Yoga Hat Trick

By Stephen Ewashkiw | January 3, 2014

8,008 km so far.

When I teach more then once in a day, the whole day becomes about yoga. There are usually a few hours between classes, which means with eating and travel time, there isn’t much left of the day.

Usually, I would spend some time between classes practicing at whatever studio I’m teaching in. Today though, my classes are at two lululemon showrooms, so I can’t just stick around and do my practice while their customers shop around me. So this morning, before my classes, Jane and I visited Pure Yoga at The Centrium for a morning class.

Pure Potency

Pure yoga is a high-end popular yoga chain in Asia. The company also has separate fitness centres, some with a bar and restaurant attached. They also have their own clothing line. Talk about diversification.

Commerce in Causeway Bay.

Commerce in Causeway Bay.

We had been asked countless times in Shanghai if we’d been to their studios, so we thought it was finally time to check it out.

One nice perk of teaching yoga is you can sometimes get on the yoga guest list for a class. Pure have a drop-in fee of 350 HKD ($42), which puts LA prices in perspective, and makes the guest list a very welcome perk. We got up early to head over to Pure where we went to Rinat’s class.

One of the first things she said, as we came into Cobra pose was, “Cobra has bent arms.” I worked hard in Shanghai to teach that very thing. To hear it reflected back here made me feel immediately like we were in good hands.

Rinat had us on our toes – literally – for some great work on moving our thighs back. We did a whole section balanced on the balls of our feet, with our knees bent, thighs back. When your legs are working this hard, and the balance is so challenging, it is almost impossible not to be aware of what your body is doing.

Mine was working hard, sweating, and feeling great. Thanks so much Rinat, for giving us a chance to come and practice with you!

Have Yoga Mat, Will Travel

My first class today was a lunch time class at the lululemon CitiCorp Centre, on the east side of the island, where I saw my old friend Landon. He’s a 7-month-old from Vancouver and this is his second class with me. He came last night and I guess he had fun because he was back again today.

OK, his mom brought him.

I love having kids practicing, or just spending time in class with us. They lighten the mood, allow us to smile at the joy of life, and often get us laughing while trying to twist our bodies into interesting shapes.

Little girl looks out the window, Causeway Bay.

Little girl looks out the window, Causeway Bay.

We worked on effort: balanced effort, intentional effort, efficient use of effort. When Landon laughed, we all laughed. It made the effort less effortful.

My evening class was across the water in Kowloon at the Tsim Sha Tsui lululemon showroom. We twisted, turning inside to reflect on what our bodies are doing. I encourage the students to take control of how much they get out of yoga, by looking at how much the are putting in.

The Globetrotters

While I taught my lunch time class, Jane went to the Vietnamese consulate and picked up our visas. Now we have our passports back and can officially go to Vietnam! We hope to be there before the beginning of February, sooner if public transport is involved.

Tram in Causeway Bay.

Tram in Causeway Bay.

After class in Kowloon, we took the Star Ferry across the water back to Hong Kong island so we could enjoy the incredible nighttime views of the skyline. There were lights on buildings spelling out Happy New Year 2014, showing H&M models modelling, geometric patterns shifting, and ads for phones. The skyline is dramatic, with the capitalist light show, the buildings climbing ever higher, and the peaks of the hills on the edge of the island rising up behind into the darkness.

We met up with new friends at The Globe, a multi-tapped craft beer specialty pub in Central/Soho. Nathan, an American guy who we met at a bar in Beijing, shares my love of coffee and craft beer. So we stayed in touch, and he recommended we meet at The Globe. Alex is a friend of some of my LA students, and one of them put the two of us in touch. Alex brought a few friends along and we all hung out, swapped stories, drinking delicious Japanese, Belgian, and British beers.

People say the internet is causing humans to be less social, but without it, we never would have been able to be able to spend time with these expat locals, getting a feel for the daily life in Hong Kong.  

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