HK Magazine Archive

The #LivePure Challenge #4: Yoga A-Go-Go

Senior Ed Adam White is going from fat to fit with a tailored wellness program with the Pure Group.

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 October, 2016, 3:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:29pm

I have a lot of my new lifestyle under control. I’m beginning to enjoy the weights. The cardio, I’ll tolerate. The diet? I have (mostly) become accustomed to a life of salads. But there’s one more element to conquer: the yoga.

I’d never done a yoga class before. I’ve never been very flexible, and having back surgery six years ago didn’t exactly help. I can’t touch my toes: My hamstrings—the muscles running down the back of your upper leg—just won’t let me do it. They won’t even let me get close. So yoga sounds pretty ideal, doesn’t it?

There are many different kinds of yoga, and Pure Yoga covers a wide range. I sign up for the entry-level “Vinyasa Gentle,” confident I’ll nail it. Sure, I’m not all that flexible, but I can hold a stretch. How hard could it be?

I might be the last person in the world to discover this, but yoga isn’t just about hanging around in Downward Facing Dog and then going for a smoothie. Instead, it’s—well, it’s a workout. You SWEAT.

 “Yoga is a workout. You SWEAT.”

My first lesson is a blur. I try to follow the instructions. I repeatedly mistake my left hand for my right leg, while sweat drips from my forehead onto the yoga mat. Everyone around me is flawlessly holding Triangle Pose—including my Glamorous Fiancée, who is infinitely better at this than I am. Just when I manage to haul my limbs into place… I almost pass out, because I forgot to keep breathing.  

A few days later, I have a private lesson with Pure Yoga instructor Tryphena Chia, who assures me that yes—everyone forgets to breathe. They even mix up left and right. I am not alone. 

Over the lesson I begin to develop an understanding: How poses flow into one another; how your breathing helps to increase the stretch to pull your body into greater mobility. Am I good at it? Not really. But Tryphena tells me that my balance is actually pretty good. Well, that’s something.

Since then I’ve been to a range of different classes, from the flowing Vinyasa classes to the more static, deep-stretch Hatha classes, to the Yin Yang classes that combine them both. And yes, it makes a difference. I’m already feeling more lithe, more fluid. Nope, I still can’t touch my toes, but I’m getting there. Like the whole of this LivePure challenge—every time, I’m getting a little bit closer.