Well, to quote a Grateful Dead song, `what a long strange trip it has been`!
In April of 2014 we first saw the space that would become the Yogatique Bangkok studio.
We knew it was not perfect; there would be a problem with parking (like all inner city studios world-wide), it lacked the space for showers and it was on the third of three streets all called Soi 23, it was up four flights of stairs and it would only hold 20 people. But there was something about the space, the high vaulted ceilings, the exposed brick, the big beams, the light and the feeling that you had while you were standing there. We signed the lease. Scary thing for two Canadians to sign a lease for commercial property in Bangkok.
We had an idea, an idea that first planted its seeds while we were in India two years before, an idea that we talked about and planned around for months. It was a pretty simple idea, start a yoga studio. The problem was we were starting a studio in Bangkok, a city that already has more than its fair share of yoga studios. People said we were crazy and maybe we are. We think that we have just a little something different going on, enough to build a local community. A community for practitioners and a community for teachers. To quote our studio philosophy page, At Yogatique we believe in working the body from the inside out. Rather than focusing on one type of Yoga, we feed your curiosity and sense of adventure by offering an array of styles under one roof. When you enter our doors you’ll encounter warm welcoming energy and a friendly neighborhood vibe, where you can explore the teachings of Yoga on your own terms. Much like life, there are many compelling paths to Yoga. That’s why at Yogatique you have freedom to explore your curiosity and an assortment of styles. What are classes like? We celebrate individuality in all its forms. Each class is a unique reflection of the teacher’s interpretation of their style. Try Jivamuki, Kundalini, Hatha, Vinyasa or Ashtanga. Depending on which class you choose, there may be chanting, a Dharma talk, focus on body alignment, rock and roll…or the only music you may hear is the sound of your own breath as you still your mind. Whichever style you gravitate toward, our Yoga is always led by seasoned instructors, with a nurturing hand, who teach from the heart.
The construction ran far too long, the MEA wouldn’t install a meter for electricity, the glass we ordered for the wall wouldn’t fit up the stairs, the roof leaked the first night it rained, a construction worker stole my wallet, the stacks of paper work required to start a business in Thailand is five feet tall, we can`t hang a sign off the building, one toilet still doesn’t work, the contractor lied to us and we didn’t get to advertise they way we would have liked to prior to opening. The list is endless, but thru it all we met the most amazing group of people.
We have put together a fantastic group of teachers, that are all excited about yoga, their own practice as well as teaching. We think that we are in a fantastic neighborhood and are just starting to discover all the wonderful shops, characters and business owners around us. Most importantly people have come to do yoga… friends, friends of friends, people from the neighborhood, that have waited for us to open and people that we didn’t even know. It has been an amazing and humbling thing!
The studio is far from perfect and we continue to work on the small touches to the space that make it a unique place to practice yoga in Bangkok. The classes have been fantastic, even if there were two people or twenty people in the room. Our opening day we hosted the first indoor Free Yoga Bangkok class and twenty people came! Our guest teacher from Hamburg, Steph did an amazing job. We held our first Universal Yoga class, three wonderful Yin classes, some soulful Sivananda, calming Hatha classes, a few kick ass Flow classes and for me, a crusty old Ashtangi, a top-notch Ashtanga class!
Thank you Bangkok! We are looking forward to finding our space in the local yoga community and we invite you all to visit us, maybe you’ll find your space as well.