Photo Credit: Steve Hyland – Ashtanga Yoga Pattaya
There are a lot of advantages of not having a proper home, you are free. I like to travel, even thought I now tend to dislike taking flight, but I what I do love after all is to travel for a purpose such as practicing Ashtanga Yoga.
Pattaya is not the paradisiac place that we could imagine when we are travelling to Thailand. Pattaya is well-known for its nightlife, bar and girls. However there is one hidden secret, Steven Hyland a wonderful Ashtanga Yoga Teacher.
When I was in Mysore I was looking for another place to practice and after google it I finally find Steven Hyland. He has been authorised by Sharat and is now dedicating his time teaching in Pattaya. His shala is located in a resort a very quiet place.
The first contact I had with Steven was through messenger, he has been very reactive and even arranged my accommodation at the Mind Resort.
Steve is very quiet, shy, humble. He does not advertise himself, if you want to find him you really have to look for him, he does not organise any intensive.
He just do what he likes, he teaches to everyone and anyone who wish to practice. His students are most of it Thai people, sometimes beginners are coming but the regular students are practitioners. In his shala everyone has his attention.
There are between 4 to 8 students that come for the practice which is just perfect, no one will sweat on your mat except yourself and no risk of being hit by a foot while coming back from Uttanasana.
At Steve’s shala everyone has his attention.
Personally I never liked to be adjusted during the standing sequence. I am subject to pressure drop which make my ears “buzzing”, therefore I need more break and take more breathing in between asana such as all Prasaritta series.
However when I receive an adjustment from Steve I do not resist, his hands are talking to my spine and I can feel it lengthening instead of resisting.
The sitting adjustment postures are my favorite. He is never pushy and just guiding me to a better extensions, rotations, deepening softly my practice.
I find in Steve the same qualities as with Iain Grysak (with who I will be practicing next month).
I think you can not compare the Asthanga practice with any other yoga style. There is a real community in the Ashtanga world, everyone practice the same series, the same asanas, we all have more or less the same obstacles and having the opportunity to practice with several teachers (which is contrary to what we hear I know) is for me a huge privilege as they are all complimentary to each others.
Also it is very interesting to see how our body and bone structure are changing through the practice. For instance I am in the period where I lost all my backbends.
Therefore I am now practicing in the afternoon not the Ashtanga but exercices inspired by the work of Simon Borg-Olivier focused on the spine mobility. I also add to my matwork the Pilates Method as well swimming.
So yes Pattaya is not a hub of Yoga, neither a paradisiac place in Thailand to visit but in a strange way I feel good here.
If you are looking for a place to practice in Thailand, in a shala where you will have enough space to unroll your mat I can not stop to recommend you Steven Hyland.
Have a Good Practice wherever you Are!