The Traveling Yogini : Part II of Marj Wong’s Thai Adventure

by Marj Wong

After checking our Bikram Yoga Bangkok in Part I and  traveling for three weeks in Thailand, Marj Wong and her boyfriend return to Bangkok to take class…

At this point, I’m not going to lie, I was scared for my life.

Three weeks of traveling, lounging, no yoga and eating pretty much everything in sight, equates to a pretty high guarantee of gongshow in the hot room.

During the first week and a half of travel, I indulged in iced coffees, fried foods, etc. I kind of chose to forget that Asians love their condensed milk. The iced coffees were so yummy. Their sweet goodness drove me to put it out of my mind…

I tried to slow down on fried foods after our pregnant friend in Phi Phi island told us Thai food isn’t that healthy because of all palm oil used in cooking it. I slowed it down after I learned this.

It was/is really hard to steer clear of fried foods in Thailand. I mean it’s not that bad, there are vegetables. But, I suppose them being sautéed or fried in palm oil isn’t the greatest. So I did what I could and went for soups, fruit, fish and a lot of seafood!

After all this food eating and vacation indulging we went to class.

After contemplating and missing the 2 o’clock , the 4 was our last option. It was either suck it up and possibly die OR go home and not have practiced in Bangkok. (boo – not an option)

SO – the 4 o’clock it was!

Sukh was teaching. Prefect.

I’d been to training with him. He knew his dialogue (a full 40+ pages) inside-out BEFORE he got to Teacher Training. His TT experience was NOT the stressful, chaos teachers now glamorize, BUT a chill, “don’t-worry-honey” experience. In fact, his only worry was his lack of sleep due to spending time with Bikram watching late night movies.

Sukh even had the time and energy to conduct a side experiment with regards to his lack of sleep.

The experiment:

To discover what it is like to live like Bikram:

  • only 4-5hrs of sleep/night
  • minimal food
  • practice everyday

Results from this experiment are hard to conclude.

Sukh was definitely able to sustain himself for the 9 week training period, however, I don’t think he’s living on 4-5hrs of sleep now.

But back to class:

Practicing in Bangkok was interesting.

There’s a big lounge where people commune before and after class.

No one goes IN the room until class begins or like 5 mins before. Until then, they’re all there in the lounge, but no one goes in. The doors are open in the hot room, but still, no one goes in. When the students do go in, they SIT on their prelayed mats and towels. No lying in savasanah, they sit cross-legged facing the mirror.

Interesting, right?

So class starts and Sukh comes in with the mic set, ready to go. It was such a treat, because no one in Toronto has a mic set. This totally took me back in training, his voice filled the room, and I loved it.

We begin, as soon as we stand for Pranayama breathing, Boyfriend sticks out like a sore thumb; he is the tallest in the room besides Sukh who is up on the podium.

Eagle is usually a good judge for me to know where I’m at. And at this point I was done. I had no energy! We ate food before but I’m thinking, it was probably the “type” of food we ate. I had rice and some chicken and before that a tangerine juice. Doesn’t sound so bad, right?

Well, I’m the type that NEEDS sustainable proper food for energy and that wasn’t it.

Why didn’t I find a coconut?

I made it through the rest of the standing series and thank god Sukh knew it would be sort of a “questionable” class for us as as we had not practiced in 3 weeks. SO, I’d like to think he went easy on us, there was no calling out at least. I gotta thank him for that!

Standing Separate Leg Stretching comes and I bail. I am trying, but I just gotta take a knee and BREATHE!

Boyfriend does the posture. He gets a little disoriented because they do exactly like TT, straddle the mat for Standing Separate Leg Stretching, Triangle and Standing Leg Stretching with Forehead to Knee. I prefer this rather than taking it to the top of the mat and turning (just in case anyone wanted to know) .

I’m glad Boyfriend was able to try the series this way because now he can see how it was in TT; you use much more inner thigh strength when you do it this way.

By this time I am dragg’n.

I won’t lie to you, I was low on energies, was think’n about coconut water and then thinking,

WHY do I do this?”

“Am I for real?”

“I’ve literally gained 18lbs and can’t move!”

IS this as bad at TT?”

NO is the answer to the last question.

This final question usually, generally, pulls me out of whatever irrational thoughts I may be having, because there is nothing hotter than those last days at TT.

I won’t get into here, but let me tell you.

NOTHING compares to TT, so therefore, technically I should be able to complete any class thereafter.

You’d think.

By the end of Sukh’s perfectly timed and well paced class, I lay on the floor absolutely done for.

Savasanah lasted longer than usual. I’d say, it wasn’t a complete smoke show: I did the postures.

I did however, drag myself up and down my mat and participated in several cheats.

I also indulged in TT survival tactic #24 : If you’ve set ablaze: blow on yourself.
At the end of these types of classes, I always say to myself, “and another one done, you just make it through”

It gets me every time, how you just, make it through. That’s it. No matter how brutal, though hard it is at the time, you WILL make it through.

And with that, my first class in 2010 was done.

Sukh, Boyfriend and I sat outside the hot room to chat. After taking our extended savasanah and refilling water bottles more than once, we let Sukh know of our struggles during class. Of course at this point we are all smiles and in our yoga bliss, pure enjoyment now that it’s over and done with. Recovery mode sets in and we discuss; class, students, teaching, dialogue, heat, the room – we cover it all.

The next 20 minutes go by and Sukh must get ready to start his next class.

He is teaching a back-to-back in Studio B; the smaller studio. We say our goodbyes and thank him endlessly for class. It is so great to see faces from TT when you are a teacher traveling around. This yoga really is a family and you really do have a home away from home, where ever you may be in the world.

Boyfriend and I ran out to the street after showering and collecting ourselves, to buy one of the cheap .50cent coconuts available all over the streets of Bangkok. It’s like a little piece of heaven, the perfect way to end such a fulfilling ass-kickery of a class.

As we get ready to leave Bangkok I realize its like the Boyfriend says, “It’s where I belong” – Thailand – Bikram Yoga Bangkok, could be my next new favorite home.

*if you’d like to see more off Marj, let us know by commenting below! Catch her great sense of humor in class Bikram Yoga Toronto and Active Yoga



Filed under Bikram Yoga Travel

2 responses to “The Traveling Yogini : Part II of Marj Wong’s Thai Adventure

  1. Kelly

    Hey Marj! I loved it! You are a natural writer! (as well as comdeianne :)) You should definitely do some more posts for Oh My Bikram. Sounds like you had an amazing trip. So glad you were able to see Niki & Sukh!

    Love ya!

  2. marj

    Aw, spanks, kelly!! good that you had a good read and laugh, too!

    Yes, hopefully, i’ll be writing for ohmybikram soon! there are loads of stuff to write about so stay tuned, we have some good stuff in the mix.

    I have been plugging the site in classes and students are very responsive and always ask to write the site down for them.

    pass it on! 😉

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