The Guest Room

A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog

myHK: I’m a Yoga Dude !



Yes, it’s true.  I’ve packed up my football boots for the yoga mat.

After the summer, I thought I’d give competitive football one more kick.  And I have to say, it was going pretty well until I tore my achilles tendon a couple of months in.  This frustrating injury put running and any other activities needing sudden bursts of speed, out of the  question.

Then, came a Groupon deal.  6 yoga classes for $180!  I didn’t turn down the iphone charger discount and the facial and massage package, so how could I turn down what must be one of the best ways to get a workout while hardly moving?

Going into my first lesson, I was quite terrified.

I had to have the perfect outfit.  I’m not a spandex guy, so I put on the baggiest shorts in my closet and a massive t-shirt.

I stepped into the class and wanted to get warm.  I was aware that yoga involved a lot of stretching, and of course you don’t want to stretch cold, so standing up I started waving my body around and doing some squats and bounces.  The rest of class however, were just sitting there still, laying down, relaxing it up.  “Fools!” I thought.

Being quite competitive, I thought this little warm up I was doing would be the difference for me.  Victory was near!

That was until we did our first pose.

I’ve seen people shake before, but my body was shaking so much the room was starting to blur.  I remember thinking to myself, “This was a huge mistake!”

Finally, the class ended and I was drenched.  “Thank Buddha!”  The rest of the class bounced out and I peeled myself off the mat.

And that amazing feeling, when the class ends, has carried me through to buying a year membership at a yoga centre.
Not the Groupon one of course!  Who on earth would continue at a Groupon centre…?

In the time, I’ve been doing it, I have improved tons and jokes aside, it has been really good for my posture, strength and as a stress release.

However, I have made a list of my top 3 yoga frustrations!

1. The Count
When doing these poses and stretches the intructors don’t seem to understand how long a real second is.  I time them sometimes and their 5 second count is actually more like 23 seconds.  I’m not sure what they’re trying to pull here and I’m not sure if I’m the only one who’s wise to their games, but someone needs to say something!
Also, sometimes the instructor will be counting, 5…4… 3….   and then pause helping someone with their stance for six or seven seconds, then the instructor goes right back to counting 3 again.  Some even have the nerve to say, “Don’t worry! I’m still counting…”  Pfft! Yah right!

2. Headstand People
When I walk into the room and see someone doing a headstand before class, I go as far away from that person as possible.  Some people like to chill in the back and some like to get right up front (nerds).  I personally like to seek out the person who looks the worst at yoga.  Usually a guy.  Hopefully old and overweight.  That’s the guy I want to be next to!

3. Beginners Stay Here
Good yoga masters like to give different stages of difficulty to their poses, because everyone is at a different level. If a pose is too easy for some, the coach gives these people the next step to further their development.  That’s great. I’m totally cool with that!
I just don’t appreciate every time the instructor says, “Beginners stay here,” the entire class turns and looks at me!

All kidding aside, I’m loving the yoga and I’ll definitely continue doing it as much as possible.  At my tender age, it really is tough to find a more benefitial exercise.  It does get easier, right?!

Let’s hear your yoga story!  Am I alone in having these 3 frustrations?  What are yours?  Let me know in the comments below!


photo byAmbro/

8 comments on “myHK: I’m a Yoga Dude !

  1. Christy
    April 10, 2014

    I have recently started hot yoga as well. I have been doing it for about 6 months now, and LOVE it!!
    I have come to realize that there are those few that take themselves WAY too seriously and let their “yoga ego” get the better of them!!
    Just keep trying to improve yourself, and not worry about what the guy on the Mat next to yours is doing!

    I do agree that the instructors have odd ways of counting though, it’s like slow motion it seems… 1….2……..3…….

    • theguestroom
      April 10, 2014

      Hi Christy,
      Yes, I should be putting a lot more focus on my breathing…
      I’d love to be able to close my eyes more during the poses, but that would likely result in me crushing the person next to me…
      Another good reason for me to be next to larger males!;)
      I did do some hot yoga classes. Intense but awesome! I’m only doing Hatha now though. Hopefully I’ll get back into hot soon.
      Thanks for reading and keep it up!

  2. @Caliishungry
    April 10, 2014

    Hey Mr J,

    Thank you for writing about your yoga experience. As you know, I have an unhealthy relationship with yoga; I don’t enjoy it but I am a resilient person who likes to overcome obstacles! Simply put, I like to “conquer” things, making them my bitches!

