Yoga studios provide the people of Bangkok with much needed relief from the inevitable daily stress of living in a modern, bustling metropolis like the Thai capital.
While more commonly thought of as being practiced on the Thai islands south of Bangkok, yoga studios still exist in fairly large numbers in the Thai capital. Not only frequented by Thai citizens, many foreign tourists also enjoy the health benefits for both mind and body of this ancient Indian discipline. Yoga studios are to be found in nearly every district of Bangkok, and as such yogis (practitioners of yoga) should have no trouble in finding the perfect studio or shala to fit their needs.
Yoga, while originally being a strictly religious practice with its roots based in Hinduism and Buddhism, is nowadays practiced by people of all different religious beliefs and has exploded in popularity in countries across the globe. Aside from the religious aspect of it, yoga is extremely beneficial for yogis’ muscle tone, flexibility, cardiovascular health, and all-round mental wellbeing.
There are many different varieties of yoga, with hatha, vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga likely being the most well-known. For beginners, hatha yoga is probably the best bet; it is the least physically demanding, and sets up the body for more challenging forms like vinyasa flow and Bikram yoga.
Hot yoga is arguably the most popular form of yoga in Bangkok yoga studios, and is based on the postures of hatha yoga. It is often an energetic form of yoga (although classes will vary depending on the teacher), and involves flowing dynamically from one posture to the next, leaving inexperienced yogis dripping with sweat and quite out of breath, but ultimately achieving a profound sense of inner peace. Sessions end with a period of sleep (known as Shavasana) typically lasting between five and ten minutes. This quiet period allows the practitioner to drift into a deep, blissful slumber, from which they will awake feeling relaxed, calm and composed.