Welcome back to Beijing, everyone!
With a month of R&R under our belts, some of you may be looking to get back into a regular workout routine. With the pollution above 200 for the past 2 weeks, it is recommended to avoid outdoor activities. That said, we want to deter from seasonal affective disorder and stay healthy, active, and social. Although there are hundreds of places you can go to in Beijing for a good workout, the places and the people I am recommending are mainly for the teachers in the housing provided by the school.
Maya Does Yoga - As most of you may know, one of own Carden staff members is a 200-hour certified yoga instructor. This past winter vacation, Maya received her teacher training in New Zealand and will be opening up classes in her home. Maya’s classes are dynamic and fun. She concentrates on the importance of the fundamentals of yoga in hopes to provide her students with a strong foundation and an acute awareness of their bodies. With a focus on alignment, Maya takes the time to explain each asana (pose) and to make adjustments when necessary. Her classes are suitable to people of all levels, from beginners who are merely curious to intermediates who are looking to build strength and gain flexibility. Her studio is clean, spacious, and often smells of relaxing essential oils. It also comfortably holds up to 8 people and is conveniently located in Wudaokou.
For more information, email her directly.
Times: 5:30-7:00 (M, T, Th, and F)
International Beijing Shuai Jiao Martial Arts Club -
Shuai jiao (摔跤 or 摔角) is the general Mandarin Chinese term used today for any form of wrestling, both inside and outside of China. There are various styles of Chinese wrestling, but the Beijing style stems from the Manchu Buku style that was practiced by the Imperial Guards Brigade who were responsible for protecting the Emperor and the royal family during the Qing Dynasty. The main characteristic of the Beijing style is the use of the legs to kick and off-balance opponents, and the use of arm locks.
The best part of the club is not only the company of some of our wonderful Carden staff members, but also Coach Liu Zu Guang. Coach Liu is a five-time consecutive winner of the Beijing city championship in the heavyweight division. If this isn’t enough to convince you to at least try it out, then you should check out some of the photos and videos on their Facebook website. Coach Liu’s mastery of the sports’ technique and ability to effectively teach them has gained international attention. Last spring, he and two members of the Beijing club were invited to lead a seminar in Athens, Greece for the Greek Shuai Jiao Union. This spring, they will be returning to Athens to lead a few public seminars, as well as private teacher trainings.
Location: Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU or 北京语言大学)
Time: 5:00-7:30PM (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays)
Yoga with Yonnie - Yonnie is Beijing’s only registered Yoga Alliance 500-hour yoga instructor. Her dedication and passion for yoga is evident in her continual training in India, where she travels every 6 months. Yonnie is sensitive to others’ needs and will cater your weekly practices accordingly. Her knowledge of human anatomy and physiology is vast; she will always give you an extensive answer to your question. If you thought yoga equated to merely stretching, think again my friends. Her classes will challenge you and make you aware of muscles you never knew existed! For those interested in yoga therapy, she also offers private classes (individual or group) and can tailor them to suit your body. With a maximum of 6 people in a class, Yonnie gives you the full attention that your body deserves.
She was also recently featured in Beijing’s Time Out magazine for tips on relieving back and shoulder pain.Check it out.
Zumba with Terry – I have seen several adds for this Zumba class in Beijing’s City Weekend. For those of you who don’t know what Zumba is, it is a dance fitness program incorporating dance and aerobic elements. Zumba exploded in popularity in the mid 2000s; According to the official Zumba Fitness website, “approximately 14 million people take weekly Zumba classes in over 140,000 locations across more than 185 countries.” Even the First Lady Michelle Obama has included Zumba into her Let’s Move campaign.
Time: 6:50PM (every Friday)
Location: Peking University, No.5 Yiheyuan Road
Fee: FREE to the public!
For those of you living in school provided housing, there are gyms close to your neighborhood. Some of you may not have noticed it or have had issues communicating with the staff due to limited Chinese. Below are either gym names or locations that you may want to check out for monthly/yearly memberships.
For teachers living in 曙光花园 (Shuguang Huayuan) or 金牙园 (Jinyayuan), here are two options:
- 顶级健身 (Dingji Fitness) – This gym is located in the Shuguang Huayuan complex.
Location: 望河园 (Wangheyuan) Building 5
Contact number: +86 10 8845 8080
- 十二星座健身俱乐部(Twelve Stars Gym) - This gym is located just north of the Jinyayuan complex.
Location: Inside the Chengpinjianzhu complex 诚品建筑小区.
For teachers living by the 金源新燕沙购物中心 (Golden Resources Mall), here is the main option:
Check the 6th floor of the mall for 红人运动俱乐部. According to some veteran teachers, this gym has a much nicer space and has better equipment. However, it is also more expensive than the others that I have mentioned.
Most of these gyms also have a swimming pool. You can either sign up for a gym membership including access to the pool or you can sign up just to swim. It typically costs anywhere from 40-70 RMB per swim and access to the locker room. I personally prefer the BLCU one due to its chlorine level and length (25 meters).
Many of our veteran teachers who live in the area probably have a gym membership. Don’t be afraid to ask them about it! They can give you their personal review of the place and a general idea of where it is located.
SO there is no excuse not to get on a mat, get on a treadmill, or jump into a pool! Spring is approaching and in order to stay healthy, exercise is the key!