Some Like It Hot

My article about hot yoga was published in CityWeekend Beijing this week.

Some Like It Hot

Why wait until New Year to shape up? Get your sweat on at these hot yoga studios.

By: Qi Zhai

Snowflakes fell early this year and sent Beijingers scrambling for ways to stay warm. That makes now the best time to get into hot yoga, an unbeatable way to get toasty (and maybe even skinny and rosy) in the winter. Hot yoga is practiced in a heated room, generally at 38-42ºC, which helps to increase flexibility and flush out toxins. A number of yoga styles can be done hot, but the most prominent is Bikram. Hot yoga is fine for newbies, just remember to drink plenty of water and take a break between postures if you’re feeling dizzy.

Om Yoga 42

Walking into the silk-draped doorway at Om is like stepping into a well-appointed spa. The space is cozy, the décor pleasing, and even the towels are fluffy and new. Teachers, speaking mostly Chinese with some English mixed in, lead challenging classes with spiffy equipment, like mats, blocks, and straps. With four classes daily during the week and two daily during the weekend, Om Yoga 42 can easily fit into a busy schedule.

Price: first class free, ¥200RMB per class or ¥1980 for unlimited 1-month pass

Find it: 1/F, Lido Apartment Building #9, Tel: 6437 8810

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Bikram Hot Yoga

Lodged in the basement of the cushy Pacific Century Club is Beijing’s first Bikram-certified yoga studio. Champion yogi Mo Huiping leads most of the classes (two daily on weekdays, one daily on weekends). Beginners should steer clear of the silent classes, which require some experience with the Bikram style and lots of motivation to follow along. While the PCC’s facilities are swanky, there’s nothing glamorous about the old, dimly lit yoga room.

Price: ¥150 (¥100 for PCC members) per class or ¥1600 for unlimited 1-month pass

Find it: 5/F, Pacific Century Club, Pacific Century Place, Tel: 6539 3434

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Bikram’s Yoga (Yihe 42)

Yihe makes it easy for expat beginner yogis, with many English or bilingual Bikram or vinyasa flow classes. We especially recommend Matt, a charismatic Zimbabwean instructor who will get you psyched about contorting your body under high heat. With frequent classes on both weekdays and weekends, as well as open access to all three locations for members, this is the studio with the most flexibility.

Price: ¥200 per class, first class free if you sign up as a member, ¥2800 for unlimited 1-month pass

Find it: 3/F, Grand Rock Building, 13 Xinzhong Xili, Tel: 5190 9833

(See listing above for additional locations in Dawanglu and Solana)

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Om Shanti Yoga

Om Shanti is China’s first studio to offer Moksha yoga, a strenuous form of hot yoga originating from Canada. Bilingual, English- and Chinese-only classes take place three to four times a day on weekdays, and once a day on weekends. Hatha, natal, vinyasa, and power yoga are also offered. Professionals will enjoy the discounted lunchtime classes. The yoga room is pleasantly set with wall-to-wall windows, but the changing room and shower facilities are just average.

Price: ¥150/¥70 (lunch only) per class or ¥1000/¥500 (lunch only) for unlimited 1-month pass

Find it: B1117, Jianwai SOHO, Building #11, Tel: 5869 2849

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