    I knew yoga wasn’t for me from the beginning, when I heard about it, I knew it is too inactive for me to enjoy (doesn’t matter how fast you move around in yoga classes, it’s not as fast as jogging!) I came across it when I joined my current gym over a year ago, I was exploring all the options at the gym before settling on the classes that I really like. The first time I entered a class, it was dead silence in the room with people meditating or getting ready in child pose. Like you, I was warming up myself because it’s just a stretching class after all! Boy, I was in for a real “treat”, not only did the instructor turned up the temperature to 30 degree C, it was also very dynamic, one breath, one movement. They called it a “Power Yoga” class. It was in the beginning of my fitness life, so I was weak at that point. I kept thinking to myself, ‘What sort of sorcery is this? 80% of the people from the class must be from freak shows.” Even some C9 (Cantonese for housewives who are usually out of shape) are able to do defy physics! I was exhausted after 30mins, from the shakes I got from holding either on my palm(s) or my legs for more than “5 breaths” (approx 20 seconds). One year on, I’m still attempting to make yoga my bitch, it gets a bit easier, but I’m still exhausted by the end of the classes and I still don’t enjoy it. I go to yoga class once a week, I usually regret it by the 10th minute. I think I am a masochist.

    I think my beef with yoga is about all those spiritual mumbo jumbo that some instructors try to force you to listen to when you’re confined to the studio. I don’t give a shit about my “spiritual” health as I’m quite healthy in general. Maybe I’m not zen enough. I crave high impact and high intensity workout; I feel more satisfied after a proper workout. I feel more empowered that way. By saying that I did not mean yoga is not a proper exercise, it is so hard, it is definitely a skill that takes years to master. It is not for pussies. I would rather go for an hour jog instead of yoga any day.

    I enjoy weight resistance training, I lift weight twice a week and I increase my limit every few months. I think it is helping me with yoga. Maybe you should try it out too ^_^

    • theguestroom
      April 10, 2014

      Hey Cali!
      Damn!! You’ve got some fire in you!!
      Yoga should be help you let go of this rage….;)

      I had a good laugh at your point about the instructors and their spiritual chats. Some are much better than others! I’ve had a couple that almost made me laugh.

      But overall, I’m a sap for that kind of spiritual chatter. Although it doesn’t make me relax. I would find more relaxation from just the music, bells or humming than the instructor telling me to,
      “leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet gooooooooooooooo….”

      I’m not too keen on the gym. If I’d more time I’d like to take Pilates.
      Have you tried that?

      Cheers and thanks for commenting!

  3. @Caliishungry
    April 11, 2014

    Hey Mr J,

    I do have fire in me I guess! Not sure if loving spicy food contributes to that! I don’t think yoga relaxes me lol, I think it’s something that adds oil to my fire! You see, you’re doing uncomfortable poses for an hour, your thighs and arms are burning from holding them in awkward positions! I’m not sure why people keep telling me that it is good for mind and body! I keep going in hoping that one day I don’t feel those burning sensations anymore then I’ll claim yoga my bitch!

    I go to pilates classes sometimes. It’s probably a bit more fun than yoga. It tones your body so it’s good if you intend to look good naked 😛 I jog outdoor about 3-4 times a week, usually 5km at a time, sometimes I go for 8km when I have the time and strength. I’m a parkour practitioner. I do a lot of jumping and crawling outdoor and indoor as well 😛 I’m a monkey. As I mention, I do weight lifting twice a week and I enjoy kick-boxing. I’ll be starting the UFC Fitness thing next week! It makes me happy to be active. You certainly don’t need to join a gym to get fit, but it helps when the weather is crappy outside.

    Do you speak Cantonese or do you go to a yoga centre cater for English-speaking people? I’m interested in the yoga classes in HK, I want to know whether it is different from what I have here in Australia. At the gym where I’m going, the yoga classes run by several people, some are pretty new agey with all those spiritual talks, some are pretty “Aussie”, they would never say anything in Sanskrit or even do the “om”, some are normal people who try to just to teach yoga without talking too much (I pretty only attend classes that run by this type of instructors).

    I’m happy to be able to talk about fitness with people who live in HK. A lot of them are not into it! My friends in HK avoid exercise like a plaque because they have long working hours during the weekdays, so they just want to relax on the weekends.

    Talk soon!
    Cali 🙂

  4. theguestroom
    April 24, 2014

    Hey Cali

    Sorry for my late response!

    Your work out regime is intense! But very impressive!

    I really enjoyed Pilates as well. Very toning and looking good naked is very important!;)

    I don’t speak Cantonese, which isn’t a problem cause there are so many English speaking classes here. I go to Pure Yoga. It’s great but the classes sometimes have like 40 people in them.

    I think there’s a big movement in HK at the moment towards exercise and better fitness. New gyms and studios seem to be opening up daily here. And running has always been a very popular hobby for Hong Kongets. Although the air here isn’t nearly as nice as it is in Australia making you question the benefits…

    Have a good one! And good luck in making yoga your bitch!;)

  5. AMBER
    April 29, 2014

    Omg. I loved it. Especially the #headstand thing! Always happy to have you as a guest at PureYoga if you’re keen… we tweet at each other! @am_in_hk

  6. theguestroom
    April 29, 2014

    Hey Amber,
    Thanks for reading!!

    Im a member at Pure now!

    I secretly enjoy it… Don’t tell anyone!


Your thoughts please

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 9, 2014 by in myHK and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Join 4,682 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: