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Deep Dive Into Yoga

After a few trial sessions at a local Tung Chung yoga class piqued his interest, Islander HK's Andrew Spires caught up with South Lantau resident and founder of Flow With Me, Jiwon Maxted Yoon to discuss all things yoga.


Flow With Me Yoga What Is Yoga
Flow With Me's Jiwon Maxted Yoon showing us how it's done!

Let's start with a biggie! What is yoga?

Yoga is an ancient form of meditation and exercise that has evolved through the decades and has become a popular form of exercise using a variation of poses and breath control.


What else gives you the benefit of mental, spiritual and physical health and wellness more than yoga. Yoga encompasses all of the elements to give you balance and body awareness.


Are there different types?

Yoga comes in different forms like Hatha, Lyengar, Vinyasa, Hot Yoga, and Ashtanga. Each form of yoga has different traits whether it is a cooling or heating/energising practice, you can choose the one that fits your needs the most. If you are in need of some balance and inner awareness an Ashtanga class is beneficial in bringing in focus and opening up your body through still long holds of various poses. Looking for something more energising to get your blood pumping, look for a vinyasa class that will move through poses faster with a flow sequence.

Why would it benefit me?

From my personal experience practicing yoga has been a lifesaver. I suffered from extreme sciatica on my left side from carrying my kids when they were babies; I was in pain everyday and it affected my sleep. I tried all forms of massage but nothing helped.


I got introduced to a Yin yoga class and could see quickly how the pain was subsiding and with increased flexibility my body aches seemed to melt away. Now it’s become a part of my daily routine. During the covid waves where we were locked up at home I decided to go for it and get my YTT 200 Training certificate, learning so much more about the practice which includes alot of pranayama practices (breathing awareness) it’s brought on a whole different level of how I can handle myself when I get anxious or stressed out. I absolutly love power yoga classes when I want to get my body energised and blood pumping and I also love my hatha classes when Im in need of focus and balance.


I sit at a desk all day, can I incorporate it into my day?

Absolutely, I usually work through a flow of movements when I’m at my computer all day. I promise this flow of movements won't make people stare…too much!

  1. Neck stretches - gently pull your head down to your right ear, while pulling your right shoulder down and away from your ear. Slowly breathe in and out for 3 breaths then repeat on the other side. Do this 2 or 3 times depending on how stiff your neck is.

  2. Twists - Inhale and as you exhale, reach your right arm across to your left outer thigh and bring your left arm behind your left hip. Inhale to centre and then repeat on the other side. Making sure you are sitting tall and not hunching your back.

  3. Seated figure 4’s - Sitting tall, bend your knee and reach your right ankle to the top of your left thigh. Rotating your thigh outwards bends fowards as your exhale (your tummy should touch your thighs so your not hunching your back) Count to 5 then sit up and repeat on the other side. Do this as many times as needed.

  4. Shoulder openers - Push your seat back, arms stretched out infront of you and grab the edge of your desk with both hands. Inhale and as you exhale, with a straight back slowly bend forward until your head is inbetween your hands and breathe. You can bring your head further past your hands for an even deeper shoulder opener.

  5. Pranayama - this is a breath control practice and has many different forms to help with lots of different situation. One style I use often is the Ujjayi breath to help calm me and centre my focus. Inhale through the nose and expand your belly and as you exhale through the nose you want to feel the heavy breath at the back of your throat. Do 5 rounds of this breathing and you will feel your heart rate slow down and your stress melt away.

**Editor's Note**

Flow With Me has very kindly offered a massive 15% OFF for Islander HK readers. Use code THEISLANDER’ at checkout

What do I need to do yoga? Is there lots of kit?

Let's break this down. With every practice I truly believe starting with a great foundation so let's go from bottom up just as you would with perfecting your pose.


A Good Mat

Number one for me is a great yoga mat with super grip. The grippier the better as it gives you great stability when holding poses and stops your feet and hand from slipping. Flow With Me offer yoga mats that are made from non toxic materials, offer super grip and have alignment points to hep with pose form.


best yoga mat flow with me

Yoga clothing flow with me
Leggings

I prefer high waist leggings for all yoga flows and other forms of exercise, the high waist leggings offered on Flow With Me do not roll down, are all squat proof and come in all unique patterns and textures. You can check them out here














Yoga clothing

If you prefer wearing looser fit pants we also offer flares made from a soft plant viscose, available here



















Yoga clothing

A Yoga Bra

Finding the right sports bra s is such an achievement! You want to avoid bras that pinch, that don't give the support needed or are made from poor quality fabrics. Luckily Flow With Me has an extensive range of bras that work with low support yoga flows to high support power flows. Our bras are also so versatile you can incorporate them with your everyday wardrobe.










To finish off your workout wardrobe you can choose from our many tops, tanks and tees

Where can I find yoga classes on Lantau?

Thankfully there are plenty of yoga classes to choose from in Tung Chung, Janet Cheng is great if you’re looking for IRL classes and they range from Yin, Hatha to Vinyasa classes.


If you’re looking for online classes and looking to help a good cause, Fione Seow of Metta Yoga offers daily online classes and 100% of proceeds goes to Hanuman Charity (a charity to help the homeless in HK). There is also YogaUp and Yoga Bay in DB, and I'm sure there are many more.


Thank you kindly Jiwon for your knowledge and patience in chatting me through the various yoga styles. It's actually Janet I have been using and have also noticed a strengthening of my posture and less back ache. It's well worth starting a yoga class if you haven't started already. If I can do it, you definitely can!

 

**Editor's Note**

Flow With Me has very kindly offered a massive 15% OFF for Islander HK readers. Use code THEISLANDER’ at checkout

Flow With Me is an independent female owned business. Meet our founded by Jiwon Maxted Yoon, a YTT trained devoted yogi and busy mum of two energetic boys living in the hustling city of Hong Kong. Wanting to create a multi-brand platform, curating other female owned businesses with the same purpose of delivering affordable, sustainable and quality yoga and activewear.

The collections reflect a confident and free spirited women with the functionality and versatility to go from workout style to street style. Visit www.flowwithmehk.com


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