If you’re searching for quality yoga and great vegetarian food in Hoi An, then Nomad Yoga should be one of your first stops. Nomad has developed a community of individuals from all walks of life with a range of skill levels. Consisting of both Hoi An residents and nomadic travellers just passing through, the Nomad Yoga members all have one common goal—to enrich the mind, body, and soul.
If you pass by the studio in the morning, then the chances are that you’ll meet Natalie, the founder and heart and soul of Nomad Yoga. Since opening Nomad in 2016, Natalie has established a regular and comprehensive yoga class schedule, a gourmet café and restaurant, and also offers yoga teacher training courses up to seven times per year.
Hidden’s article on Yoga classes and studios in Hoi An gives you an overview of all the different options in town to maintain your yoga practice while you’re here. Meanwhile, this article focuses on one of Hoi An’s standout performers—Nomad Yoga.
Meeting the Founder
Natalie came to Vietnam 13 years ago. After a successful career in hospitality (she worked for a luxury hotel chain in the US and the UK), she wanted to explore the world and add deeper meaning to her life. She joined an NGO, focusing for the next few years on developing young people in Vietnam, by training them on all aspects of the hotel and hospitality industry. Though she thoroughly enjoyed this, it became apparent that her initial desire, which let her to Vietnam in the first place, was still not fulfilled. She took a year out to focus on herself, travel, and learn and train in Reiki, massage techniques, nutrition, and yoga. Back in Vietnam again, she opened Nomad Yoga, established her business and became a mother of two—all within less than two years.
When Hidden met with Natalie, we were greeted with the warmest smile. Her radiant personality shines through everything she does, and we saw a woman who is content within herself and her life. It was easy to connect with her and obvious why people are drawn to her and her business.
The Core of Nomad Yoga
Yoga Classes and Teachers
Having been trained in Rishikesh (the yoga capital of India) herself, it is important to Natalie that at least one of her teachers comes from India and shares this traditional background. A good portion of the classes here are taught by a yogi from Rishikesh, a unique offering of Nomad Yoga to the yoga scene of Hoi An.
Although there are travelling yogi teachers who bring variety, Natalie always has permanent teachers on her team to ensure continuity in the classes. Regardless of if you are a resident, traveller, or a nomad who stays a bit longer in town, Nomad offers a range of choices to help you grow and improve your practice. Overall the team represents a broad variety of different traditions and styles, from the Indian Hatha and Ashtanga tradition to Vietnamese mindful meditation, and a more Western approach to yoga. Nomad’s comprehensive weekly class schedule is published on their website and Facebook page.
Yoga Teacher Training Courses
Some of the teachers at Nomad Yoga have been trained in Nomad’s very own yoga teacher training programme. This programme welcomes anyone who wants to start their journey as a yoga teacher in a 200-hour yoga teacher training course, delivered by Nomad Yoga with teachers from Rishikul Yogashala.
Training is provided on assorted dates—up to seven times a year—giving you the opportunity to both deepen your self-practice and certifies you to teach others in the future. It is a four-week training course and tuition costs around 53 million VND (2,300 USD), which covers course fees, learning material,s and three vegetarian meals per day. The course covers classes on Asana studies, mindful meditation, anatomy, yoga philosophy, and chanting.
To meet the needs of Hoi An’s residents, Nomad Yoga also now provides the opportunity to finish the training course over a longer period—from three months up to one year. Small groups, with a maximum of 13 students, allow for a very intimate training experience, with lots of opportunities for one-on-one interaction with the teachers, deepening your comprehension and awareness during your personal growth journey.
To help graduates get started as a yoga teacher, Nomad Yoga offers an internship program for everyone who has completed their 200-hour yoga teacher training course. During these four weeks you have the opportunity to learn about the effective management of a yoga studio, gain experience in supporting and teaching classes, and deepen your knowledge and understanding around sequencing, aligning and adjusting, together with Nomad Yoga’s senior teachers.
Café and Restaurant
Imagine a bright, open space with a view of the river, add then delicious food and great coffee—Nomad Yoga Cafe is the perfect spot to have breakfast or lunch. All dishes are vegan, but you have the option to add cheese or eggs if you prefer vegetarian food. The menu changes regularly and reflects the season and availability in the markets. Hidden has covered the cafe in-depth in our article on Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Hoi An.
If you want to use your time in Hoi An to give yourself a real health boost, Nomad Yoga has its own juice cleanse programme. It’s a great way to regenerate your digestive system and fill up on all those key nutrients and vitamins. You can choose from a pre-set programme or consult with a nutritionist to build your plan, designed specifically to meet your needs.
