Canadian Yoga Instructor Andreita Levin Draws Ire In Thailand For Posing At Sacred Sites

She says she got permission to photograph and pose at the sites.
Yoga instructor Andreita Levin posing at Sukhothai Historical Park.
Yoga instructor Andreita Levin posing at Sukhothai Historical Park.

Another day, another tourist behaving badly.

A Mexican-born yoga teacher from Canada is being lambasted for photos posted to Instagram that show her executing yoga poses in sacred sites in Thailand.

Andreita Levin’s Instagram pictures show that she visited Sukhothai Historical Park, Doi Suthep and Chiang Mai.

According to Thai Visa News, She also posed on the Emerald Buddha Temple on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok in a photo that has since been removed from her account.

This now deleted photo shows Levin posing on the sacred Emerald Buddha. 
This now deleted photo shows Levin posing on the sacred Emerald Buddha. 

Levin had previously shared pictures of her performing various yoga poses at a number of other sites, including Prasat Pra Thepbidorn and Rong Sue Ten temple, reported The Thaiger. These photos have also been removed from her account.

Officers from Chiang Rai’s tourist police department spoke to Levin after they received complaints from people who said the photos were inappropriate, Thai Visa News said.

She promised officials that she won’t take any more photos of her in yoga poses at sacred sites in the country, according The Thaiger.

Levin told HuffPost Canada via email that when she visited these sacred spots, she would always ask for permission to shoot her poses and said she often recruited the assistance of onsite staff to help her with her photos.

“While in Thailand, a tour company contacted me asking me to collaborate on photos of sites ― they would show me around the city in exchange for a few pictures on my feed in different main temples,” Levin said from Thailand.

“At the entrance of each temple, I would ask for permission to do my pictures, they will always tell me that as long as I am covering my knees and my shoulders, and respecting the ‘praying areas’ I could go ahead with my pictures. They were actually very nice and helpful.”

Levin said she was surprised to receive a message via Instagram from another tourism company saying her photos were inappropriate and to remove them.

A few days later, the tourist police contacted her, saying they had received a complaint about two of her photos and asked her to delete them, which she did.

“I respect their country and culture, and I would never do anything against that,” said Levin.

Her Instagram profile photo shows her posing with Toronto’s iconic CN Tower in the background. From her social media accounts, in which she describes herself as a professional dance artist and hot pilates instructor, she appears to have been travelling the world for the past few months.

She told HuffPost Canada that she will continue travelling through Asia for a few months before she returns home to Canada in the fall.

This post has been updated with comment from Andreita Levin.