If you’re looking to practice yoga with an authentic Indian yogi teacher from the yogi lineage then Nomad Yoga is your place. With yoga classes for all groups and levels, meditation classes and a vegetarian restaurant downstairs in a beautiful old Vietnamese building, Nomad Yoga will get your body aligned and the energy flowing. Namaste!
In early 2015 Nomad Yoga co-owner, Natalie Prete, studied to be a yoga teacher at the universally accepted ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ – Rishikul Yogshala in Rikishesh, India. There, following the teachings of Swami Rama, Natalie was introduced to Ashtanga Vinyasa, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and meditation in a deep, holistic approach.
The quality of the teaching was profound and she dared to dream that she could bring it back to Hoi An. Now, every three months, a new teacher is sent to Nomad Yoga from Rishikul Yogshala and the dream has become reality. These teachers have studied yoga their whole lives. They eat, breathe and live yoga, for them yoga is a lifelong learning. In short, they are the real deal and people from all walks of life are flocking eagerly to benefit from their visits to Hoi An.
Entering the lovely light-filled room I was surprised to see so many people. Still relatively in its infancy, Nomad Yoga was filled with a mixture of expats (young and old) and tourists of varying nationalities; the bright airy studio almost full.
While I would never call myself a yoga aficionado, over the years I’ve done my fair share of classes and studied with all sorts and types (some better not to mention!) But a Gentle Hatha yoga class, with Rikishesh-born Manoj at Nomad Yoga, thrust me into a whole new universe. With qualifications from some of the best training schools in India, Manoj has devoted his entire being to practicing yoga in its holistic form.
‘Put your hands in the air’, repeated the softly spoken, Manoj, several times, his voice taking on a trance-like chant that was to be his signature throughout the class. Taking us through a short set of poses to align our bodies and breathing, the room was soon resonating in a group ‘Om’! With the sunlight twinkling through the softly billowing blinds and Manoj’s wild Indian hair pulled back in a ponytail, red Bindi dot on his forehead and hands in prayer in his white garments, I could almost imagine myself transported to an Ashram in India.
The class, devoid of music and distractions – watches and jewelry off, incense on – consisted of a range of poses and breathing including the familiar ‘Cobra’ and ‘Cat’. It was by no means easy but the quality of the teaching was unique and somehow even the most inexperienced were at ease with it all.
Manoj had a great knowledge of anatomy and a serious attitude towards his ‘art’. But, while it was serious stuff, he had a twinkle in his eye and that lively sense of humor you see in the Dalai Lama and swamis who interlace their teaching with jest. It was something he loved and it was infectious because yoga, like life, should be enjoyed.
Inhale the future, exhale the past – they say yoga is the journey of the self, to the self, through the self. I’ve got a long way to go but I now know these simple sentiments are truly wise, thanks to Nomad Yoga.
Teachers like Manoj teach through their simple being. Through their simple presence as much as anything. Empowered with a gentle, yet compelling magnetism, it’s as if they are a portal to a more profound understanding of life and life energy. Stripped of the daily concerns that plague most of us, they infect us, not just with their love of yoga, but a vital energy and purity in the most mysterious way.
‘Shanti’ we chanted before Manoj concluded in a prayer. Keen to join up for the cheaper monthly sessions I descended the stairs feeling light and rejuvenated marveling how I’d come to experience, after so many years of doing yoga, something so authentic for the very first time in a little town called Hoi An.
Price guide in Vietnamese Dong: 90 minute drop-in classes around 130,000 VND
Hours: check out their Facebook page for exact times and details (there are normally 3 classes per day: 2 morning and one evening)
Add: 6 Le Hong Phong Street
Tel: +84 (0)90 7 48 91 29
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