This past Saturday I went to the Yoga Yard in the Sanlitun District for my first yoga class here. I researched yoga in Beijing before we left the US, and a friendly teacher from the Kripalu Center recommended this yoga studio. After looking at their website, I realized that this would be a pretty awesome place in Beijing! Many teachers from the US come over here to teach at this studio and there are often weekend workshops. Donna Farhi is coming in November!
I showed up for the 9 am class, which is normally taught by one of the co-owners, Robyn Wexler. There was a sub named Sue on this particular day (many people vacation during the month of July). I was the first person there, so I got to look around a bit at the locker/shower room and the yoga mat storage room. In the lobby they have Be Present yoga pants and other clothing and books for sale. The sink basins are beautiful porcelain bowls with traditional Chinese painting on them. In the studio, there were three oscillating fans on the ceiling. I chose a spot directly in the air flow. (there was NO a/c) Sue showed up at 9am, and the level 2 class began with a rather vigorous hip opener that would have sent my yoga teacher at home to the roof. (hmmm…not sure about this, but I approach every yoga class with an open mind.) We transitioned into a moderate hatha flow and I was really glad for those oscillating fans. There was some unintentional “hot” yoga going on. THIS is yoga in Asia! Oh, did I mention that Sue spoke in both Mandarin and English? I actually liked this, because it gave me a chance to tune her out and focus on the poses and breath. There were about 16 students in the room, which was full. The teacher walked in the middle of the mats and simply found a bare space on the floor to demonstrate. I really liked the balance poses that we did and the hip and side openers against the wall at the end. It was an excellent heat generating class for summertime and I will definitely go back.