Yoga in Pai

After a minivan ride of three hours with a lot of curves (but a good driver) I’m in Pai now. It was said that it was a spiritual place, but I only see tourists and backpackers of the beerpong type. Nothing wrong with them, but I expected a bit otherwise and I’m slightly disappointed after having such a good time in Chiang Mai. apparently Pai and her surroundings is very beautiful but you really need a scooter or motorbike. I never drove one and my driving license is not valid to do so, thus I’m not insuranced for liability. 99% of the people don’t care but what I won’t do at home, I wouldn’t do in another country. Maybe I should take my licence, but that will be a challenge seen the fact that I’m nowhere registered. Back to the yoga part!

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YepYoga’s guide to Chiang Mai : Yoga, vega and more

I’m now one and a half week more than a month in Chiang Mai, Thailand being the happy yogi. And I love it, don’t want to go away. It’s small but so much to discover. The people are always smiling and friendly. I got hooked when I found out that every day, especially from around 4pm, the Nuong/Suan Buak Haad Park in the southwest corner of the old city is filled with people doing yoga, partner- and acroyoga, slacklining and juggling. In some periodes of the year there may be less people (rainseason, smog/smoke etc – see below) but now (december/january) there are plenty! These people there are very chill and open. If you want to “play”, just ask somebody. A total difference with the beerpong backpackers on the Khao San road in Bangkok 🙂

Attention: from february until march (included) there is a lot of smog because waste is burnt. So avoid Chiang Mai in these months (link / Google)

Here are some useful links for the yogi’s and yogini’s

  • Yogaschools

    Drop-in classes are around 250 bath (ca. 7 €/$).

    • Yoga tree – A lot of different classes per day. Also classes specific for beginners. Has a cafe in a garden.
    • Namo Yoga. Class was okay, but the mats are very, very old. So take your own! Various classes per day (Gentle, hatha and ashtanga), 220-250 bath
    • Wild Rose yoga – mostly ashtanga/vinyasa flow based. A lot of people love it there, but I’ve heard also the term ‘too much ego’ once.  Also workshops etc.
    • Freedom Yoga – two or three classes per day, various styles. Has also a cafe. Outside the Old Town, East of the Tha Phae gate
    • Yoga Kuukan – Mostly two classes a day, mostly gently or alignment based. Also interesting workshops
    • Blue garden – two daily classes
    • Bodhi tree cafe 2 – Guesthouse/restaurant who offers daily yogaclasses at 9am and 18h with guest teachers (so different styles and quality)
    • Mahasiddha Yoga / Tantra Yoga Thailand The most esoteric based of the schools (tantra yoga). Offers also workshops and retreats.
    • Yoga Ananda – two a three classes per day, in Nimmanhaemin area
    • Satva Yoga – two a three classes per day (of which Iyengar yoga with -as somebody told me- a good teacher), in Nimmanhaemin area
    • Kundalini workshops of five hours, once a week
  • Facebook groups
  • Meditation
    • Green Papaya Sangha – Every thursday evening 7.30pm at the Yoga Tree
    • MCU Buddhist university  – retreats” from one or two days – see my review
    • Doi Suthep Vipassana – programs from 3 to 21 days
    • Wat Srisuphan – every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 5,30pm to 9pm
    • Wat Ram Poeng – Vipassana
    • Pa Pae – three day (extendable) retreat between Chiang Mai and Pai
      • Monkchat – talk with the monks and ask them everything! You information, they free English lessons
        • Wat Suan Dok / MCU Buddhist University – Monday until Friday (incl.)  From 05.00 p.m. – 07.00 p.m.
        • Wat Chedi Luang – all days except sunday 12.00-18.30
        • Doi Suthep – Daily 1-3pm.
        • Wat Umong: Available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:30pm-7:30pm.
  • Retreats / resorts
  • Yogamats and -props
    • Unfortunately there is not yet a yogashop in Chiang Mai. A big miss. Also on the market I didnt see any mats. But after a tip on Reddit of Sobri909, I found some good mats in the big Super Sports shop in Central Festival. This is their selection, from cheap to the equivalent of the Manduka Pro. Finally I’ve adviced for the hotel where I stayed to buy one of the ‘X Pro‘ of Jason brand, unknown but seems to be good (don’t know about the durability though since we’ve bought the mat only two days ago).
      • Decathlon, near the airport- quality is not very high
      • Sports World at the ‘Kad Suan Kaew’-mall next to  the North East of Old Town  – low to moderate quality
      • YogaAum, distributor of Manduka (and other brands) in Thailand. With a webshop
  • Yoga Teacher Trainings
  • Vegetarian restaurants It is not difficult to eat vegetarian in Thailand.  Here is a page with essential vocubalary. My favorite restaurants, in rough order of preference
    Pad Thai of Reform Kafe
    • Reform Kafe / (FB) – very good food and friendly service, part of the wonderful Green Tiger House, my home in Chiang Mai.
    • Peppermaint (with ‘ai‘!) – a place where I’ve almost always met someone I know or get to know.
    • Morning Glory near the South Gate
    • Tien Sing – near the south gate, plate of rice and sidedishs for only 30-35 bath!
    • Karma Kitchen – nice burgers
    • Blue diamond – good restaurant, not only vega(n), but has a bakery with a lot of (sweet) vegan products
    • By Hand cafe – Pizza’s, almost like in Italy. Good choice of vega(n) pizza’s
    • Taste from Heaven – nice restaurant. Has also a sister, Vegan in heaven
    • Punpun– at the Wat Suan Dok
    • AUM – has good reviews, I have been two times, at the first time I was not that impressed, the second time was nice
    • Amrita Garden. Very good, very popular but expensive (probably because the food is organic)
    • May Kaidee. Part of a chain. Very delicious, but very small portions.

Silence please

I just return from a two day meditation program of the CMU university of Chiang Mai, Thailand. And it a very nice experience to get into meditation!

We started at Tuesday afternoon at 13:30 at the Wat Susan Dok, a little bit east of the old town. There were around 30 participants. People from all over the world but a lot of Germans. We started with a short introduction about Buddhism near the temple. By taxi we were brought 15 km out of town where they have a meditation center in the middle of the nature. Strange to hear the birds after spending two weeks in big cities.
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One week after

It’s incredible how fast the time flies. It’s already one week ago that I’ve been given my certificate for the teacher training. After the ceremony me and one of my fellow students flew to Thailand. So no black hole for us. We’ve started in Bangkok and stayed there for 5 days. I’ve seen a lot of markets, the three most famous temples, ate a lot of nice things, been served and helped by a lot of kind people but I missed somehow the charm that Paris, Amsterdam of Rome has.

After that we went to Chiang Mai. Already in the taxi I felt that I like this city more. More charm, smaller and we were lucky to arrive at sunday evening so there was the Weekend market (another one!).
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