Start your 2020 on the right foot – the recharged, relatively quiet foot right here in the 852. No need to hop on a flight for these eight escapes from busy Hong Kong.
Candlelight Yin Yoga
Enter a candlelight world where heat is used to nourish you back into balance with a deep and meditative escape. Infused in the longer, more passive holds, yin style yoga involves surrendering into poses for longer periods of time in order to let go of tensions stored in the body especially around the hips, pelvis and lower spine.
Expect a little bit of everything; this class combines breathing techniques, long holds and props like blocks, bolsters and blankets. The props support different body parts so that you can sink into each posture, stretch passively and let go of tension. As your heart rate slows, you’ll also quieten the mind.
Yoga Room, Xiu Ping Commercial Building, 104 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan; +852 2544 8398; short term class packs starting from HKD 2200 for 10 classes (valid for 3 months)
Tibetan Singing Bowl and Gong Sound Bath
Bathing in sounds from singing bowls and gongs tuned to specific frequencies can enhance your reflection process, making it ideal for those who struggle to switch off their minds.
A sequence of singing bowls are played, each one keyed to the energy centres (chakras) of the body, which helps facilitate a shift in the brainwave state from our normal waking consciousness to relaxed, and sometimes meditative and healing states. Be transported to a place of calm and restoring of the discordant parts of the body, mind and soul.
Enhale Meditation Studio, The Plaza, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central; +852 9385 8389; classes range from HKD 230 for group classes to HKD 1,500 for private sessions
Tea Ceremony Meditation
Take the path to a conscious meditative mind through cultural immersion during a Tea Ceremony or Cha Dao (as the Chinese refer to it) to reconnect with yourself. The lesson of the tea ceremony is as simple as it is deep: each moment is unique and will never happen again. After the meditation, you’ll feel rejuvenated with clarity as you slow down enough that you become one mind that is fully present and in the moment.
Binding the elements of water, fire, air, earth and Qi of Tea comes together, you will focus all their senses on every step from the sound of the water, the crackling of the fire as the leaves steep to heat as you lift your tea bowls and the warmth of the tea as it travels through your body. Tea is a medicine, and it brings people together. It makes it possible to sit down with a stranger, share a cup, and develop a connection without saying a word.
Fivelements Habitats, Tower One, 1 Matheson St, Times Square, Causeway Bay; +852 6803 5081; HKD 400
Numerous athletes and celebrities have jumped in on the float therapy trend and many have found pain relief, relaxation and creativity. What exactly is this type of sensory deprivation therapy, though? It’s a process in which you float on water in a bed-sized container, called a pod, that’s devoid of all light and sound.
We also discovered that mummies-to-be (esp. in their 2nd and 3rd trimester) can escape the added weight of pregnancy through the perfectly buoyant water giving her that well-deserved rest and deepening her connection with the baby in the womb. Research has shown that an hour of floating is equivalent to four to six hours of sleep, so you can essentially ‘earn’ those sleepless hours.
Supported by 500kg of Epsom salt, the water creates an anti-gravity environment that reduces the sensation of physical strain on your body, allowing you to de-stress, heal and energise in a deep meditative state.
Float on Hong Kong, 89 Caine Road, Basement, Mid-Levels; +852 2548 2844; floats range from HKD 650
Whether or not auras and chakras appeal to you, checking into a Kundalini yoga class will give you a discernible buzz that activates creativity, vitality and a sense of peace beyond yourself. Extra bonus? This type of yoga makes you radiant in a way that’s about more than looks (though it will help with that, too).
What makes Kundalini Yoga different than the type of yoga you do at the gym? Essentially, the repetitive breath-to-movement exercises allow for more oxygen to enter the body allowing it function at its prime. Although the physical and mental benefits are endless, the spiritually uplifting experience of this practice is undeniable.
Red Doors Studio, Lee Fund Centre, 31 Wong Chuk Hang Road; +852 2110 0152; HKD 350
Conducted in a call-and-response style, Sanskrit mantras help to let go of past interpretations, beliefs and emotions that are no longer serving us. The instructor will sing a sentence, the group responds and that builds on to a song. One might ask, “What’s so special about repeating a word, anyway? Why is it considered a powerful tool for meditation?”
Every musician or filmmaker will tell you of the power that sound has to evoke moods, thoughts and emotions. If listening to a song can change your mood and even help heal your body, imagine the power of programming a specific sound into your mind, by repeating it hundreds of times with care and attention!
Kita Yoga, U Lam Terrace, Sheung Wan; +852 5323 1978; HKD 150
Sit and soar on a soft, fabric hammock that is made out of special, high-density nylon material. Aerial yoga helps to drain away fatigue, improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension. As you build your confidence, you can even get into some backbends and inversions. Extending your rangevity while stretching is key to a longer and healthier life, trust us!
Flex Studio, Man Cheung Building, Wyndham St, Central; +852 3468 3132; Aerial Yoga classes range from HKD 440 for group classes to HKD 1,050 for private sessions
While many of us hike or hit the beach over the weekend, we’re often so eager to get to our destination and relax that we don’t truly connect with the nature that’s around us. We promise that this 3-day retreat is the wellness getaway you’ve been searching for to evoke that deeper sense of awareness and appreciation of Hong Kong’s wilderness.
Kickstart your day with morning lay-ins of meditation, mid-day journaling of self-reflection and, of course, most importantly, guided nature walks. “It’s about sensory exercises,” shares Alice Yuen, founder of Alive Wellness. “We try to hold people’s attention in the present moment, to give their bodies and minds a chance to slow down. We move very slowly, touching the trees, looking at colours and patterns and breathing deeply. We end up lying down under trees and looking up through the branches.”
Alive Wellness, Yu Yuet Lai Building, 43-45 Wyndham Street, Central; +852 2541 8600; 3-day retreats (inclusive of accommodation) range between HKD 4,200 to 4,800