For regular and hardcore yogis alike, Kata beach on Phuket is the perfect destination.
Though there are a couple of traditional Ashtanga and Hatha studios scattered across the village, my recommendation is to check out Kata Hot Yoga along the main beach road, diagonally opposite from the Boathouse Hotel.
If you’ve been to Thailand before, you’ll be familiar with all the amazing things “the land of smiles” offers its visitors. This especially when vacationing on one of the country’s many gorgeous southern islands, where picturesque palm beaches and gently lapping waves soon lull you in to a calm and relaxed state of mind.
In addition to being one of the most affordable countries in the world to vacation in, choosing Thailand over other destinations in Southeast Asia means you get to enjoy the remarkably good infrastructure the country offers its visitors. Air travel is smooth as is the train system, buses run on time, highways are in good shape, electricity blackouts are rare and most hotels offer super fast Internet access (Netflix runs just as smoothly in most places in Thailand as in the US or Europe). And if that wasn’t enough, Thais are world famous for being both friendly and easy-going people. It’s a safe country to travel in, too – especially for women.
Phuket is hands down the most popular of the country’s islands and though traffic can be a bit intense here and there, it’s easy to get to and from the airport as well as between Phuket’s many small coastal communities.
My favorite is Kata Beach as the village is small enough to be walkable yet has plenty of hotels to choose from and a plethora of good local and foreign run restaurants. The beach itself is nice with golden sand, a shallow shoreline and mostly family friendly waves. Between April and October, however, you can rent a board from one of the surf shops and enjoy a nice beach break. During the rest of the year, Kata Beach is better suited for stand up paddlers, snorkelers and divers as the ocean goes more or less completely flat.
For regular and hardcore yogis alike, Kata is the perfect destination. Though there are a couple of traditional Ashtanga and Hatha studios scattered across the village, my recommendation is to check out Kata Hot Yoga along the main beach road, diagonally opposite from the Boathouse Hotel.
The studio is just steps from the beach and was founded by Dutchman Govert van Lankeren Matthes. There are morning, afternoon and evening classes, each 90 minutes long and conducted in 40°C/104°F temperatureat 40% humidity.
The studio provides mats and towels and there’s men’s and women’s changing rooms near the reception.
Kata Hot Yoga also offers several types of accommodations for visiting yogis – which are available for short and long term rent (minimum 3 nights) – including fairly basic one bedroom apartments on top of the studio. Each of these flats has everything you need to be comfortable, including free wifi, cable television and air conditioning.
For those yearning for more space and an amazing sea view from a generous terrace, there are a couple of luxurious, fully equipped 3 bedroom/2 bathroom condos with a full kitchen just a few steps from the studio. And when you rent one of these spacious hideaways, you also have access to free wifi, air conditioning, a gorgeous pool, a modern gym, sauna and a steam room.
I opted for the one bedroom apartment for my 10 day long hot yoga challenge with classes every morning between 9:00-10:30. Sure, it took a couple of days to get used to the intense heat and humidity. But by the third day I was feeling great and enjoyed a surge in mental agility and physical flexibility which in turn helped me extend my poses and enhance my balance.
The studio’s instructors are an international crew and were all really talented, calling out relevant adjustments as well as providing positive encouragement.
By keeping to a rigorous diet during my stay at Kata Hot Yoga, I ate only one cooked meal per day but snacked heavily on raw fruit, nuts and veggies, my waistline was reduced by 4 cm/1,5 in and shed 4kg/9 pounds. The combination of hot yoga (Bikram) and a super healthy diet proved to be the perfect recipe for me.
And if this sounds like something you too would like to try, the owner of Kata Hot Yoga, Govert van Lankeren Matthes, is offering you a whopping 20% discount on both accommodations and classes. Seasonal rates may apply and you must be able to provide a current Airline Staff identification card upon check-in.