Yoga in Thailand, Chiang Mai, as well as Meditation, Reiki, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Detox and More
There are lots of opportunities to study yoga in Thailand, as well as meditation and healing practices such as tai chi, qi gong and reiki. Of all places in the country, Chiang Mai is the center of all this.
If you're interested in learning or interested in having things 'done to you!', such as a detox or reiki, it can be a bit overwhelming as there's so much choice in the city. Hopefully this page will make your decision a bit easier.
I feel I have to mention a website called balancedview.org (opens in new window). Candice O'Denver, the founder, talks of the importance of 'short moments of clarity, repeated many times, become automatic'. The website has hundreds, if not more than a thousand hours of free downloadable audio talks.
I have had some experience with meditation. Away from Chiang Mai, I did a Therevada Buddhist meditation retreat at Wat Kow Tahm with Western teachers on Koh Phangan Island. It was an amazing experience. Find out more on the website: www.watkowtahm.org (opens in new window) (about 5,000 baht for 10 days, not including donation).
A slightly different style of meditation is practiced at 4 centers throughout Thailand, the nearest to Chiang Mai at Phitsanulok, 5 hours south. Find out more at www.dhamma.org (opens in new window) There's no charge, but a donation is welcomed.
In Chiang Mai, Wat Doi Suthep, high up on Doi Suthep Mountain offers meditation courses to foreigners. Find out more at this page on my site. One concern I would have doing it here is that the temple gets very crowded during the day - I wonder how quiet the place would be. There's no charge but, as always, a donation is welcomed.
| Lay meditators wearing white
(see left hand side of my map
) is a popular place for Thais to practice meditation. Westerners are welcome - you'll need to wear all white clothes. Again, noise may be an issue (for novice meditators!) as the temple here functions as any normal temple, so there are visitors around the place. Also, some might not like it that meditaters are urged to not sleep for a long period at the end of the 10/20 day courses.
For those interested in a shorter course, a 2 night introduction to Buddhism/meditation is organized from Wat Suan Dok, along Suthep Road (see map). There's also 'Monk Chat' here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5pm to 7pm where you can learn more about Buddhism by chatting to (probably more than a few!) monks. There's also an opportunity to talk with monks about meditation at Wat Umong (see left hand side of map), every Sunday at 3pm.
Yoga Studio (off Arak Road, see number 70 on map) offers a free meditation session every Thursday at 7:30pm. Donation is welcomed.
| Adam, Yoga Studio
My experience with yoga is more limited. Hourly morning sessions during a meditation retreat at Wat Kow Tahm
(opens in new window)
is all that I've done - these sessions were great so I would like to learn more, and Chiang Mai would certainly be a place to start. Prices seem reasonable - they're not generally as cheap as, for example, a place like Mysore in India (where learning is often very cheap). However, it's not all about money! - these places in Chiang Mai have higher rent to pay!....all I would say is....compare the prices a bit.
You can sometimes see (usually Thai) people practicing yoga at Suan Baak Haad Park (see the south-western part of the map on this page). You could ask a group to join in. I find great things can happen if you just ask!!
The Yoga Studio, (mentioned above as there are weekly meditation classes here, number 70 on this map) seemed a peaceful place to learn with quite a large studio area to practice in. I had a short chat with Adam, the founder and teacher at the school - he seemed friendly and interested. See the website: www.yoga-chiangmai.com (opens in new window). I like Adam's thoughts (opens in new window) about what Yoga means to him.
A bit closer to many of the guest houses and hotels is Chiang Mai Yogasala (number 92 on my map) I didn't visit this place - all I can say is that it's central location probably means there'll be quite a few people you'll be learning with. Find out more at the website: www.cmyogasala.com (opens in new window).
Another yoga (and massage) center right in the heart of Chiang Mai's old city walls, is Blue Garden. This place is down a very quiet street (see number 103 on my map). I didn't visit this place, just from the outside. Find out more at the website: www.thaimassagechiangmai.com (opens in new window).
Body and Mind Healing (opens in new window) offer yoga courses, as well as classes in reiki, tai chi, qi gung and they do astrology readings.. Find the studio on quiet Singharat Soi 3 (number 43 on my map).
Namo Chiang Mai, just off Thapae Soi 6 Road, (letter E on this map), offers yoga (and massage) courses. Again, it's very centrally located, close to many guesthouses and hotels. See their website for more info: www.namochiangmai.com (opens in new window).
Agama Yoga (www.agamayoga.com (opens in new window)) is located inside the central moat area, close to many guesthouses and hotels. The yoga courses it offers are good value (7 days, 6 hours per day, 3,000 baht) and the school seems well established, having centers around the world. On this map, heading right to left along Rachadamnoen Road, turn right after you pass Phra Pok Klao Road, and before Jha Ban Road, down Rachadamnoen Road Soi 6.
