Earlier this year, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld refurbished and renovated its fitness centre Lifestyles on 26. High above Bangkok’s downtown core (as the name suggests, it’s on the 26th floor), it makes a convenient venue for sports enthusiasts to squeeze in a workout anytime during the day or night. Finding the way can prove a little tricky—take the lift of the Convention Centre to the 23rd floor, before changing to the hotel lift for another three floors—but once you reach the top you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the city skyline, making your workout all the more special.
Upon entering the modern reception area—a spacious room furnished with a handful of sofas—guests can already get a glimpse of the modern fitness room at the back. The compact gym boasts an extensive selection of state-of-the-art equipment, including treadmills, cross trainers and various weightlifting machines, all lined up along the floor-to-ceiling windows. On the far left, a door leads to a beautiful outdoor area comprising a swimming pool, bar, sofas and Jacuzzi, as well as some outdoor gymnastic apparatus and a wooden platform for morning Tai Chi classes. In addition, the fitness centre provides a Fitzone for circle training and HIIT (High-intensity interval training) as well as a studio for a number of different classes including Pilates, Zumba, TRX, Yoga Fly and Thai boxing.
After several years of more or less regularly practicing yoga, I decided to give Yoga Fly a try and opted for one of their evening classes. Also known as ‘Aerial Yoga’, it’s basically a combination of dance moves and traditional yoga poses performed with and on a yoga hammock.
Unfortunately for me, the class was held in Thai only, but luckily one of the other students could translate for me. After some initial warm-ups, we pulled ourselves off the floor and into the hammock. By wrapping our arms and legs around the fabric, swinging back and forth, standing or squatting in the hammock and even hanging upside down, we tried to bend our bodies into different yoga-inspired poses. The work-out requires a lot of strength in the arms, shoulders and hands, as well as good balance and concentration—as you need to hold on tightly for the entire time in order not to fall off!
It is definitely a fun experience moulding into different postures while hanging a metre or so above the ground, and best suited for those who enjoy a flexible work-out without the traditional philosophy and thinking behind other types of yoga. The Yoga Fly class on its own is B400/60min, but the fitness centre offers many different membership packages and promotions to combine classes with access to the gym. by Julia Offenberger
Lifestyles on 26
26F, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, 999 Rama I Rd.
Tel: 02 100 6299
Open daily: 6am-12am