It’s been eight months ago that I practiced yoga every day, ok maybe every three days. I knew it would be a challenge to stay in shape while traveling to new countries with exotic cuisines, different cultures, and an ever-changing exciting environment. After spending three weeks in chaotic Bangkok, the healthy vibe of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand is just what we need.
Chiang Mai, my new place to be!
Chiang Mai has been rated among the top 10 most livable cities in Asia. Many expats and digital nomads have settled down in Chiang Mai to start their own business. It’s the perfect place to stick around for a while. The city has everything we need: a healthy food scene with delicious vegan restaurants and local (fresh!) food markets, live music café’s, fresh smoothie bars on every corner, a rising art scene, many co-working spaces, good Wi-Fi, low living costs and there are many yoga schools to stay fit and balanced. We meet up with and are inspired by successful Instagram influencer and join digital nomad meetings about how to generate multiple income streams. Chiang Mai is the place to be to work on your start up!
Our first week in Chiang Mai we treat ourselves with daily morning and evening yoga sessions. For four days we stay at Eco Resort and practice vinyasa and our hatha flow. Eco Resort is a former colonial school that turned into a basic ECO friendly hostel with a huge Olympic swimming pool. It’s a quiet getaway set in a peaceful tropical garden away from the crowd but only a 10-minute bike ride from old town. At 09:30 in the morning, dressed in our yoga outfit we jump on our bikes to Namo Yoga. It reminds me of our daily route to the gym back in our hometown Haarlem. Chiang Mai is starting to feel like our new home. Namo Yoga classes take place in an old charming wooden house. It’s hidden in a small lane near the East gate of old town. It has a pretty little courtyard decorated with hanging plants and a few tables where you can drink herbal tea.
We start the yoga course with practicing our breathing. Although I am not a yoga virgin, I always find it hard to concentrate on my breathings. The teacher guides us the whole 1,5 hours through our vinyasa. This popular used name in yoga classes is also called flow. It describes that each movement flows into the next like a dance. It is a sequence performed with the breath. In the evening course the yoga teacher informs us we do hatha flow. Ha meaning ”sun” and tha meaning ”moon” it refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon with in all of us. We end the sequence with a mantra, which I normally skip, but this time I sing along with the yogi’s around me ”ooooohm”. This chanting is said to be the sound of the universe and allows you to recognize the experience as a reflection of how the whole universe moves —the setting sun, the rising moon, the eb and flow of the tides and the breathing of our hearts. I must admit chanting together feels good. Although twice a day yoga takes a lot of time, the output is really worth it. I feel energized, peaceful, healthy and super slim after the five sessions. It might be the combination of the heath, the yogi’s around me and the way the teacher guides and corrects us, but I finally got into the breathing and am addicted to yoga again.
Want to treat yourself with daily morning and evening yoga classes combined with a stay at peaceful Eco Resort, you can book this trip with Go Beyond.