I was a bit nervous going yesterday to the Ashtanga yoga class because I wasn’t sure how I’d manage to do an hour and a half of it. Plus, I haven’t been practicing much as I’d like to lately and there are still lots of poses I haven’t attempted yet. But, I promised myself I’d give this a try, and as a treat (because it is sooo darn expensive at 260 HKD!!!) I got myself a class this month.
Walking into the hotel I already felt like a swanky person. Just something about walking beyond the concierge at a five star luxury hotel just oozes awesomeness. Plus, five star hotels do this lovely thing where they pump a wonderful scent (Shangri-la does this, we luckily recieved a room scent hamper by a manager here and I feel like I’m in heaven every time we spray it on our sheets) and I was just in love. I’m probably a bit silly this way, but I don’t care.
The yoga studio is on the fifth floor, which is part of the spa. Now, if anyone has ever walked into a spa part of a five star hotel (yes, I keep mentioning this, but this was all I thought about, really!) you would know how awesome and calm it is. The staff were very friendly, and after I signed up an attendant kindly walked me through the change rooms and all that junk. Let just say that the showers are just fantastic! People who live in Asian countries can understand that when most of time you have water simply dribbling out of the shower head, it’s nice to have a nice shower with good water pressure. Oh and the towels! The towels!
Alright, I digress, but I just loooovvvvvvveeeee (did I mention love?) fancy towels and all things awesome from nice hotels. Let’s go on to the actual yoga studio and class.
The yoga studio is not large at all.I’d say max it’d hold about 15 people, which is fine by me. If I’m paying a lot of money for a class, I’d certainly want a more intimate setting. The day I went there were about 6 people, so the teacher had plenty of time for adjusting and all that junk. Mats and towels are all set up for you, but I brought my own non slip yoga towel because I know I get sweaty palms. They also provide water, tea and fruit for you before and after your practice.
I forgot how much I enjoyed a yoga class. I know when I practice by myself I still struggle with keeping my mind focused and remembering the routine. I felt comfortable with the led Ashtanga yoga class because I was able to concentrate on going into asanas and remember what was next. The teacher (Siu Shan) was very nice, and asked questions and pushed me just enough to get me deeper into postures. There were some that I never knew I could do! I did certain poses and she asked me to do the full asana, and I felt elated when I was able to go in and out of them smoothly. I also felt like I fed off the energy off the other students, and realizing I was able to do more than half the primary series makes me feel a sense of accomplishment.
I few things I learned from attending this class.
-A DVD can NEVER replace the guidance of a teacher, especially when trying new poses. I still enjoy Swenson’s DVD as a guide. I think next time I go I will ask the teacher to help me into a full headstand.
-Attending a yoga class really motivates me. I know I have to trek all the way to HK Central for this, but it’s worth it.
-I can do more than what I give myself credit for sometimes. I think this also translates into all parts of my life.
-I LOVE the ‘high’ I get after yoga class.
-There is nothing wrong with being sore the next day. It’s a sign I’ve worked my body good and hard.
-Be ready with LOTS of water to drink afterwards.
-I sweat a lot (haha!).
The verdict. I will DEFINITELY go again. Aside from the fact that this is one of the only places with Ashtanga yoga classes (and the only one with certified teachers in Hong Kong), it is a nice setup, the staff are friendly, the ammenities are wonderful, and the teacher was nice. Such a relaxing vibe, and I can’t help but giggle every time I walk out the door and there is a fancy doorman opening the door and greeting me. I’m weird I know.
You don’t need to register, just drop in about 15 minutes (or earlier, I went at about 30min before) and sign up. You pay when you leave. For more information, check out their website.