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Yoga Photography on Koh Samui

Date of publication: 13 Jan 2019 | Updated: 21 Jul 2023

Koh Samui is a great destination for yoga fans. Despite the fact I personally can barely touch my toes i do work with local yoga retreats and their visitors a lot and this is my huge pleasure.

Yoga studios on Koh Samui welcome vacationers allowing them to carry on with their yoga routines from back home or to get involved for the first-time. There are also countless detox and wellness retreats on the island, offering yoga classes as part of their service packages.

Yoga locations on Samui

Regardless of how advanced as a yogi you are – finding yoga place and people on Koh Samui is not a problem. It's a big thing here (involving yoga mafia) and actually great plan B to keep yourself occupied in shade when the sun’s a little too strong or suddenly disappeares and heavy tropic downpour breaks through.

Relative article: Top 10 Locations for Photoshoots on Samui

For serious sessions of Samui yoga consider booking into a yoga retreat. But if you rather do your own thing, there are still plenty of places to unroll your matt, from your own bungalow to the rock next to waterfall! Famous Samui beaches remain deserted up to 8.30, and are probably the best place both for practicing yoga and shooting.

Yoga shooting. Rule 1

The most stunning yoga photography is not worth of several month of post-injury recovery, so rule number one is, perform only proven poses while shooting. In case when it is required to perform something you have been never doing before, train the pose for a while, preferably in front of the instructor, to make sure, your form is safe and correct.

Yoga shooting. Rule 2

The rule number two is, don't be in hurry, enter each asana slowly, so yoga photographer can capture the moment, when it looks the most naturally. You will look the best, if you not act in front of the camera, but work with your heart.

Relative article: Tips for a Successful Yoga Photoshoot

Yoga photography in Samui

Yoga Photography on Koh Samui. photographer Dimas Frolov photo 1545
Photo by Samui Photographer - Dimas Frolov

While there is a countless number of yoga centers and studios in Samui, you might want your photo shoot to take place outdoor. What places are the most suitable for this purpose?

Locations for meditative poses

It mostly depends on asanas you're going to perform. Some poses look more harmonious in meditative environment, like forest or a deserted beach. Those might be sukkhasana, padmasana or badhonnasana etc.

Locations for power assans

If power asanas (chaturanga dandasana, backasana, ashtavacrasana ) are your focus, i'd suggest to get your shooting done in rocks or at the site with traditional Samui architecture, such as a temple or museum.

Group Yoga Pictures

Beach is also a stunning location for yoga group pictures. Yoga beach pictures come out the best in mild sunlight at the sunrise or during sunset.

Getting ready for yoga photo session

Yoga Photography on Koh Samui. photographer Dimas Frolov photo 1546
Photo by Samui Photographer - Dimas Frolov

While for practice any clothing is good as long as it is comfortable, I'd suggest some recommendation in this regards, when it comes to yoga photoshoot.

  • Don't wear loose pants a la Alladdine if you are going to perform asanas with the emphasis on clarity of lines and shapes. Such poses as utkhita tripanasana, virabhadrasana, parshvatonasana might look better when performed in tight-fitting leggins.
  • In one-piece yoga-jumpsuit, virtually any yoga pose looks stunning.
  • I suggest you to experiment with the clothes, that are not designed for yoga. For example, relaxed poses like gomukasana, sukhasana, rajakapotasana can be performed in light summer dress.
  • Unlike with the studio photo shooting, it is preferable to wear light clothes from natural fabrics outdoors. Not too bright, but just enough to stand out from the background. But in studio or gym, you should try harder in order not to merge with the floor.
  • Prior to photo shooting, warm up well. In front of the camera, perform for 90% of your capacity, so you will look natural and relaxed.

What asanas are the best for a yoga photo shooting?

Interestingly, the most spectacular yoga poses are the dangerous and challenging postures. Among those are the variations in backbends like wheel, bridge or the forward bends like the full split and the like. Postures with a full ring grip like Natarajasana or King dancers pose, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or kind pigeon pose also look impressively graceful.

Arm balances & inversions also have taken a leap, especially poses like Pincha Mayurasana or scorpion pose. Simpler variation include Vasisthasana or side plank or even a yummy wild thing which is a combination of a backbend & an arm balance.

Let's be honest ! While the art of yoga does not imply to attract the physical aesthetics only, nor does it aim towards complexity of poses, it is human nature to dream about these beautiful yet challenging postures – at least with an intention to spread the benefits of yoga worldwide and encourage beginners to give it a shot !

One of the best things about yoga photography is that it can help track progress and when you look at your photo two years back and see the progress you have made, it is pretty damn rewarding :)

So, l hope this article was helpful and namaste! See u in Samui!

photo: Dimas Frolov
About the Author

Portrait photographer based on Samui, Thailand.
Originally from Ukraine, he has over 15 years of photography experience taking pictures around Europe and Asia. Multi-Award winner and author of many articles about photography.
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