Thai Tai Chi, Cocktail Frocks & Collagen Coffee

Posted on July 6, 2011

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I had my last BKK run for a while this morning so fitting then that it was one full of action and adventure.

I planned a route to and around Lumpini Park … a lush piece of land in the heart of the CBD … the Bangkok version of Safa Park I suppose.

And Lumpini I did get to despite a few diversions along the way:

Firstly, I got talking to another runner, a Thai guy who, it turns out, is an official pacer for the Pattaya Marathon later this month.  He was telling me about this amazing Korean herbal treatment he uses on runners knees … I know I said, I know all about this amazing treatment as it’s all part of the Sotai method which I had when last in KTM and which miraculously cured by knee problems at the time.

Lesson no 1 – if ever you have the opportunity to try Sotai – take it

Next I passed another park and joined in a little Tai Chi … when I see people practising this ancient art, I can never resist joining in.  It’s so graceful and looks so peaceful … meditation with movement.  Tai Chi is practised in every park or open space every morning throughout Asia and I’ve no doubt that it is a big contributor towards the longevity and wellbeing amongst Asians in the Autumn of their years, long beyond those in Western Europe.

Lesson no 2 – take up Tai Chi when age starts creeping up on you

On reaching Lumpini Park, I had a play on the urban gym equipment.  For those not in the know, throughout Asia there are urban gyms in all public parks … literally outdoor gym equipment … cross trainers, bicycles, bars and hoops … and my favourite, that cool swivelling disk that whittles away your waist.

It brought me back to last Summer, dragon boating in Macau when thanks to running being out of the question due to bad blisters (pre-adidas naturally!) I spent many an early start on the equipment at the Macau reservoir.

Lesson no 3 – seek out urban gym kit when next in Asia; it’s so much more fun than playing in an indoor gym

Finally, I started back towards my hotel but in need of a pee and a quick respite from the incessant humidity, I popped into the Conrad Hotel. There I found the most fabulous boutique with cocktail dresses to die for at prices my bank manager can just about manage. So …. several fashion shows later and I reserved two which I went returned to collect this afternoon.

Lesson no 4 – some mid-run shopping is a very useful motivation tool.  If running in Dubai, pop into Hayya at Meadows Town Centre every now and then and check out the great Rajistani furniture on sale from Antika Dubai … or get in some pack training with a run to the mall … I do this regularly and the return leg home  becomes an even better training session when loaded up with treats for moi

The icing on the cake, post frock collection, came in the form of a tantric Thai massage and a Bikram yoga session.  The ladies in the class all seemed to find it funny that I was there … perhaps because the instruction is in Thai but the language of childs poses and half moon postures know no bounds!  Two major USP’s of my experience of yoga in Thailand are;

1) we did oral work (not that kind!!) … we had to chant various vowels out loud whilst in certain poses in order to clear our airways … makes sense after all to exercise your vocal chords as well as your body and mind esp for karaoke-loving Thais

and

2) the teacher came round during poses and gave us head and shoulder massages … a touch I couldn’t get enough of!

Lesson no 5 – seeking out a local yoga / Pilates / group ex class on holiday never fails to please.  You meet like-minded people and get an extra glimpse of life there beyond the tourist trail.  And … the class, focus and format is always slightly different which just gives you another string to your bow when it comes to mastering those postures etc

Exhausted and in need of energy to pack for my  flight tonight, I picked up a large coffee post yoga …. a coffee laced with collagen apparently which is the latest caffeine cum beauty craze here … whatever next!?!

Next stop DXB for a little bit of work before the next far-flung adventures!

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