This section of my website used to be dedicated to triathlon training, personal race results and certification reviews, like Turbo Kick. I am expanding it to include more generic health & fitness topics. Also, I talk a lot about "D" -- he's my husband (Dave Liu)!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pure Yoga

It's been a while since I've done yoga, so I wanted to start up again, and who better to partner up with than Wendy. She's a member of Pure Yoga, a chain yoga studio s which I've seen advertised extensively in Hong Kong, and I've wanted to try it for a long time. Fortunately, Pure Yoga had a five-year anniversary promotion while I was in Hong Kong where members could give their friends a free seven-day pass.

I went to The Centrium location, and did "Hatha I" with Tanu. Tanu is lean, fit, and energetic. Wendy says she has three children: I couldn't believe it. I expected Hatha I to be relatively mellow, but Tanu turned up the energy level several notches above what I had anticipated. Before the class started, she said something that stuck in my mind, something in the lines of, "For the next hour, focus on yourself and this practice. There is no future, there is no past." It was helpful for me because my mind tends to wander, and it helped me focus on what I was doing. Tanu also said she was excited (!) and you could tell that she wanted to be there, and genuinely enjoyed teaching.

The class started with some heavy duty breathing exercises. Throughout the class, Tanu would also tell us when to inhale and exhale. Her voice was energizing and it helped me concentrate. We did some sun salutations and some standing poses, but I don't remember much more. Despite how that sounds, I mean that as a compliment because time just flew by. In most yoga clases, I tend to lose interest after about 40 minutes, but this class went by extremely quickly. I was so engrossed it we were halfway through when I realized there was no background music. Before I knew it, we had reached the end for savasana (corpse pose). It was 60 minutes long but it felt like a 30-45 minute class. The moves were simple and weren't fancy, but obviously effective since to my surprise, I worked up a healthy sweat - that has never happened to me before during yoga. What a great workout!

I was so inspired that I went again the next day to the 10 a.m. Sunday Hatha I class taught by Jo. I was hoping that it would be similar to Tanu's class, but at the back of my mind, I suspected it was wishful thinking - and it was. Jo's class was very different. It was a lot slower to the point of being a little boring. I was accustomed to a lot of the poses which included Tree Pose, Warrior II, Triangle Pose, etc. The good news is, I used ujayi breathing throughout the class. The bad news is, I kept on wondering how much longer the class would be, and after fifty-five minutes, I even snuck a peek at my watch to make sure we hadn't already been there for 1.5 hours.

As an epilogue, part of the catch of getting a free pass is that I got a heavy duty pitch from a salesperson who tried to pitch me. Being the direct person I am, I cut him off when he tried to give me an intro to Pure Yoga and I asked him point blank what type of package he could offer somebody like me who rarely goes to Hong Kong (since you need to be a member in order to attend classes). I would have gladly signed up for one, but the best he could come up with was a package of 10 classes for ~HK$1,888 which you have to use within three months. No dice. I guess I'll have to suck it up and pay HK$250 per drop in class.

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