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Soham is located at Tran Dinh Xu in District 1 which was only 1.6km away from my first hotel, Beautiful Saigon 3 Hotel. I could have walked there, it wouldn't take too long but my first class was at night and i didn't think it'd be that safe considering i've never been there before. It's located in a 2 storey shophouse, and it was love at first sight for me. Nhu Y (the owner who is also an instructor) took my first class and i went away filled to the brim with positive energy. I thought that was the last of our meeting as Z and i were headed to Phu Quoc but there was a turn of events and we headed back to the city shortly after! And Yoga was the only thing on my mind.
As you can see from the pictures, it's a very small and cosy place. Even though there aren't the fancy air-conditioning or fully mirrored walls like my studio in Singapore (read about it here), or the lack of a hot yoga studio, it really didn't matter. This is exactly the kind of place i would like to practise at. The instructors were all very positive. Nhu Y is an extremely confident, patient and friendly instructor (much unlike my boot camp-ish instructors at Real). She taught me how to do my first headstand in Sivananda class and even though i didn't managed to do a full headstand the first time, she was extremely encouraging. The class was very intimate and we laughed at ourselves and at each other when we do something silly. I went away with a smile on my face and in my heart after each session.
The classes that i went for had a maximum of 7 students so there were plenty of space. I like that there is a lot more interaction between the instructor and the students (not so commercialized). Paul (another instructor) shared his story about how he was so stressed out and unhealthy before he started on Yoga and how it changed his life. It was the interaction that helped me look beyond the nitty gritty affairs that i was fixated on previously and to adopt an open mind towards exploration of alternatives that would make me happier as a person. There is also a lot more meditation which really helped to calm my nerves.
I also like the little touches such as applying a soothing aromatherapy essence on the student's shoulders while we are resting in the Savasana position. It's very uplifting at the end of each session. Hot tea, water and cookies are also offered at the lounge and students are always welcomed to sit around after class to chat with the instructors. We had some really good times discussing yoga and life, exchanging experiences.
It was also at Soham where i met Daphne who is a fellow Singaporean! She has been teaching Yoga in Saigon for 2 years. She's one gungho lady who is very adventurous (from what i heard about her travels). According to her, you can spot a Singaporean from afar in Saigon because we wear more expensive stuff.
I walked to yoga on most days after we got back from Phu Quoc. We stayed at Oscar Saigon which was right smack in the downtown area. The traffic was crazy and the walk was further (2.4km). I had to navigate across the Ben Thanh market traffic which was impossible but my road crossing skills were superb and i survived the 30mins walk to school. It was pretty nerve wrecking though. Made a video about crossing the road but i can't stand the sound of my voice on it so it's not gonna be posted.
So yea, this is my happy place in Saigon. I really miss the practice and the people. Somehow after the experience here, everything else in Singapore seems to fall short. It just feels more like a workout now. Sigh. So yea, if there's anything i'll go back to Saigon for, it'd be for Yoga and Cupcakes. :) If you ever drop Saigon, this is a must do activity. Trust me. It has changed my outlook on life.
The first trial class is 5usd and it's free if you buy a class pass or sign up for membership. I got the 5 classes pass for 45usd. There is a mix of beginner to multi level classes so not to worry. They offer Vinyasa, Power/Power Flor, Sivananda, Yin Yoga and also African Dance.
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