Breathe into yourself in one of Saigon's yoga centres. Photo courtesy of Suzanne Vian.
Yoga SnS teaches a balanced range of yoga in a mix of English and Vietnamese. From the dynamic Vinyasa Flow to the much gentler Prenatal Yoga, Yoga SnS is one of the top yoga schools out there. They also have a rotating roster of expat teachers. You’ll find Yoga SnS perched atop an apartment block near the Turtle Circle in District 3, not far from the city centre.
Another school that is well-regarded in the expat community is Yoga Living. Known as “the cool, hidden school” that offers English classes in their repertoire, you might come for the class but stay for their cushy giant lounge. Just off Vo Van Tan, Yoga Living ensures you’ll leave refreshed.
TIP: If you're feeling hungry after your session, not far away from Yoga Living, you'll find cute veggie eatery Prem Bistro & Cafe.
An expat who has lived in Saigon for 6 years, American Rae Dohar teaches out of her home. Class are small, capped at a maximum of six people. She keeps an eagle eye on all her students, which translates into a far more personalised service. Don’t be fooled though: Rae comes to Saigon with years of experience running yoga schools in Korea under her belt. She teaches Vinyasa at Home Yoga, and also offers retreats and private lessons.
SEE SCHEDULES AND MORE: Home Yoga Saigon
This studio is run by an international yoga champion who trains other competitive yogis in his spare time. He’s balanced out by a teacher whose main focus is meditation and who doesn’t believe in competition at all. It’s a potent mix that means that you’ll always find what you need. Classes here are taught by a mix of teachers who run classes in English and/or Vietnamese.
No list would be complete without a mention of Suzanne Vian, the doyenne of expat Vietnamese yoga. She concentrates mainly on retreats and yoga teacher trainings, and she's arguably the only expat teacher doing so at this time. She teaches Hatha Yoga and keeps it fresh with a rotating roster of guest teachers at her weekly class.
One of the most popular forms of yoga among the Vietnamese, there are branches of Sivananda centres in Ho Chi Minh, Dalat and Hanoi. Sivananda Yoga has a strong meditation element to it, and the classes are well-paced with lots of rest in between so you can endure the entire 90 minute sequence. Classes are taught in both Vietnamese and English, and yoga teacher training and affordable yoga retreats are available.
TIP: If you need a breather from the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, try an afternoon out at garden restaurant Binh An Village. It's a surefire soother, down by the river and far from any honking motorbike horns.