in Bangkok. It introduces the lesson and is used as a warm up.

sun salutation on the beach

The symbolism of this Sun Salutation refers to the sun as the soul of all life. Usually 12 asanas are used in the basic sun salutations but some yogi adapt it to their practice and change a bit the different yoga techniques.

Personally, I love to practice this technique as it flows very easily. I don’t have to think while making it and can easily meditate at the same time. As the techniques are quite easy, I don’t have to put much effort in it. I focus on my breathe and free my mind.

It’s also called sun salutation because it’s better to practice this with an empty stomach. That’s where you’ll have the most benefits.

Yoga techniques of the Sun Salutation

sun salutation yoga techniques

1- Pranamasana or prayer pose

Health Benefit : heart
Join your hands between your shoulders, feet together and take a deep breath, and exhale.

2- Hasta Uttanasana or raised hands pose

Health Benefit : throat
As you breath in, extend your arms up and bend backwards.

3- Uttanasana or standing forward bending pose

Health Benefit : sacrum
As you exhale, bend forward with the spine erect, and let your arms follow, fingers touch your feet (or the ground)

4- Aekpaadprasarnaasana or equestrian pose

Health benefit : third eye
From the Uttanasana position, set your hands on the ground and push your right leg, power on the left knee looking up.

5- Adho Mukha Shvanasana or downward facing dog

Health benefit : throat
Push the left leg behind and position your feet flat. Push on your hips to create a mountain, shoulders relaxed. Focus on the hips.

6- Ashtanga Namaskara or salute with eight limbs

Health benefit : solar plexus
Down your knees, chest and chin on the floor, keep your butt up.

7- Bhujangasana or cobra pose

Health benefit : sacrum
Push forward and lift up your chin. You butt will go down and your chest will go up.

8- Adho Mukha Svanasana or downward facing dog

Just gently move your butt up to get back to the position.

9- Ashwa Sanchalanasana or equestrian pose

Same as number 4 but opposite leg

10- Uttanasana or standing forward bending pose

Back to uttanasana

11- Hasta Uttanasana or raised hands pose

12- Pranamasana or prayer pose

sun salutation yoga prayer pose

This sun salutation is a very good routine that you can easily practice home once you have experienced it with a yoga teacher. It has a lot of virtues and will help on the breathing as well. A very good introduction to yoga (and I can tell, this is the very first routine I experienced).

Bikram Yoga in Bangkok

For the last 20 years, the Bikram yoga has become more and more popular among the yoga addicts and for newcomers. The trend is keeping its pace and we can see new studios opening or proposing this particular kind of practice. Here’s an opportunity to check in details what is the situation of Bikram yoga and hot yoga in Bangkok.

Bikram Choudhury, the founder

Bikram Choudhury yoga bikram

The Bikram Yoga comes from Bikram Choudhury, the founder of the discipline. M. Choudhury is an indian yoga teacher from Calcutta who began yoga from his early years : at 3 years old, he was beginning Hatha Yoga. After a physical accident at 20, he created a 26 techniques routine which helped him to recover in 6 months.
He left India and headed towards US where he opened yoga studios in California and Hawaii in the 1970s. That’s where the hype come from and since then, everyone seems to be looking for the next Bikram Yoga studio : over 600 official studios were opened in 2012.

What is Bikram Yoga ?

bikram yoga asana

The Bikram Yoga is a particular form of hot yoga. It is very specifically designed and is focus on 26 postures that come from Hatha Yoga. The twist is that you practice in a room heated at 40 degrees and 40% humidity.

The 26 postures are classic Hatha Yoga postures and half are done standing and half are done on the floor. The heat helps to go deeper in your move and push your flexibility to the maximum. Heat and humidity also make you sweat a lot. You definitely need to come with some water, it’s a matter of life and death. Hydratation is extremely important and it will also help your body recover after the session.

Cardiovascular and toxins benefits are debated as studies failed to show real improvements after practicing Bikram Yoga on regular basis.

If you feel like becoming a teacher, you’ll need an official 9 weeks training to teach in official Bikram studios.

