We have had the opportunity to interview Adrian Cox, the founder and boss of the famous yoga studio Yoga Elements (BTS Nana). It was a chance for us to ask many question about his journey into yoga, his own practice and how he runs Yoga Elements.
First of all, can you introduce yourself briefly ?
My name is Adrian Cox, I am from the US, and I came to Bangkok in 2001 and started Yoga Elements studio. Yoga and teaching is my life work, my mission, and my passion!
How did you discover yoga in the first place (when did you begin?) ? Did you do other physical activities before that led you to yoga ?
I took my first yoga class 23 years ago but didn’t like it very much. It did get me curious however. At the time I was allergic to team sports, although I loved dance, karate, and cycling. The next teacher (Eve Nyman, Iyengar Yoga) I tried I really got switched on to the practice and philosophy and it started a passion that continues to this day.
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).
You might have heard about it. Guavapass is a recent company founded in 2015 that proposes a new way to practice sport accross Asia. They launched their service in Bangkok last year and it’s definitely a solution that can fit a yogi : a lot of yoga studios are now members and can be selected, from Lad Phrao to Bang Na.
Beside Bangkok, Guava Pass is now available in Singapore, Hong Kong and many more.
What is Guavapass Bangkok ?
Feeling sporty ? Guavapass lets you practice many different sports, as much as you want for a definite monthly fee. You can book your online on their website or via their mobile app and attend courses of yoga (of course) but also of fitness, crossfit, muay thai, pilate, you name it. One thing though, on my opinion, it was very woman oriented.
It’s pretty convenient as a lot of studios are part of the program in all areas of Bangkok. The website is well designed and you can easily filter the discipline you want, the area and the timing.
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.
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.
Yoga Elements is one of the oldest yoga studio in Bangkok. Created in 2001, Yoga Elements worked hard to create a nice reputation and a powerful visibility without becoming a franchise. The place is nice and full of light with a direct view on the surroundings, making it a great place to enjoy a yoga session.
Adrian Cox, the founder of the studio is teaching daily and his path mixed yoga, ayurveda, philosophy and meditation.
The studio is located conveniently between Nana and Asoke right on Sukhumvit road. The studio is now praised by many different reliable sources and is a place to recommand if you live in central Bangkok. Even Lonely Planet ranked Yoga Elements as one of the Top 25 yoga studio in the world.
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.
Trika Yog is one of Bangkok’s top yoga studio located in Sathorn, near Chong Nonsi BTS. The studio is named after the concept of Trika, the 3 hindu goddess of the Sakti trinity (power, knowledge and power of action). Master Aman is the main teacher in Trika Yog and holds daily classes of many different kinds of yoga. He is from Rikishesh, India where he held courses before coming to Bangkok in 2011.
Trika Yog studio offers different rooms for your yoga practice in a very nice environment, on the 5th floor of Sathorn Building. The Yoga studio feels very professional with high ceilings and top equipment offered.
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
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.
Divine Yoga is far away from a Yoga factory. The place is quite small and you have to find it. The number of classes is more limited but the spirit behind this yoga studio is definitely interesting. Divine Yoga promotes a yoga way of life and a global vision of the benefits the yoga can bring you and they prefer to focus on the core and doing it the right way, rather than doing too much.
Master Sanjiv Chaturvedi runs the school, and studied yoga in the Bihar School of Yoga (India). The teachers are coming from India, Thailand and Japan.
Absolute Yoga is a group of studios available throughout Bangkok and Thailand. It is now the largest yoga center in the country and they were the first to bring hot yoga in Bangkok. Absolute Yoga includes studios in Siam, Chidlom, Phrom Phong, Silom, Ladprao, Pinklao etc. In the studios I visited, I could testify the idea was to bring high end yoga experience with big rooms to practice and a lot of yogis.
Installations are pretty new and well maintained and there are many, many, many teachers. That can be a good thing as you can find the right one for you but they might change from one week to the other. The idea here is to get sure you get your class when you need it.