NOMAD YOGA HOI AN
Finding a yoga studio to practice in is not always an easy feat when moving to or passing through a new town. Pinning down a space that ticks all the boxes can be challenging.
Ask around in the yoga-sphere and you’ll quickly learn that Nomad Yoga Hoi An is the name on every yogi’s lips in Hoi An. Planting its roots not-too-long-ago, Nomad has become a haven for yoga lovers, cultivating a reputation as a down-to-earth spot to find passionate and skilled English-speaking teachers and high-quality classes for students of all stripes.
In early 2015 Nomad Yoga founder, Natalie Devoy, studied yoga at Rishikul Yogshala, a widely-acclaimed yoga institute in Rikishesh, India, the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, where she was introduced to Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, Kundalini and meditation. Under the teachings of Swami Rama, she learnt to embrace yoga as a healing art, philosophy and lifestyle, and her ensuing dream was to bring this approach to Hoi An, along with the astounding quality of teaching that she’d accrued.
Nomad is a materialisation of that dream. Students have access to a rich variety of yogic wisdom and experience via an eclectic array of seasoned instructors, including long-term local teachers and nomadic practitioners passing through town. Visitors can learn Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Gentle Hatha and Hatha, as well as mindfulness meditation, restorative and easy flow yoga. Most classes cater to a full spectrum of abilities, so you’ll often find yourself practicing amongst devotees and newbies alike, while crossing paths with locals, regulars, and travellers from all walks of life.
I’ve unrolled my mat in a number of different classes at Nomad. Some I really enjoyed and others weren’t quite my match, but it never failed to be a positive experience led by attentive and encouraging teachers. I appreciate the diverse selection of styles on offer; long-time practitioners are sure to find their particular brand of yoga here, while beginners have the luxury of experimenting with a variety of practices to find what suits them best. Alternatively, prospective students can contact the studio for a friendly chat and they’ll point you in the right direction.
In addition to five classes per day, Nomad offers various ‘pop-up’ style healing therapies, nutrition and lifestyle workshops, and an inhouse café, which serves up a healthful range of vegan dishes and smoothies (cacao, coconut milk, banana… the works). Nomad Yoga’s schedule is issued weekly on their website; visitors should also keep an eye on Nomad’s Facebook page for upcoming workshops and events.
Nomad’s certified (Yoga Alliance) 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training Program enjoys great word-of-mouth. It is conducted by Indian teachers specializing in traditional yoga philosophy and combines chanting & asanas with the mindfulness teachings of Vietnamese Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. This unique blend is delivered in a contemporary way so that students can apply yoga principles into their everyday lives.
The studio’s mellow, uplifting atmosphere continues to draw me back. Students can practice yoga in bright rooms that are beautifully decorated with hand-drawn mandalas and bohemian sketches. When I’m feeling lazy, I chill-out or set up my laptop in the Nomad Café, amidst the earthy, nature-inspired décor and with soothing views of the Thu Bon River. Being Hoi An’s premier spot to practice in, there’s a comforting sense of community as it’s a sure-fire place to encounter like-minded people and bump into fellow yogis in town.
Nomad has recently relocated, migrating from the outskirts of the rice fields to the Old Town by the river. I wasn’t sure what to think of this when I first heard about the move – the Old Town, while picturesque and enchanting, is not necessarily the most zen place to retreat to – but the studio feels appropriately situated in a quieter, less frenetic part of town. Early risers can also feel the sand between their feet at Nomad’s outdoor Sunrise Yoga class on An Bang Beach.
Visit Nomad and you’ll find a delicious recipe for an excellent yoga studio: talented teachers, a supportive community, healthful amenities and a beautiful space to practice in, with a dash of regular holistic workshops to compliment an active yoga lifestyle. And if you wish to take a break from your practice, then drop by Nomad Café to treat and nourish your body with some homemade vegan cuisine.
Classes are available as drop-ins or cheaper monthly/ multi-class packages.