Workshops and Retreats – Getting Support for Your Journey Through Life
Nomad Yoga offers numerous workshops around yoga, mindfulness, and well-being throughout the year. It may be offered by travelling teachers who share their knowledge and wisdom or one of Nomad Yoga’s own team members. You can be sure to learn, be challenged, and grow in any one of their offered workshops.
Natalie is passionate about people and has a strong calling to support others on their journey through life. Creating holistic retreats was, therefore, a natural addition to Nomad Yoga. You can either create your own programme choosing from yoga, juice cleansing, reiki, meditation, and lifestyle consultation, or book one of the options below that Natalie has put together:
Yang Retreat (6 days) which includes:
- Unlimited yoga drop-in classes
- Choice of breakfast or lunch per day
- One Reiki session or massage
- Cost: 2,200,000 VND (95.70 USD)
Jala Retreat (6 days) which includes:
- Unlimited yoga drop-in classes
- Choice of breakfast, lunch or juice cleanse per day
- One Reiki and one massage session
- One Lifestyle & Nutrition consultation
- Cost: 3,800,000 VND (165 USD)
Personalised Treatment Sessions
Currently, Catherine Round is offering her services in their healing room. She has been a massage therapist for 20 years, specialising in neuromuscular, myofascial, and Swedish massage. The cost for a 60-minute consult is 600,000 VND (26 USD). Check Nomad Yoga’s website for the latest services on offer.
Networking – Connecting People and Giving Back
Natalie knows first-hand what it means to start a new life in a foreign country, the challenges of building your own business and the importance of establishing a social network. She now holds “Business Brains” lunches to help others who are starting out their journey in Hoi An. The meetings are an opportunity to grow your network and learn from like-minded people. These events are a huge success, with expat and local business owners coming together for lunch to share ideas and experiences about running businesses in Vietnam. Check the Nomad Yoga website for the next meeting.
Scholarship Programme for Vietnamese
Natalie is deeply connected within the Vietnamese community and understands the difficulties many are facing. Feeling very fortunate and privileged in her own life here in Hoi An, she likes to give back to the Vietnamese community. Lack of financial support is usually the key factor holding people back from fulfilling their dreams, so she decided to support Vietnamese people from humble backgrounds, who have proof of participating in a “good karma” project, like a local NGO or charity.
Nomad offers this scholarship program twice a year, giving the successful candidate the opportunity to take part in their 200-hour yoga teacher training course and to become a certified yoga teacher. Applicants must be able to speak English and provide an application letter outlining why they want to participate in teacher training, as well as a YouTube video showing their current practice. After their successful graduation, these Vietnamese students have the opportunity to join Nomad Yoga’s post-graduate internship program, and then have further employment opportunities to join the team at Nomad Yoga.
Teamwork is Key
With all these projects and engagements on the go, we do wonder how Natalie manages all of this, and still finds enough time for her family and two small children! She tells Hidden about an integral member of her team, Lanie, her General Manager. Lanie comes from Australia, where she sold her fitness business of 10 years to join Natalie at Nomad Yoga in Hoi An.
While the teaching and restaurant teams focus on providing the best yoga and food experience for Nomad’s customers, Natalie and Lanie work on future strategies and how to further improve their current offerings. They complement each other’s skills, the positive energy between them fosters the free flow of new ideas, and their energetic personalities guarantee that these ideas become a reality. All with the end goal of creating an oasis for people from around the world, for yogis, travellers, and foodies from all walks of life, to come together and share their passion, adventures, and knowledge—and they are succeeding!
Hidden’s always keen to know what draws people to Hoi An, so what better advice is there than from a long-standing, “as-good-as” local? Natalie’s face lights up when Hidden asks her about her favourite things to do in Hoi An, and she clearly loves her second home. Even after all these years she still takes great pleasure in just walking around the city and observing day-to-day life. And she loves the food—she insists that you go out and discover everything Vietnam has to offer.
Natalie’s Hidden Hint: “Go for a Vespa tour or bicycle ride through the countryside and rice fields. It is so beautiful and you get a great insight into local life around Hoi An.”
Nomad Yoga stands out amongst the many yoga practice options in Hoi An. Its comprehensive class schedule and teacher training courses, as well as the fact that Nomad’s teachers come directly from a traditional Indian school, make it stand apart from the rest. Hidden was impressed to learn about Natalie’s behind the scenes social engagements, and she is not yet finished. The ideas are still coming, so stay tuned for what she comes up with next!