For many people, pilates and yoga offer not only a great way to get fit, but some stress relief and relaxation too. For the uninitiated, pilates focusses on core strength, whereas yoga emphasises flexibility. Both practices are popular in Hong Kong. Here are three studios offering classes.
Established in 1998 by Dawnna Wayburne, Iso Fit offers a range of pilates and Gyrotonic classes in its Central studio. Dawnna says there are formats to suit all levels of experience, personal training goals, budgets and scheduling requirements. Iso Fit also has a rehabilitation unit, Physio Fit, which offers a unique partnership of physiotherapy with pilates. According to Dawnna, trained physiotherapists use pilates exercise applications with a full range of equipment to help people achieve optimal movement capability after injury or illness.
She adds: “Pilates dramatically and rapidly improves strength, flexibility, posture. Joseph Pilates put it best when he said, ‘Change happens through movement, and movement heals’. Pilates will increase your efficiency of movement, thereby ensuring your body works for you instead of against you. The end result is increased performance and quality of life.”
The Gecko Yoga Academy is a space dedicated to being a home of learning for a community of yoga teachers, healthcare and wellbeing providers, and yoga enthusiasts. Founder Jenny Smith says this dedicated yoga studio in Sheung Wan hosts regular classes, gatherings and talks, as well as Gecko Yoga teacher trainings. Weekly classes include baby yoga, prenatal yoga, restorative yoga, children’s yoga classes and yoga for beginners.
Jenny says: “We focus on yoga classes and courses over the entire life spectrum and have a passion for teaching children’s yoga. The countless health benefits of yoga are only now being recognised, and we believe these should be enjoyed by everybody, regardless of age or ability.”
Karen Leung, head of pilates at Mindful Pilates, says the studio dedicated to providing the safest and best quality pilates programs for everyone. It has a family-style environment covering a wide variety of needs, including prenatal and postnatal, athletes, the elderly, post-illness rehab, and injury recovery. “We believe that relaxation and precise mindful movements are the foundational keys to personal growth, inner balance and healing,” says Karen. Mindful Pilates is the exclusive representative of Body Control Pilates (BCP) Education in Hong Kong, and all its pilates exercises are backed by the international benchmark of the BCP Association.
Karen says: “Pilates is not just about strengthening the core. Focusing on quality over quantity is our teaching motto. With our undivided attention and detailed correction or tips given to every student, it’s easy to learn and master correct movement patterns. By moving correctly, every attendee can gradually regain core strength, and improve joint mobility and the ability to stretch dynamically.”
See more in our Health & Fitness section:
This article first appeared in the October/November 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.