SOME LIKE IT HOT. Others want a boot-camp approach to their yoga session. If you desire a real workout that mixes both aspects, try 'power yoga'. A variation on the Ashtanga style, power yoga has become the hip way to tone up and slim down. Traditionalists may be up in arms about the demystification of a sacred way of life, but for those newly converted to the Ashtanga, Iyengar and Bikram (or hot) styles, yoga is the ultimate mind and body fitness regime. In Hong Kong, Pure Yoga established the Bikram-style discipline at the beginning of this year and, although working out in a studio heated to 37 degrees Celsius with 65 per cent humidity may not be to everyone's liking, it has been an incredible commercial success. Now comes a new twist. Pure Yoga has introduced power yoga classes at its Causeway Bay studio. For those familiar with Bikram, it's a natural progression as many of the postures are included in the 90-minute 'flow class'. Although the heat is turned off for the power yoga classes, as anyone who has tried Ashtanga will tell you, it gets just as hot and sweaty as the blistering Vinyasa series (approximately 50 flowing postures linked by breathing) stokes the prana (life-force energy) fires. The new classes take on the format of Baron Baptiste's power Vinyasa series, which has been practised in the United States for more than 10 years and counts Hollywood actresses Elisabeth Shue and Helen Hunt as devotees. It will be taught at Pure Yoga by instructor Patrick Creelman, a 29-year-old Canadian who has been drafted in from his own yoga school in the ski resort of Whistler and has been teaching Bikram and Ashtanga for three years. As well as taking classes himself, he is also busy teaching Pure Yoga's other instructors the power series. 'The aim of the power yoga classes is to be a little more creative,' says Creelman. 'The pure classes are very good for discipline and structure - it's basically the same every time. With the flow class there's more movement involved. You get a lot of people who don't want to do the same thing every day; so when you do a flow it'll be a variation - for instance you might do more abs or more hips. It's aimed at more upper-body strength.' As with any yoga series, Baptiste's Vinyasa programme works similar to a combination lock - if you do the poses in the correct order the mind and body will automatically open up. 'The power yoga classes are available to anyone. It's very joint-safe,' assures Creelman. 'Baptiste has been studying for 25 years and he's put the framework together for a very safe practice.' He has also studied with Baptiste and is working with Pure Yoga owner Colin Grant to bring the yoga guru to Hong Kong. The classes work on three levels with a primary series used as a foundation to build physical strength and detox the body starting with sun salutation postures. The intermediate series is supposed to purify and strengthen the nervous system and, if you get to the advanced level, the energy flow from the first two stages should improve overall body strength, stability and concentration. Anyone who has been taught hot yoga by the goateed Creelman will be enthusiastic converts to his power classes. His pure yoga sessions (a secondary stage of the Bikram-style) are a learning curve in themselves on how to reach a new physical and mental awareness. While he has the toughness of a physical instructor, there is also a warmth and genuine friendly side that comes from his spiritual understanding of yoga. 'I think that yoga is really personal, it's your practice - and the traditional teachings go beyond the postures,' says Creelman. 'The postures are only the beginning. More and more people are deciding they want to come back into their bodies and it's a big step for the Western world to start looking inward and creating personal space. 'The attention to our body by coming here to work out is the first step saying, 'I want my body to be strong,' and that grows into a more spiritual and kind awareness to ourselves and each other.' Pure Yoga is offering 90-minute classes in power or hot yoga for $100. For schedules and more information on the promotion, which ends on Friday, contact Pure Yoga on 2971 0055 or go to www.pure-yoga.com . For more details about Baron Baptiste visit www.baronbaptiste.com .