Yoga For Everybody

Whether or not you know your asanas from your ujjayi, if you are interested in getting your yoga on, we’ve got the studio for you. Read on for Talk’s guide to yoga in Shanghai.


The last five years have seen a marked increase in the number of yoga studios popping up around Shanghai. This is great for the local yoga community, in that it offers a greater number of choices and styles, but can also be confusing if you don’t know exactly what it is you are looking for.

To make matters even more confusing, the price of yoga in Shanghai is comparably higher tan in many Western countries, leaving many expats wondering what they are getting for their significant investment in a yoga membership and whether or not paying more necessarily equals a greater experience.

This all depends, of course, on what you are looking for in a yoga studio. There may be some for whom the extra

luxurious surroundings of their studio and the diversity of classes may make a higher end choice worthwhile, while

others will prefer the simplicity and authenticity of a no frills studio where it’s all about the yoga. Wherever you decide to devote your yogic energies, remember that, as with almost anywhere else in Shanghai, bargaining is totally acceptable when you are joining a studio. Especially at larger studios, it seems as though the prices accepted by sales consultants are largely dependent on your negotiating skills. Prices within this article are as advertised, so not necessarily “best price”.


All Rounder


With three studios (in Xintiandi, Fuxing Lu and Anfu Lu) Y+ Yoga has long been a dominant player in Shanghai’s yoga scene. Offering more than 200 classes per week, from 60 to 90 minutes long, with most classes falling under the Flow or Hot categories. The company’s diversity, number of high quality teachers, lovely studios and changing rooms are all major pluses. The prices are pretty high, but in our experience, negotiable. Classes can be booked online, or though the Y+ app (up to 48 hours in advance), though you need to get in quick for popular classes, which book out pretty quickly.

Price: RMB 14,000 yearly membership covers all three studios. Numerous class bundles also offered.

Y+Yoga, various locations. Web:

Bikram Baby


Bikram Yoga Shanghai is the only accredited studio in Shanghai teaching the methodology pioneered by Bikram

Choudhury. Studio owner and teacher, Yun, whose mother can also often be seen around the studio and in class, is working hard to create a welcoming community for Bikram practitioners in Shanghai and it

seems people are responding.

Classes here include 26 poses and two breathing exercises and are held in the studio’s

single, large classroom, which is heated to 40 degrees Celsius. Beginners needn’t worry about doing all of the poses to their full extension immediately. Yun is a very encouraging teacher who won’t glower at a student for sitting down to rest for a moment.The most important thing, according to Yun, is for beginners to stay in the room for the full 90 minutes, and then improve from there.

This isn’t a luxurious space, and you need to bring your own mat, towel and water (though a water machine is on hand for refills), but it certainly has a great, friendly vibe.


Price: RMB 180 per class, RMB 1,600 for 10-class package, RMB 9,900 yearly membership.


Bikram Yoga Shanghai, 3/F, 81 Jiangning Lu, near Nanyang Lu. Tel: 157 2135 2048. Web:


Lap of Luxury

New on the Shanghai yoga scene is Pure Yoga, an import from Hong Kong, where their high quality classes conducted in a luxurious environment have proven to be a big hit.

The spacious studios offer great views of the French Concession from the floor-toceiling windows and there are classes on offer here that you will struggle to find at many other studios, including Wall Rope and Universal Yoga. Plenty of Hot, Flow and Stretch classes are also available.

The environment really is spectacular, with a changing room that seems to go on forever, which it kind of needs in order to accommodate the giant lockers, individual vanity mirrors (flattering lighting included) and even a machine to dry off your sweaty yoga clothes before you stuff them in your bag. Fancy!


Price: When we enquired about prices at Pure, we were told it is “company policy” not to make their prices publically available – so yeah, it’s going to be expensive… They are also non-negotiable, so ignore what we said earlier about bargaining at this joint.


Pure Yoga, IAPM Mall, 6/F, Room 615, 999 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Shanxi Nan Lu. Tel: 5466 1266. Web:


Pre- and Post-Natal


Pre-Natal yoga practice is as much about preparing your body and mind for childbirth as it is about

general health and wellbeing. Teacher Hong Forelli’s classes come highly recommended from Talk’s

recently pregnant friends.

