Header image courtesy of Be Earth (via Facebook)
It probably goes for most of us when we say that we indulge in guilty pleasures on impulse when stressed. Gobbling half a dozen doughnuts? No problemo. Yes, it helps us emotionally, and no, it is definitely not healthy, but given that we have been confined to the cramped spaces of our cribs for the better part of a year, we think the reaction is reasonable. That said, we have ventured into 2021 hoping that all will change for good (fingers crossed), and with social distancing measures lifting for gyms and fitness centres to open, it may be high time we give yoga a chance to take charge of our wellness and combat stress.
Aside from training one’s mind into calmness and clarity, yoga improves the overall human body’s systems, be it respiratory, circulatory, or immunity. It also provides relief to physical symptoms of strained mental health. We believe things benefitting our well-being should not break our bank, which is why we have gathered some of Hong Kong’s best affordable yoga studios with certified instructors for you to try out and start a new, healthy habit this year.
Go with the flow in this heated (literally) yoga studio. Flowga, a gorgeous rustic-meets-industrial fitness studio, offers 60-minute candle-lit sessions using state-of-the-art infra-red technology that keeps the studio at a scorching 35 to 40 degrees Celsius.
Hot yoga does come with its benefits; it aids your flexibility, as it makes it easier for muscles to stretch, and it increases your lung’s capacity for air over time. Do take note that the increased intensity and heat may not be a breeze for everyone, as it increases your chances of dehydration. If you are prone to exhaustion from heat or have underlying cardiovascular conditions, we suggest consulting a doctor beforehand.
For yoga sessions, the introductory offer ($500) provides one week of unlimited sessions, but you can also drop in for stand-alone sessions ($300). Flowga also offers different packages, such as one with unlimited classes ($2,000 per month).
Flowga, Unit F, 1/F, Winner Building, 37 D’Aguilar Street, Central | (+852) 9129 1366
Two words: aerial yoga. Learn to be more flexible whilst looking elegant at Samantha Yoga’s branches in Sheung Wan and North Point with their aerial yoga classes, where students are suspended off the ground in a silk hammock. Not only does it support pain relief, but this form of yoga also aids spinal decompression and spinal lengthening.
Other classes include back care, aroma stretch, and lunch express yoga for those with limited time. Given the instability of Covid-19, some may want to opt for minimal contact with others, especially during group lessons. Samantha Yoga has thoughtfully put together free (and paid) online yoga courses to leave no stones unturned. Samantha Yoga also has a sister studio in One Yoga, if you prefer to take classes in Central and Wan Chai. Choose from drop-in classes ($250) to unlimited monthly classes (starting from $1,600) from their various membership packages.
Santi (or shanti; शान्ति), comes from Sanskrit and means “peace,” and Santi Space celebrates woodsy elements met with greenery to bring you just that peaceful kind of sensation. This urban oasis is a wonderful studio for beginners to get their hands on some basic to intermediate training through asanas, breathing techniques, and also aerial yoga. Santi Space also offers prenatal and postpartum yoga (the importance of this is very much underrated).
Aside from yoga classes, there are workshops that demonstrate the techniques of practising mindfulness, balancing, and also the usage of crystals. Start with their introductory yoga offer ($150) and come back for repeated drop-ins ($250 per class) with a supplement of $50 for aerial, prenatal, or postpartum classes.
Santi Space, 5A, Lockhart Centre, 301–307 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 9602 8864
Another yoga studio with ample natural light and a comfortable space to practice your asanas in. At Lemon Drop Studio, the cheerful pop of bright yellow is both refreshing and matches with their studio logo! Choose from a variety of classes to partake in, including candle-light yoga, back care yoga, circuit training, and more. To give things a go, start off with your first trial class ($150) and come back for drop-in classes ($220) or membership packages with unlimited sessions ($1,600 per month).
Lemon Drop Studio, Room 2515, Hong Kong Plaza, 188 Connaught Road West, Sai Wan | (+852) 9812 5989
Ikigai is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being,” and this yoga studio aims to help you find your reasoning through its humble and authentic yoga experience. One thing that’s definitely unique to Ikigai is its striking interior. The studios have no mirrors, with the intention to remove one’s ego. The walls, painted in an ochre shade, representing the colours worn by monks, sages, sannyasin, and ancient masters.
Yoga classes at Ikigai include hatha yoga, vinyasa yoga, yin yoga, and ashtanga yoga amongst others. Ikigai also offers mindfulness meditation, breathwork, and sound healing therapy for the days where you need some extra spiritual boosting. The live DJ set blends perfectly with the intense and intermediate yoga sessions, and having your feet off the ground in aerial yoga never felt better. Enjoy two weeks of unlimited classes ($590), and membership packages following that which cost as little as $160 per class!
No doubt that Sheung Wan is home to all things artsy, but it seems that plenty of yoga studios can be found here, too! Kita Yoga spruces up its urban space with touches of greenery to ramp up your wellness experience. Offering holistic and authentic yoga training based on vinyasa, meditation, and breathwork (pranayama), its classes range from Kita Sculpt, which offers intensive training for those looking for a challenge, to Kita Mellow, which—as its name suggests—is all things mellow and slow-paced. Try an introductory class for $300, and if you like what you get at Kita Yoga, their membership option for unlimited classes comes in at $2,000 per month.
Kita Yoga, 1 U Lam Terrace, Sheung Wan | (+852) 9159 6190
This brightly lit studio infused with warm tones (and the lovely natural touch of plants) delivers a welcoming atmosphere for yogis of all levels. Be Earth focuses heavily on our breathing and how we can achieve inner peace through breathing exercises—easier said than done, which is why we appreciate the expert guidance. There are both heated and non-heated rooms for your soul yoga sesh and the packages include different modes of focus: beginner’s flow, restorative, hot yoga, and anti-gravity. A trial class costs $128 and a Yoga Newbie package of three classes costs $420 (in a course of up to 12 days).
Be Earth, 2/F, On Building, 162 Queen’s Road, Central | (+852) 2833 5323
This wellness studio spans two whole floors, with one floor entirely dedicated to reformer Pilates whilst the second offers mat Pilates and personal training. Yoga is seamlessly integrated into the personal training and Pilates sessions available here. Anhao Wellness offers both one-on-one training as well as small group classes that specialise in ashtanga, hatha, yin yang, and vinyasa practices. A trial session costs $250, and they even offer a package that allows you to access reformer Pilates, mat Pilates, and yoga!
Anhao Wellness, 4/F, Sunny Sky Center, 5 Ladder Street, Central | (+852) 6397 8284