Tiger Muay Thai offers daily yoga classes Monday-Friday from 7:00AM-8:00AM. As an added bonus, evening yoga classes are available every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00PM to 7:00PM. A private sunset yoga class is also available on Friday evenings. Additional details and information on signing up for that special offering can be found in the TMT office. Students are not required to provide any equipment, but useful equipment to bring includes a yoga strap, a personal yoga mat, a bottle of water and a hand towel. Tiger’s yoga instructor, Ocean Bloom, explains her classes and philosophy below.
What kind of yoga do you teach?
It’s a mix of styles. Its foundation is Ashtanga Yoga, so power flow. Because we have such a variety of guests, from beginners who have never done yoga to some really experienced yogis, we have many options from basic postures to advanced. But it’s definitely a power flow class.
How do classes begin?
Monday through Friday, our classes start at 7 A.M. I like to keep the space quiet in the morning. Create an opportunity for the guests to slow down, enjoy being at the camp while there isn’t screaming and punching. Chaos can be good for high energy, but it’s hard for the nervous system to be in that state of fight or flight all the time. It’s helpful to start the day off with yoga in a quiet peaceful space.
And once the class starts?
We begin in savasana, dead body pose, for a few minutes practicing some breathing exercises and short meditation periods. It’s the foundation for the beginning of the class. Then often I’ll ask what the guests need and how they’re feeling. If guests have particularly tight hips that day or stiff necks, then I’ll adjust the class to address it. Even though I come in with a plan and a sequence I’m going to teach, I’m open to changing the class. Many of the students are training anywhere from three to six hours a day and it’s important to take that into account.
Where does class go from there?
We move from practicing breathing exercises (pranayama) to sun salutations that heat up the body and connect to the breath. Then we move into balancing poses, arm balances, deep hip openings, and other movements that challenge the body. These are all movements that need to be performed once the body is warm. Really, I have no expectations of the guests. I’m happy if people come and lay on the mats for half the class, just being able to slow down. Some people never really take time to just relax and be still, so I’m happy to provide that space. I’ve had many guests write me and tell me this was the only hour in the day where their mind wasn’t going crazy.
What is the difference between the morning and evening classes?
It’s a different vibe doing yoga outside first thing in the morning. It’s a good way to start the day, to set an intention and goals for the day and to work out any stiffness to warm yourself up for what you’re about to do. The evening classes are inside Tiger’s MMA room and it’s quite hot. I turn off the lights and the AC, so it’s a littler darker and you sweat a little more. It’s at the end of the day so it can be a really beautiful way to come down and relax yourself for a good sleep.
What about your private Friday sunset yoga class?
This class is about getting out into the elements. We refer to a lot of different elements when were practicing yoga, like sun salutations and moving like the flow of the ocean. I found a really beautiful place on the mountain up to Big Buddha where there’s a lookout point. We practice outside on the earth. You can see the sunset over the ocean. I really feel like it offers all of the elements there. Your feet are literally in the dirt and the sun really fills your soul.
Do you get a lot of students without a prior background in yoga?
I would say the classes are ninety percent beginners. It surprises and excites me every day when I ask how many new students have never done yoga before and three to sometimes five people put up their hand. It’s exciting because there’s a whole other connection to the body that these people can now experience. I think that’s what makes Tiger such a unique and special place. It may seem like an intimidating place at first, but it’s an environment where almost everyone is a beginner in yoga. The goal is just to make yourself feel better in every way. Just showing up, that’s what takes courage. If you arrive in class and stick through it, then you’ve done the hardest part.
Would you recommend yoga for someone trying to lose weight?
One hundred percent! You can’t train hardcore every day, but you can do yoga every day. Even if it’s an intense practice, you can make it gentle for yourself. It’s also highly beneficial for recovery, considering the amount of pressure you put on your body when you’re trying to lose weight. Most people want to see big results in a short period of time. If you’re going to be pushing your body that hard then you also need to take care of it. Slow the nervous system down and find ways to breathe, so you can sleep at night
Best tip for someone just starting yoga?
Breathe. Breathe! I would rather someone come to class, just lay on their mat, breathe and listen to what’s being said rather than to push and struggle through the movements. The breath is everything.
What would you say to someone reluctant to try yoga?
I think often people say they don’t like yoga, because they try it one time and they don’t feel that they’re good at it. That’s not a good reason to never go back. If it’s a challenge, that should inspire you to get better at it. And it is something you can get better at each session. Learn how to breathe properly. Learn the significance of the cues, why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s not just to stretch your muscles, but also to make you a happier person both physically and emotionally.