With small classes and a focus on mums and mums-to-be, Hong Prenatal Yoga is a gentle

alternative and classes are attended by a small, though friendly, group.


Price: RMB 150 per class, RMB 4,200 for 32- class package.


Hong Prenatal Yoga, Mingshen Garden House, No.

138, Lane 633 Wuzhong Lu, near Hongxu Lu. Tel:

139 1663 5290. Web: www.prenatalyoga-shanghai.



Individual Attention


A no-frills, single-room shala-style studio, Drishti Vinyasa Yoga Shala, offers intimate classes of less than ten students, each of which runs 90 minutes.

The Drishti Vinyasa of the studio’s name describes a particular type of yoga, which focuses on both “drishti” (insight) and “vinyasa” (movement) synchronised with breath.

Expect a practice more focused on getting things done right, rather than getting things done quickly. With experienced teachers and small classes, this is a particularly good choice for beginners looking to make a start on their yoga journey.

Another plus is the early morning classes, with regular 7am sessions, meaning you can start the day on a positive, yogic note, and still make it to the office by 9am.


Price: RMB 180 per class, RMB 1,200 per month and RMB 7,000 yearly membership.

Drishti Vinyasa Yoga Shala, Room 309, Building 10, 546 Yuyuan Lu, near Zhenning Lu. Tel: 139 1786 6484.



Ashtanga Life


A physically demanding, active form of yoga in which the same sequence of positions is utilised in each practice (as with Bikram Yoga), Ashtanga is the focus at Jing’An’s Red Door Yoga studio.

Rob Lucas and the Red Door crew have built up a loyal following over the years, with a focus on good foundations and encouraging students to incorporate yoga into their everyday lifestyle, rather than just drop in for the occasional class.

The space is clean and functional, without too many fancy trappings, and students are encouraged to bring their own mat, towel and water.


Price: RMB 200 per class, RMB 1,500 per month, RMB 9,900 yearly membership.


Red Door Yoga, No. 903, 69 Yanping Lu, near Xinzha Lu, Tel: 135 2416 2501. Web:


East Side


Friends on the east side of town have recommended Karma Life Yoga as a good bet for those living and/or working in Pudong. Much like Y+ in Puxi, they offer a nice environment and a professional, organised studio with a good range of classes, running the gamut from Flow, to Hot and Ashtanga to Yin Yoga.

They are also known for being particularly family friendly with pre-natal classes on the schedule, as well as yoga sessions for kids.


Price: RMB 300 drop in rate. Call for more information about longer-term memberships.


Karma Life Yoga, 3F, 172 Pucheng Lu, near Shangcheng Lu. Tel: 5882 4388. Web:




Shanghai Yogathon


This month sees the wellness-focussed folks at Sprout

Lifestyle hold their first annual Yogathon. Kimberly Ashton,

Chief Sprouting Officer, spoke to Talk about the event.


What’s the aim of the Yogathon?


Our goal has always been to educate people so this event is about awareness building for yoga in general, as well as the teachers and studios. It would be great if we can help a few new people get into yoga, which is about more than

just physical poses, but also about mindful living generally.


So will it be suitable for beginners?


If you are a complete beginner, then 12 classes over a weekend might be a bit overwhelming. On the other hand, it could be a fun way to try things out and if you are thinking about joining a yoga studio you can come and give it a go. The main target market is people who do practise yoga; this will be exciting for them because they get to go all out for the whole weekend.


How much of it is about connecting the local yoga community?


I hope we can impact the yoga community here because it’s a Little dispersed. Everyone is so wrapped up in his or her own thing. As a yoga student, this is still an immature market and a lot of people don’t know about the options of where they can go and what styles of yoga are available to them. You can also meet likeminded people and make some friends.


Shanghai Yogathon will be held from 21 March to 23 March, with tickets priced at RMB 1,500. Twelve classes will be available over three days, along with workshops, meals, live music and a yogi inspired food pack. Participants are

free to opt in and out of any of the activities. Tickets are available from Sprout Lifestyle Store, No. 412, Surpass Court, 570 Yongjia Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu.

Web: Email: [email protected]