My Yoga Studio

I began a regular yoga practice about a year and a half ago with a life-changing yoga retreat in the Philippines. This was a part of my healing process after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress after leaving Ecuador. Yoga remains a therapeutic part of my routine. After developing a home practice as part of the Yoga With Adriene online community, I decided to branch out and join a yoga studio in Hong Kong.

Mostly for logistical reasons, I chose Pure Yoga. There is a branch 15 minutes from my house that I can walk to, they gave me a corporate discount, and the space actually has 5 studios, so that there are constantly classes running that work with my schedule. What became a practical decision far exceeded my expectations, and I now go to my yoga studio 3 or 4 times a week. It’s a big part of my life here in Hong Kong.

Some downsides? Yes, it seems expensive, but at $100 USD a month for unlimited classes, I definitely get my money’s worth. Classes are jam-packed, and yoga mats are placed about 8 inches apart. I’ve gotten totally used to this, although it did use to bother me when I first started at Pure. My biggest complaint, however, is the online sign up system. You can register for any class starting at 9 AM two days before the class, but if you forgot to log on the app and register, the classes normally fill up within the first hour. What’s with that?! To be fair, most of the time I am wait-listed, I eventually get into the class, but it makes me think that Pure either needs to offer more classes or limit membership.

I find that yoga provides a moving meditation. I focus all of my thoughts on one concept or mantra each practice, and use the sequences to settle this idea in my bones. At the beginning of class, when I scan my body, I listen carefully and try to intuit what it is I need. Some of my regular mantras include:

Energy- When I go into yoga feeling completely exhausted, I try to tap into my inner energy source in each pose and feel alive. By the end of class, I am invigorated and have a new spring in my step.
Integrity- Sometimes I need to feel like I am coming from a place of honesty and strength. With each yoga pose, I build from a place of integrity and rise up out of my bones, knowing that when I get back to the real world, I won't be cutting any corners.
Connection- If I ever feel isolated or socially anxious, I try to move in sync with the other yogis in my class. I notice how our bodies move through the sequences together, and then when I meet up with friends later, I feel like I am a much more agreeable person to be around!

I want this over my bed!

Pure Yoga Soundwill Plaza is my branch, and I LOVE some of the teachers there. Dana is my absolute favorite, if I could just attend all of her classes all day everyday I would, but alas, real life beckons. Dana is infectiously enthusiastic and clear in the way she describes poses. We get to use fun props and she guides us through sequences that build up to more difficult poses, like forearm stands and wheel. Nitai's classes are thoughtful and more deliberate, while Marcus motivates us through an hour of fast-paced yoga fun every time. Maurice's classes are probably the most physically demanding if you want a real workout, and Eswar is always very straight-forward but clear in his directions. There are a few other great teachers but these are the ones I go to regularly.

Pure Yoga has many branches all over Hong Kong, and if you live here, I would highly recommend doing a free week long trial at any one of them! However, drop in classes for non-members are $350 HKD per person, which is absurd in my opinion. For more affordable and adventurous yoga, check out the free Sunday Sunset yoga in the park series! In a city that is moving so rapidly at all times, yoga is my favorite way to slow down and self-reflect.

The last Sunset Yoga in the park was a blast


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