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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

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

Absolute Yoga – review

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.

absolute yoga bangkok

Yoga classes available

As a very big yoga center, Absolute Yoga doesn’t specialize in one type of activity. For yoga alone, you can choose from Hatha yoga, Vinyasa, hot flow, hot series, yin yang, etc. So you can try almost everything, maybe even too much ? nah, you can’t say that.

Many other classes are available, including Pilates (very popular in Bangkok), cycle and coreblast (mixing pilates and more strength oriented).




Schedule

The number of classes is enormous. You can basically pick almost any time of the day to find a class, especially during the busy 6-8PM period. This is definitely one of the good side of the studio, you’ll find a class when you can go.

absolute yoga

Offers

You can make sure there are some monthly offer or specific promotions when you get there.
Right now, you can get a free trial class if you subscribe to their newsletter. Pretty cool.

Prices are fairly high. Important thing, note that you are stuck with the studio where you purchased your membership card. You can’t go and use your unlimited package in different studios. I find that a bit harsch as the benefit of a big network like Absolute Yoga is to be everywhere.

Prices :
Drop-in class is 750thb
30 classes is 16,500thb
Unlimited 1 year is 41,900thb

Absolute Yoga in Bangkok

As mentioned, Absolute Yoga has many different studios in Bangkok. Here are some addresses :

Absolute Yoga Amarin
496-50 -2 Phloenchit Rd., Fl 4 Amarin Plaza Bldg Lumpini Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330

Absolute Yoga Chidlom
6th Floor, Central Chidkom Office Tower, Ploenchit Rd., Pathymwan, Bangkok 10330

Absolute Yoga Sukhumvit
RSU Tower 3/f, 571 ซอยสุขุมวิท 31 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan, Khet Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110

Absolute Yoga Commons (Thong Lor)
2nd Floor, the COMMONS, Thong Lor 17, Wattana, Bangkok 10110

Absolute Yoga Ladprao
12A Floor, Central Ladprao Office Tower, Phaholyothin Rd., Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900

Absolute Yoga Silom

absolute yoga side plank

Contact Absolute Yoga

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Pictures courtesy of Absolute Yoga