Blue Pearl Yoga (www.blue-pearl-yoga.com (opens in new window)) offers yoga instruction as well as the chance to have reiki performed on you. It's about a 5 minute walk to the center. Head north on Chang Puak Road (north of the central square moat on the map on this page). See the map on their website for the exact location.
Kung-Fu Chiangmai (www.kungfuchiangmai.com (opens in new window)) offer group lessons in Thai yoga (1 hour, about 250 baht). They also offer training in Qi Gong. Tai Chi and Tibetan kung-fu. You can see center marked, on the left hand side of the map on this page). It's on Chang Moi Kao Road.
Teach Yoga Thailand/Four Mermaids (www.teachyogathailand.com (opens in new window)) offer a month teacher training yoga course in (I think) June every year in Chiang Mai. It's not cheap!
Mel Campbell offers Prenatal Yoga. Telephone on 0857 845 898
Reiki, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Detox, Acupuncture, Chakra Balancing, Past Life Healing.....and more!
Tai Chi is popular in the early morning at Suan Baak Haad Park (see the south-western part of the map on this page). If you're interested in tai chi, you could just approach a group and...see what happens!!
3 places already mentioned above, in the yoga section (Body and Mind Healing, Kung-Fu Chiang Mai and Blue Pearl Yoga) also offer reiki, tai chi and qi gong.
Om Shanti House
(www.omshantihouse.org (opens in new window)) offers Chakra Balancing, Past Life Healing, Rebirthing Sessions and Detox. The owner is Elisabeth Maria - she isn't always in Chiang Mai. Check her website to see if she's around.
(www.healingthailand.com (opens in new window)) runs a variety of courses. There are day workshops with Aum meditation based on Osho's teachings (not everyone's a fan of him - have a look at his videos on youtube...). There's also a 5 day healing workshop, including meridian and chakra energy boosting, biodynamic craniosacral balancing and tree-hugging qi gong. The courses are run by Tameer, the founding director of an arts studio in Cananda for adult artists with severe disabilities.
The Asian Healing Arts Center (www.asianhealingartscenter.com (opens in new window)) offer reiki (teaching and therapy), craniosacral therapy and more.
Tai Chi Thailand (www.taichithailand.com (opens in new window)) have 8 day, 40 hour introdution to tai chi courses on the 1st and 16th of every month, 3 kilometers from the city center. Cost is 10,000 baht (12,000 baht with accommodation).
Heaven and Earth Man (www.heavenandearthman.com (opens in new window)) trains people in Taijiquan (I don't know what this is! - there's info on the site) and Qi Gong.
Reiki Kurama (www.reikikurama.com (opens in new window)) teaches reiki. You can also have reiki done on you.
Tao Garden (www.tao-garden.com (opens in new window)), in a rural setting outside the city is a popular and well-known health spa and resort with swimming pool and tennis courts. Courses include qi gong, tai chi, acupuncture, Taoist Massage, , five element Chinese healing systems and ayurvedic practices from India. Prices aren't cheap!
The Chiangmai Ayurvedic Center (www.detox-chiangmai.com (opens in new window)) offers colonic irrigation, enemas ayurvedic massages and a lot more. It's on Singharat Road, in the north-western part of the map on this page.
The Wild Rose Sauna (www.wildrosesauna.com (opens in new window)) offers a range of workshops and courses, including Tantra workshops for couples, kirtan chanting and Thai yoga. Quite a few of the workshops are just for ladies. There's a sauna here, open to the public on friday nights only, at 8pm. Find the center on Bumrung Buri 4 Road, marked 'BB4' in the south area of the map on this page.
Janrawee House (opens in new window) offers colonic irrigation as well as spa packages and massages.
Qi Gong Thailand (www.qigongthailand.net (opens in new window)) offers an 8 hour, 3 day course for 3,800 baht.
For Acupuncture in the city, I know of three places:
Mungkhala on Ratchamanka Road, (see the road going across the central moat on the map on this page.. I think it's closer to the Moon Muang Rd side of the moat than the Arak Road side...) Sessions cost about 500 baht.
There's a large Chinese pharmacy at Warorot Market (see the center of the map on this page., head down Chang Moi Road) that apparently offers acupuncture, a little cheaper than Mungkhla.
Acupuncture is supposedly half the price of Mungkhala at McCromick Hospital. Address: 133 Kaewnawarat Road (the road that the Arcade Bus Station is on, on this page).
A bit overwhelmed by all the choices?!! If that's you, my advice is to just turn up at the city and see what happens - often the best things happen without planning!
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