There tends to be a common misconception that yoga is the ‘easy’ way out since it sounds like a form of fitness that doesn’t demand much energy or make you sweat as much as a HIIT workout might. However, this ancient Indian practice not only leaves your heart pounding, but is also a great way to destress (ideal for Hong Kong parents). There are plenty of styles of yoga to choose from depending on your needs and body-type, so if you’ve finally decided to get into this healthy habit but have no idea which one to start with, we’ve got you covered. Find out which style is right for you…
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This first style refers to any type of yoga that teaches various postures and breathing exercises (basically every style of yoga…) and almost any yoga studio that you find in Hong Kong provides Hatha classes. Its a slow-paced and straight-forward form that’ll give you the perfect intro to yoga basics. Not always as challenging, but will no doubt leave you feeling looser and relaxed. Plus, it’s great prep work to make sure you’re doing the positions properly.
Best for: Newbies that ‘have no idea what they’re doing!’
Best studio: Prajna Yoga, Unit 3, 10/F Yuen Shing Industrial Building, 1033 Yee Kuk West Street, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2371 2515, www.prajna-yoga.com
Love cardio, and looking to fit yoga into your daily workout? Find your flow in Vinyasa, a dynamic practice that links movement and breathing exercises in a fun, dance-like way. The short poses and fast-paced sequences will get you feeling pumped and breaking into a sweat in no time. Test your limits and dance to the beat of your own heart with this intensive style.
Best for: Intense exercisers, runners and dancers!
Best studio: Pure Yoga, locations all across Hong Kong, www.pure-yoga.com
Ashtanga is similar to Vinyasa in the sense that it involves various breathing techniques and movement between different poses, but this one involves carefully transitioning through a series of six specific sequences that get your insides feeling hot. The challenge is to be able to perform the same sequence in the exact same order every time. It is quite physically demanding, so don’t forget to bring a towel!
Best for: Avid routine-followers that won’t budge from the given guidelines but love a challenge.
Best studio: Yoga Mala, 11/F Man Cheung Building, 15-17 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong, 2116 0894, www.yogamala.com.hk
Put that perfectionist cap on and learn how to master the technique of body alignment in each pose with Iyengar. Precision and accuracy is key in this style of yoga as you work with postures that you have to hold for a period of time before moving on to the next motion. Each student is given props such as yoga blocks, blankets, straps and ropes to find their proper alignment. If you’re one that loves constant movement, you’ll be amazed to see how physically and mentally challenging it is to stay still.
Best for: Those with injuries or those that want to learn more about the human body.
Best studio: Iyengar Yoga Central, 2C Welley Building, 97 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2982 4308, www.yogacentral.com.hk
Prepare to sweat buckets like never before in this 40 degrees (celsius) heated yoga room as you master your way through a series of 26 different poses and two breathing exercises. Also commonly referred to as ‘hot’ yoga, Bikram follows a vigorous 90-minute sequence. Not only will you feel satisfyingly sore the next morning, but it will also flush out toxins and clear your mind. If you plan on taking up this challenge, make sure to stay super hydrated!
Best for: Boot camp fanatics
Best studio: The Yoga Room, Xiu Ping Commercial Building, 104 Jervois St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2544 8398
Unlike your typical yoga class, Kundalini insists on ‘kriyas’, repetitive physical exercises paired with intense breath work. It aims to bring out your inner yogi through chants and meditations that strengthen the mind and body connection. It’s a highly relaxing method that breaks your internal barriers down and puts you in a magical mood.
Best for: Those that want to explore the true realm of spirituality
Best studio: Anahata Yoga, 18/F, One Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, 2905 1822, www.anahatayoga.com.hk
Had a long day juggling work and the kids, and ready to decompress? Restorative yoga is all about focusing on gentle stretches and breathing methods that relieve your muscles of any tension and help you to achieve a balance. This means you’d be staying in certain poses for longer periods of time to experience deeper relaxation. Take a step back from this city’s hustle and revitalise…
Best for: Those that dislike heavy workouts (or need to recover from one), want to get a light exercise in and/or experience anxiety.
Best studio: Inspire Yoga, 1803, Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 9167 3376, www.inspire-yoga.com