This month, Epic MMA, has invited Healthy Living Asia to explore the many offerings all across Hong Kong Island from fitness, yoga, pilates and more. Keep pace with us this month as we explore our inner ‘monkey’ as we bring in the New Year!
TUESDAY – 12:00pm Strength and Movement @ Central
This class was a fun surprise for a former gymnast who hasn’t been upside down in about 20 years! The description on Epic’s website states, “The Strength and Movement program incorporates the movements and techniques of gymnastics and various other disciplines with the goal of training the human body to reach the balance of strength and movement.”
You will never know how far to push yourself unless you take the opportunity, and this class is that chance. I rediscovered back bends, handstands, and a range of hilarious movement exercises named after animals. We played games, laughed and everyone in the class felt inspired to come back. This class is definitely for those with some previous gymnastics ability, even if it is a forward roll. Another participant told me the class later in the week is more focussed on mobility and less gymnastics movement. My New Year’s challenge might just be to relearn a back walkover!
THURSDAY – 9:30am Reformer Mixed @ Core+ Epic Stanley
After exploring pilates all month over #JanuaryJumpstart, it’s clear that the more you do pilates classes the more you get out of them. Waking up stagnant muscles and concentrating on deep core movements that support good posture is energizing and rewarding. Reformer Mixed at Epic Core+ in Stanley is a great class to continue practicing. Christine Ziblich constantly checks for form during each exercise, helping you get the most out of the movements and shows a range of difficulty in each exercise so you get the most out of your time. If you don’t have any pilates experience, it’s best to come about 15 minutes before class or take your time and do a starter course. A beginner’s class helps you to focus on exactly how your body should be positioned as you do various exercises. The “exercise” itself is equally as intense, especially since you will be discovering muscles and doing exercises in ways you have not done before. The studio itself is bright and convenient, right on the edge of Stanley Market.
MONDAY -9:30am TRX @ Core+ Epic Stanley
After indulging in the Chinese New Year holiday, TRX was quite the wake-up call to my fitness hiatus. Never having done TRX before and with a knee injury, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do everything. After starting the various exercises, I quickly realised support was available right in the palm of my hands with the TRX ropes. I was delightfully surprised to be able to do deep lunges and squats, getting full range of motion, without putting strain on my knee. Awesome. The ropes are easy to learn, the exercises challenging to your degree, and the class was a great workout over all. The experience felt like a session of lifting weights, only your own body is the weight. This class is suitable for beginners through to experienced athletes, as all exercises can be adjusted to suit personal needs.
TUESDAY – 10:30am Hatha Yoga @Epic Yoga Central
Epic Yoga Central is a dedicated yoga space giving it a completely different atmosphere to most gyms around Hong Kong. I felt literally transported to another place upon walking inside. The space is vast and mirrors all around. Hatha Yoga with Victor is suitable for beginners to advanced practitioners. The introduction is slow and steady, giving the individual a chance to connect in mind and body. As Victor says, “Any yoga asana (pose) is like a moving meditation. You have to be fully present for each movement. Some poses will help you get there more readily than others. For example, if you are doing a headstand and start thinking about other things, you will fall. Focus is required and that focus brings you into the present moment.”
THURSDAY – 1:30pm Vinyasa Yoga @Epic Yoga Central
This hour of yoga began with a long series of flow followed by a focus on shoulder opening exercises. Victor led the series again with this mixed-ability-level class for both genders effortlessly. Personally, the progressiveness and openness to try new poses was encouraging and led to attempting some exercises that haven’t been done for the last 20 years. Over the course of testing and reviewing classes the last two months, my appreciation for yoga has grown. I have found poses and positioning with deeper awareness and stretching to finally be more comfortable. The key to yoga, is to keep going until that occurs.
FRIDAY – 9:30am Mat Pilates @Core+ Epic Stanley
This packed class was led by new instructor Emma. Unlike other mat classes, Emma introduces the use of the Thera-band and another latex circle to lead to deeper stretches, more intense conditioning and the more exercises during this class. Emma teaches keeping three main points at the core of her class: full body movement; movement with control; and listening to the body. We appreciated her ability to adjust any exercise, the innovative additions of the Thera-band and the full body workout.
Thank you to EpicMMA, Epic Yoga Central and Core+ Epic in Stanley for hosting us this month for #FabnFitFeb! We enjoyed all our classes and especially enjoyed the breadth and variety of classes all under one curated umbrella! You can learn more about EpicMMA at www.epicmma.com.
For more on our reviews of Hong Kong classes, see our #JanuaryJumpstart and stay-tuned for Mix-it-up March!