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A Typical Day in the Life of Yoga Instructor Bikram Keshari Patra

by Stephanie Finch(more info)

listed in yoga, originally published in issue 258 - November 2019

 

Bikram Keshari Patra started his yoga journey in his early childhood, taking his inspiration from his grandfather who was a very sincere and spiritual yoga practitioner.

 

Bikram Keshari Patra

Bikram Keshari Patra

 

Some 13 years ago, Bikki took the step to share his passion for yoga with more people and became a yoga instructor, studying at the Permarth Niketan ashram in the city of Rishikesh in the northern state of Uttarkahand in India.  The ashram was founded in 1942 and lies in the lap of the Himalayas along the banks for the Ganges.

After studying yoga and Pilates here, Bikki went on to graduate from Vinayak University Tamilnadu with an MBA in Human Resource Management. Bikki gained experience as a spa manager at the Ganga Beach Resort in Rishikesh, before making the move to Thailand, and for the past nine years he has been based in Koh Samui, as a yoga teach and consultant at Banyan Tree Samui. Banyan Tree Samui overlooks the sapphire waters of the Gulf of Thailand and is nestled amongst the lush jungle in Lamai. Bikram says the natural scenery and climate in Koh Samui make it the perfect place for yoga practice.

 

Bikki

 

His responsibilities at the resort includes a yoga wellness consultation with guests both on arrival and departure, where he may prescribe a yogic diet and specific yoga modules that suit the guest’s needs. He is qualified to teach yoga, and yoga therapy, and regularly practices Sound meditation and Candle meditation.

Bikram Keshari Patra describes a typical day in his tropical haven as follows:

  • 5am – 7am “I rise early in the morning, before sunrise. I get ready with my spiritual sadhana (or yoga practice) followed by a fruit breakfast;
  • 7am – noon Morning yoga practice. Usually after breakfast it is karma yoga time, and then Yoga Asana practices. Lunch should be taken before 12 noon”;
  • Noon – 4pm “Lunch is typically followed by some reading and meditation;
  • 4pm – 6pm “Afternoon yoga session begins at 4:00 pm again and carry on until dinner, which takes place before sunset around 6pm”;
  • 6pm – 10pm “I spend time taking rest for a while. In the evening I practice candle meditation or what is called trataka and prayer meditation. Finally, I sleep before 10:00pm”.
  • 10pm – 5am “Sleep”.

This idyllic description of a simple and spiritual existence has been drawing travellers to Thailand for decades, and as the Western world continues to become more aware of the positive mental wellbeing effects of mindfulness and meditation, there has been a significant increase in interest in yoga based holidays.

According to Bikram Keshari Patra, yoga popularity in Thailand has ‘increased incredibly’ over the last ten years, and Sian Qureshi, a travel expert with six years of yoga practice under her belt agrees saying I would say that at least 50% of my clients will request a resort or destination that offers yoga from the first point of contact. You can get some of the best yoga retreats in Thailand, with stunning settings that really make the experience.”

Where to Practise Yoga on a Thailand Visit

 

banyan-tree-samui

banyan-tree-samui

  1. Banyan Tree Samui

Serene and calm, every villa at the Banyan Tree in Koh Samui has its own private pool. This is an extraordinarily peaceful resort that relaxes you as soon as you arrive with the smell of fragrant Jasmine incense welcoming at the doors.

Don’t miss: Complimentary yoga lessons from Bikram Keshari Patra; they include both group stretching and sun salutation classes – and more personalised private sessions are also available.

devasom-khao-lak

devasom-khao-lak

 

  1. Devasom in Khao Lak

Nostalgic and tranquil, Devasom resort is inspired by the forgotten opulence of 6th century Southeast Asia. The hideaway is located on one of the quieter stretches of beach, and is just a ten minute drive from the local markets and independent restaurants. The resort provides a yoga studio with daily yoga sessions and mindfulness meditations.

Don’t miss: Discover beautiful places to practice yoga off the beaten track with a bicycle excursion to the surrounding coconut plantation nearby temples or lush mangrove.

AnantaraHuaHin

AnantaraHuaHin

 

  1. Anantara in Hua Hin

Tropical and friendly, this original Anantara resort has a spa positioned in beautiful exotic gardens, and includes massage suites, and outdoor bathtubs hidden beyond a walled garden of lotuses.

Don’t miss: Sunrise yoga - the best time to soak in the splendour of the lush setting.

Artemis Kyprianou, a Thailand expert working with Kuoni who has been practising yoga for 10 years share why he thinks Thailand remains a heaven for yogis:

Why do you think experiencing yoga enhances your experience of visiting another country?

A: Being interested in yoga has allowed me the opportunity to travel around the world solo, going to yoga retreats as I knew I would be part of a group and not alone, allowing me to make friends along the way. Doing yoga whilst on holiday puts you in a relaxed, open state of mind to allow you to fully take in and appreciate the country and culture you a revisiting.

What’s your favourite experience of practising yoga whilst travelling?

My favourite experience of practicing yoga was whilst I was in Southern Goa at a quiet beach yoga retreat. Whilst practising during sunset I remember feeling a perfect warmth around me and the sounds of the waves crashing. It was such a serene and magical feeling.

What makes Thailand such a popular location for yoga and wellness?

Thailand has the perfect climate for practicing yoga outdoors, the humid weather feels very similar to India where Yoga originates. The heat allows the body to relax and become fully flexible. The scenery and beaches in Thailand is so beautiful it helps calm the mind ready for a yoga practice.

What’s your own personal favourite place in Thailand for yoga?

Khao Sok national park is perfect for a yoga practice especially in the morning with the mist from the humidity slowly rising amongst the limestone cliffs to create a magical feel. An evening yoga practice would also be phenomenal as there is no light pollution allowing for phenomenal star gazing.

What would you recommend to a visiting traveller who wanted an authentic Thai yoga experience?

I would recommend avoiding the tourist resort parts of Thailand and focus on isolated areas which are steeped in nature such as the national parks and the jungles of Chiang Mai.

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About Stephanie Finch

Stephanie Finch, based in Brighton, has been writing about different travel experiences and people around the world for the last 7 years. Her own travel adventures have taken her from hiking fairy trails on the Isle of Skye to watching the sunrise over the dunes of the Namib Desert. She may be contacted via stephanie@propellernet.co.uk

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