THERE are only two public Yoga studios in Phnom Penh: NataRaj Yoga founded in 2004 by Isabelle Skaburskis, and Kundalini House founded by Tony and Hannika in 2007. But the number of yogis has increased.
Van Vannac, an instructor at NataRaj Yoga, said he felt yoga was new for Cambodia and could also be a little expensive for some people to take up, but there were many benefits.
“The breathing exercises and meditation will improve concentration, remove stress and help to improve general well-being,” said Alison Hawkins, the principle teacher from NataRaj Yoga, with yoga qualifications from the United Kingdom and India.
She said yoga was suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners of all ages. It was recommended to start with the introduction to yoga classes, which would help improve posture, flexibility and strength while also helping to calm the mind.
According to Hawkins, those with limited exercise experience can attend classes but are advised to practice slowly and rest during and in between exercises if necessary. The teachers would also encourage and help students to develop their own yoga practices to suit their own bodies and personality.
“Our trainees also work as assistants and translators in the intro classes. All teachers at the NataRaj Yoga studio are different, so we encourage students to try each teacher to find which style they prefer for themselves,” said Hawkins.
Kundalini House practices another form of yoga, a physical, mental and spiritual discipline that is a consolidation of the highest physical and meditative techniques found in many teachings. Such meditation is an aspect of yoga and yoga training for pregnant women at Kundalini House.
For many, Kundalini yoga is called the yoga of awareness.