Time to unwind

What we say: 3.5 stars

We do like to stretch. We can stretch out a dollar, a delicious weekend, or ourselves on a luxurious chaise longue, provided we can find one. If it suits our needs we can stretch a point, or an idiom, sometimes past its breaking point. Because stretching, we know, deep in our souls, is simply a wonderful thing, and for the obviousness of this fact you need look no further than the nearest cat.

So it must be good that Siem Reap has become stretch central in the past six months. For years one centre catered to all our yoga needs, but a proliferation of yoga providers in the past few months has truly stre… expanded our options. Each one has something different to recommend it, so without further ado, here’s the low down on them:

The Peace Café has been holding hatha yoga classes for years, in a traditional Khmer wooden building set in a garden which is also home to a vegetarian café, NGO shop, and community centre. Classes take place every Monday and Friday at 18:30, and every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 08:30. Price is $6.

Everybody say "ommmm"... *

Further out of town, near the Roulos complex, the Hariharalaya Retreat Centre is an oasis for calm, peaceful reflection with a holistic approach that hosts retreats, detox programmes, healing services and cooking classes. The daily schedule includes meditation, breathing practice, chanting and readings from the Masters, and they also hold yoga classes every morning at 08:00. Including a healthy breakfast, the sessions cost $7.

Back in town again, the UberOum Yoga Studio is above Blush on The Lane, right beside Pub Street. They offer a range of classes and styles, including “In the flow” and “Balance bliss” (hatha vinyasa for different levels), “Stretchy stretch” (hatha for all levels), and “Chill pill” (yin yoga). A full timetable can be found online (see below). Classes are $7. If you’re here for a while, and are new to yoga, they also run beginners block courses over six weeks. At $60, this is a great opportunity to learn the techniques and principles at the heart of yoga.

As part of their extensive programme of activities, the Siem Reap Hostel hosts Joel from Hariharalaya Centre for hatha yoga classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 18:00, and every Sunday at 10:00. The open-air classes are held on the balcony overlooking Wat Damnak, and participants can sometimes hear the chanting from ceremonies being held there, adding to the ambiance. At $4, these are the best value classes in town.

All of the above venues provide mats. So go on, make like a cat…

And if you’re heading to Phnom Penh, here’s what’s on offer there.

Peace Café
Street 26
T: (063) 965 210; 092 177 127

Hariharalaya Retreat Centre
T : (088) 932 9556 ;(097) 628 6860

Uberoum Yoga Studio
Floor 2 of Blush Boutique
The Lane
T: (078) 338 885

Siem Reap Hostel
7 Makara Street
T: (063) 964 660

*Picture provided by Siem Reap Hostel.

More details
Multiple locations in Siem Reap
Last updated: 6th August, 2014

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