Difference between Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga

bikram yoga sweat

To make it easy to understand, Bikram Yoga is the first original Hot Yoga. Other kinds of practice of Yoga exist with different techniques and a different pattern. Bikram Yoga being a very defined and precise discipline, everything that is close to it but differentiate itself would be called Hot Yoga. Among them we can name Hot Power Yoga, Moksha Style Hot Yoga, Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, etc.

The heat and length of session can also be a little different.

What I like / don’t like about Bikram Yoga

bikram yoga class bikram choudhury

I tried Bikram Yoga and Hot Yoga in different cities (mostly in Paris and Bangkok) and different yoga studios, and I must admit that the lessons were almost similar. The teacher is the one that will make the difference, will help push you in a good way. The bad side is that you can find also positive things in a more diverse practice.
I really like the heat as you really feel like every effort is amplified. The sweat is dripping on the mat and that makes you feel you’re giving the best you can do. This materialization is interesting to push you even further.

With the trend going on, the demand for Bikram Yoga is high and the classes are crowded. I see my yoga classes as privileged moments and I have trouble to find this quiet time with 50 other people around me.

Finally, I’m not completely at ease with the power of the marketing used to push Bikram Yoga. Him as a yoga guru (who is controversed) but also the concept as a copyrighted brand and a very closed practice that also take a lot of care to make profit.

Where to practice Bikram Yoga in Bangkok

If you want to practice the real Bikram Yoga in Bangkok, there’s only one address, in Central World (Siam – Chidlom) :

True Fitness
ZEN@ZEN World, Level 10-11, Rajadamri Road, Phathumwan, Bangkok 10330

If you want to practice Hot Yoga (non Bikram) then you have more options :

Absolute Yoga

Lullaby Yoga
Life Center Branch : 1 South Sathorn Road,
Life Center at Lumpini, Sathorn Bangkok 10120

Rana Yoga
Green connect , soi sawatdi , Sukhumvit 31, Bangkok, Thailand

Different studios in Silom, Thong Lor, Phloen Chit, etc.

Optimize your yoga practice in Bangkok

Bangkok is famous for high temperatures and humidity, especially in monsoon period. The rainy season goes basically from july to october with daily showers and 80% humidity. But that’s not a reason to avoid practicing yoga in Bangkok (there’s actually no good reason not to practice except if your body tells you not to).

Monsoon is not all year long !

First of all, the monsoon period is not soooo long and you can definitely live with it. Yoga studios are usually  well equipped with air con and fans to avoid the transformation of the room in a steam room. The worse thing will be to get to the studio without being soaked.
The best period to live in Bangkok is between november and february. The so called winter period is a bit fresher (let’s say around 25 degrees) and is really enjoyable. If you’re planning to practice during your holidays, check the weather forecast first !

monsoon showers in bangkok

Get the right yoga gear

With the constraints of high temperatures, you’ll need to adapt. Beside your body, you’ll need to get adapted yoga gear : shorts or light yoga pants, breathable tank tops or t-shirt, etc. You will sweat quickly so you definitely want to feel the best possible in your clothes. I might prepare an article later about that.
Also think about your hair. Attach them as they will quickly become a nightmare for your practice if they’re long enough.

Drink and drink again

With 80% humidity and practicing a physical activity (yes yoga IS a physical activity), your body might sweat and lose a lot of water. That’s normal, that’s how the body keeps himself fresh and avoid overheating. All the yoga studios in Bangkok sell water and you definitely want to have a bottle next to your yoga mat. This is non-negociable. Also think to drink AFTER your practice. That will save you a lot of muscle pains and possible problems. Listen to your body.

Check the address first

There are a lot studios of yoga in Bangkok. Even if they mention a BTS or an area, it can be pretty far away and the traffic can be terrible in some areas (and basically everywhere around 6PM). Do check carefully the address to avoid the stress of running and being late… I personally hate that.

Another thing is that the studio can be located inside a tower or a mall. Take the exact indications as some addresses can be tricky in Thailand.

traffic jam during rush hour in siam