Initially I had thought yoga was not something I’d be interested in – I’m a big fan of being outdoors and hiking in and across Hong Kong. However, with me falling pregnant in summer 2014, I had to scale back on my hikes. I kept going on some easy hikes until I was five months pregnant, but it became harder and harder (and I became slower and slower).
So I had to find some alternative exercise – and given that I was a Pure gym member (who frequented the gym only once or twice a month) I realised that I could visit Pure Yoga. I joined the Soundwell yoga centre close to Times Square and my work place, and initially I only joined the pre-natal classes (while I was still hiking). The yoga studio offered 4-5 classes a week, and with some running in the evening, these were ideal to join after work. Funnily enough, I soon found the pre-natal classes boring, and while I kept going to them, I added Hot HR, Hot Hatha, Hatha, Restorative Yoga and Yoga Therapy classes to my weekly schedule. It was fun to mix it up – and the teachers were great, they all made sure I knew what alterations I had to make to some twists and tummy exercises. I actually went almost every day for the next months… and I even made my parents join, while they were visiting Hong Kong! As long as you sign up as soon as you can (2 days before each class), you can usually get a mat… but be mindful, some classes are very popular and can be busy!
Unfortunately I had to stop going to Pure yoga for now, as I don’t have anyone to look after Lina – and there are no classes for mums & babies. So that means my membership is on hold – and I looked for other options. I found The Yoga Room in Sheung Wan, which offers mum & baby classes (with post-natal exercises) twice a week (there are also pre-natal classes, but I have not tried these). While it is still early and Lina is still tiny, the classes are more about me making sure Lina is comfortable and does not cry, it is still good to go out, together with Lina, and meet other mums. I decided to go for a 10 classes package in the beginning and then see how it goes. The Yoga Room offers the mum & baby class until an age when the baby crawls, so that’s usually around six months. After that I’ll need to see what other options there might be – for example I could join kiddynastix.com or Little Yogis once Lina turns five or six months (any comments or other recommendations – let me know!).
Finally, I found some online classes on Yoogaia – I can just log on and join yoga, pilates, core and kettle bell classes from home, via my laptop. There are live classes (you can see the trainer via web cam and you can choose whether or not to show yourself via webcam to the instructor – but don’t worry, participants are not visible to each other) and you can also watch recordings (only of the instructor). So far, I only watched recordings (that’s easier with a little baby at home) and tried hatha, stretching and post-natal classes (they also have pre-natal classes) – which I enjoyed. It is easy to follow, there are different levels and I can just pause a class or switch a class if I don’t enjoy it.
I’m on the 7 day free trial and after that I’ll probably switch to the 4 months membership for 670 HKD. If you want to try Yoogaia, you can use my referral code here and if you sign up for a one month free trial before February 15, you can get a month free for a friend (a special Valentine’s offer).
What other post-natal yoga or mum & baby yoga classes do you know or can you recommend?
[All images are from the respective yoga studio’s website]