So one of my new favorite discoveries in Chiang Mai is Yoga Home, a yoga studio five minutes from my apartment run by the most adorable Thai teacher. He teaches classes mostly in Thai, with some English thrown in when a falang (aka me or Katherine) is present. Classes are 90 minutes and while the classes aren’t as intense as some I’ve done in the past, it feels good to be moving and exercising regularly again! Anyways, I wanted to share some things that I’ve learned from the few classes I’ve been to thus far…
1) Falling out of shape is NOT FUN. There’s nothing more frustrating than struggling to do something that three months ago was a piece of cake, whether it’s running five miles or holding a particular pose. Luckily, as with any exercise regimen, each day gets a little better. It’s just hard to keep that in mind on days 1 and 2!
2) Thai people have some miraculous gene that prevents them from sweating, even in the hottest places. I’m sweating before class even begins, thanks to the 100 degree days we’ve been having here. Somehow everrrrrybody else in the class manages to complete the entire 90 minutes without even a modest glisten on the brow. Not fair.
3) Myself and Thai people are built very differently. Well duh, you say… but it’s interesting to me to compare the poses that I struggle with vs the poses that everyone else finds difficult. For example, I cannot do anything that involves hip flexibility. Sitting Indian style with both knees flat on the ground? Doing a split? Forget it. But when it comes to hamstring stretches, I have a much easier time grabbing my foot and putting my head on my knee than the rest of the class. I know there’s always some variation in any class, but I find it interesting how specific the differences are. It could just be the particular group, but it’s been constant across several classes with different groups of people.
4) Thai yoga class is a great way to pick up random Thai vocabulary. Today, for example, I learned that “clai” means “relax/release” and “lehk” means “and.” Success! I really like that the class is mostly in Thai. Yoga is one of those things that doesn’t require too much talking once you have the basics down, which is nice.
Anyways, I’m really glad that I found this studio. It’s relatively new and located on the ground level of an apartment complex on one of the Sois (maybe 8?) off Nimman. If anyone in Chiang Mai is looking for a good place to practice that isn’t run by and attended solely by falang, this would be the place! Google “Yoga Home by Kru Noom.” The studio also has an air-conditioned cafe attached that makes coffee, fresh juice and other drinks!