As someone who never used to like yoga — I had only experienced long (read: boring), slow and self-consciously zen classes — I believe that the best way to start out is to go to the most straightforward and physically dynamic classes before dipping your toe into something more spiritual.
Yoga is great for relieving stress, strengthening your core and improving flexibility — all of which will help you reach new levels in all your other workouts. In a city like Hong Kong where everything and everyone is put at a higher priority, yoga practice will help you reassess your goals, where you want to be and most importantly, teach you how to put your mind and body first.
After trying almost every yoga studio in town, we’ve narrowed down our favourite yoga studios in Hong Kong for those who are just starting their journey:
The Yoga Room
What we love most about The Yoga Room is that they offer small classes so that their instructors can give more personalised instruction and offer various alternatives according to your level. Their studio features large windows so natural light can sweep in during class. We recommend starting with the Yoga for the Core class. Instead of holding poses, this class is more fast-paced and looks to energise the entire body with a series of movements that will improve your posture, increase the strength of your core and pelvis and leave you feeling ready to take on the rest of your day. This is a great one for yoga beginners who are looking for something more accessible — most of the teachers are extremely friendly and don’t take themselves too seriously.
Yoga Room offers a free-trial group class for first-timers (who hold a HKID).
Odinson is Hong Kong’s newest boutique fitness studio in Sheung Wan that looks to blend yoga with personal training. Colourful murals and an open and minimalistic-designed space sets the vibe at Odinson with small group classes such as ACROVINYASA, Fly (hammock) Yoga, Core Strength Vinyasa Flow, Yoga for Beginners, Yin and Happy Hips and Hamstrings. The changing rooms are chic and stylish and well-stocked with essentials such as make-up remover, dry shampoo, deodorant and more.
For those who are looking for more of a stretch to begin with, we highly recommend the Happy Hips and Hamstrings class (HK$300) as a complement to spinning or running. Alternatively opt for the Yoga for Beginners (HK$300) class for a grasp of the basics or the Core Strength Vinyasa Flow (HK$300) for something more physically and mentally challenging.
Drop-in yoga classes are HK$300 each and packages, including 10 sessions for HK$2,750, are also available. Odinson also offers private yoga and fitness classes starting at HK$1,000 per session or HK$3,600 for four sessions a month.
Odinson, 11/F, The Pemberton, 22 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 3955 2206, odinson.asia
If you prefer bigger classes then look no further than Pure Yoga. Hong Kong’s biggest fitness chain offers yoga of all kinds and for all levels. Our favourite locations include Pure Yoga in Tsim Sha Tsui — which has the best view — and Admiralty. Once you’ve gone to a couple of yoga classes, we suggest trying Pure Yoga’s Detox Flow or Hot Vinyasa, both of which are more dynamic practices rather than spiritual.
First time at Pure Yoga? Schedule in a free trial online or contact them for prices.
Yoga Aloha is a hidden oasis located between Causeway Bay and Wanchai. Capped at 10 person per class, this is a great place for beginners to get the attention they need. They also offer great classes such as Yin Yang (composed of more passive and longer poses) and Candlelight Yin (an evening class that will put you right to sleep) to help you relax, relieve stress and regain balance. For something more strenuous, the Core & Arm Flow and Detox Flow (hot yoga) will help you work up a sweat in no time while strengthening your core.
There’s only one very small shower here so we recommend scheduling in a class later in the day so you can shower at home.
Drop-in classes are HK$250 each and packages are available in sets of five, 10 and 20 classes priced at HK$1,000, HK$2,000 and HK$3,600 respectively.
Yoga Aloha, 1/F, Fu Tak Building, 367 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, +852 2565 7088, yoga-aloha.com
You might know EPIC for their MMA programmes but they also have their own yoga studio. All the classes are designed to help with balance, strength and flexibility and to complement other exercises such as boxing and Muay Thai. Start off your morning with our very own Fitspiration trainer and Lululemon ambassador, Victor Chau’s Rise & Shine or Vinyasa for a challenging yet highly rewarding class.
Free trials are available for first-timers; drop-in classes are HK$280 each.