One of my main goals for traveling through Southeast Asia was to do a lot more Yoga in different locations and to see if it differed from the Yoga classes I know. So far, I had already taken two classes in Chiangmai and absolutely loved it. Our next stop was Laos, Luang Prabang, and I fell in love with that place right away. It was very chilled out and relaxed and had such good vibes from the people.
When we arrived at our lovely Moon's House Hotel, the manager was very helpful and recommended us some places to go, including a bar named Utopia where you could take Yoga classes. I immediately checked it online for the next possible class as I was eager to try it out.
We took the bike to get to Utopia bar which is very convenient to get around in Luang Prabang in general. Utopia Bar is beautifully located overlooking the Mekong River and I was immediately amazed by the beautiful view. I was equally amazed by the place in general. It had cushions everywhere to chill on the ground and also a terrace with cushions overlooking the Mekong River.
The Yoga class took place on a little terrace right above the Mekong River. There wasn't’ too much space as Utopia seems to be a very popular place, still it was enough to do all the movements. There were probably around 15 people taking part in the class. Still it was definitely very easy to re-connect with myself as the flowing river had a very soothing effect and the view was so amazing.
The class started at 7:30 am and went on for one hour. It was a very beautiful vinyasa flow that was taught by Tasha, a traveling Yogini From the US. Actually, most Yoga teacher at Utopia are traveling Yoga teacher.
The class was created for everybody to be able to participate, there were also some first-timer who didn't have any problems keeping up with the pace as Tasha explained and demonstrated everything very beautifully. I participated twice, each of the class having a different focus. In both classes we did a lot of Sun Salutations, however, the one class focused on hip strengthening and opening movements while the second one had its focus on twists and backbends.
The class takes place every morning from 7:30 am to 8:30 apart from saturdays and sundays and only as long as it doesn't rain. The price of 40.000 kip (around four Dollars) is totally appropriate and absolutely worth it. Mats are provided for free but you have to clean them after class.
As the class starts pretty early in the morning, you won't have too much trouble with the heat. It gets warm and you will sweat but still it's bearable.
The yoga classes I had at Utopia Bar in Luang Prabang, Laos, were very different from the classes I had had in Thailand. The vinyasa flow was very gentle without too much pressure of going beyond ones capabilities and of getting deeper into a pose. The teacher always stressed that Yoga wasn't about pushing your body to get as deep into a pose as you can but rather to listen to your body and its limitations.
In Thailand I had experienced quite the opposite. The teachers were very eager to get you even deeper into a pose and they definitely wanted you to go beyond your limits. Still they were careful not to hurt you.
In the end I guess, everybody just has a different style of doing yoga. However, I also feel like there might be some cultural differences with Western people being very gentle and very careful and Asians trying to go beyond limitations. Maybe that's just a generalization, but that's my feeling evaluating the different Yoga styles.