FitFam Shanghai - FREE WORKOUTS!
This community based group organises free workouts all over Shanghai. Most of their outdoor sessions are scheduled for 6 a.m. But if you’re not an early riser, then check out their other ad-hoc activities such as free yoga classes and workshops. Once you join their official WeChat account (FitFamShanghai), you can select location that best suits your needs and access the updated schedule. What an awesome way to meet like-minded people, exercise, have fun and keep each other accountable! And all of this is free of charge!
YOGA, PILATES & DANCE
FreeSoul-yoga studio (9 Clouds, 4 floor, no. 17 North Xiangyang Road). Jade is the owner and the teacher. She has been highly recommended by all of my yogi friends ;-) Check out the updated schedule on her website and add the studio’s WeChat Account: FreeSoulYogaSH to reserve your class. The current first timer offer of 200RMB for two classes is a pretty sweet deal.
If you like the idea of exercising outside then 50RMB Sunday yoga in Xiangyang Park with Julie is a great option. The session is held from 10am to 11am. This is an all-levels class and everyone is welcome. To join her class add her official WeChat account: Linwards
If you like smaller classes Community Yoga studio in Jingan, might be the place for you. The first time drop in session only costs 50RMB and the studio often organises free classes and events to give back to the community. If you need more details, contact Nellie on her WeChat: nellfrimml.
Another studio worth checking out is My Soul Yoga (Fuxing Park and Nanjing Xi Lu). This yoga studio offers comfortable and relaxed environment and the rates are reasonable too.
Pure Yoga studio (IAPM mall and Plaza 66) is also worth mentioning especially since it offers free trials. However, be warned! Although Pure’s teachers are fantastic, its yearly membership is very pricey and the environment very commercial.
Be sure to try out Aerial yoga at Z&B Fitness, BarrenInFusion (no. 129, Pu An Road) or at Supermodelfit. Aerial yoga is not only fun but it also comes with tones of benefits. Unlike in a traditional yoga practice, in aerial yoga you use a silk hammock to support your bodyweight and do lots of inversions. According to David Asprey “hanging upside down sends nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to your brain.” . Personally, I found that unlike traditional headstands and shoulder-stands, doing an inversion in a hammock took pressure off my back and left me and my muscles feeling totally relaxed ;-).
Z&B Fitness located on14/F 1219 Changle Lu (near Wulumuqi Lu) 长乐路1219号14楼 (近乌鲁木齐路) not only offers aerial yoga but also hips of other classes. AKA… Yoga, cardio, pilates, dance - all under one roof.
Now, which studio do I belong to?
Well…I used to be a member of a yoga studio, but at the moment I haven’t really committed to any of them. After completing my Yoga Teacher Training in Bali I became more of a stay-at-home yogi. I love to incorporate yoga practice into my morning routine and have been able to do it consistently (consistency is the key!). My favourite free online yoga workout is definitely Yoga with Adriene. I am a total fan! I love her authenticity and her motto "Finding What Feels Good". If I do happen to wake up in a bad mood, which happens very rarely these days, after her class, I feel much better. If you are wanting to start a home yoga practice, I highly recommend you to check out her website. The videos are between 25 to 50 minutes and doing one video each morning will set your day on the right path. Also be sure to try her Yoga to Start Your Day class and Yoga for Strength and Focus (my personal favourite ;) Both classes are fantastic!
Or if you prefer a personal trainer to work on your boxing, gym or weightlifting skills, contact Ania on her WeChat: song_anya
Reiki, meditation and Tibetan singing bowls are offered in Shanghai by Gabriel. If you want to find out more about sound healing, a reiki treatment or balancing your chakras, contact Gabriel on his WeChat: gabosalaz or follow his WeChat group: The inspiring journey.
When it comes to Shanghai's best value for money Chinese-style massage places, my favourite is Double Rainbow located on Yongjia Road (near South Shanxi Rd). The place is operated by blind masseurs who do an excellent job. A blind massage offers a great way to relieve tension as well as physical and psychological stress. As with most blind massage places, clothes remain on and you don't get a private room. The price of a full-body massage starts at 68RMB for 45 minutes.
If you don’t mind spending a bit more and want something more fancy, then check out Zen Massage. You can get some sweet discounts on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. If Zen isn't enough for you and you really want to try something special, then get a hot stones massage or a purifying lymphatic drainage massage at Green Massage (58 Taicang Road).
If you don’t speak Chinese and want to try acupuncture, I recommend Dr. Evan Pinto (WeChat ID: TCMDrEvanPinto). I promise, the treatment is completely pain-free!
DEPRIVATION THERAPY SESSION
The Swedish Flotation Spa in Shanghai is a gravity-free experience where you float in an isolation tank that cuts off all sensory experience. The tank is filled with Epson salt that keeps you afloat and provides your body with plenty of magnesium. I tried it once and felt very relaxed and slept like a baby that night. However, if you don’t like dark enclosed places, this relaxation therapy might not be for you. For more info contact Theo, the owner, on his WeChat: theo-ma
For a relaxing afternoon meet up with your friends try an art lesson at Salon De Verve in Jingan District located on 65 Lane 405 Zhenning Lu, near Yuyuan Lu (静安区镇宁路405弄65号, 近豫园路). Sessions are 120RMB for three hours, and 20RMB per additional hour. The price includes canvas, oils, paints, and other materials. Art therapy can be a great way to relax so get creative and start painting! Don’t think you can paint! I promise you, you will be surprised at how well you do!
There are many more options of keeping fit and healthy in both body and spirt in Shanghai, but this list should keep you going for quite some time. Incorporate at least one of these activities into your daily or weekly routine and see for yourself the positive effects on your overall wellbeing. If you know of any other great places that you would like to recommend share your ideas in the comment section below.
Happy & Healthy Summer,
Izabela Your Certified Primal Health Coach
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