Barbarah Dudman is living proof of the benefits of yoga. Fit and self-assured, she took up the ancient Indian practice as exercise with Yoga with YoYo in Sai Kung, but found it gave her so much more. “I was looking for something to complement my running and hiking, to help me stretch and relax,” she says. “It soon turned out to be so much more than pure exercise.
Yoga is the science of conscious living; it works with the body, mind and breath to bring about selfacceptance and living in harmony with yourself and your environment.” She became so entranced with the discipline that she trained as an instructor and now runs Yoga B, taking classes out of the studio to Sai Kung East Country Park. She strongly believes that hiking and yoga are a great combo. “I was incredibly fortunate to experience some of my yoga teacher training in beautiful outdoor spaces in Hong Kong and India,” she enthuses. “Sunrise asana practice in a lush Himalayan garden is magical. Outdoor yoga really takes us back to nature and reveals how inseparable we are from our environment.”
A Yoga B adventure begins at 9.30am at Wong Shek Pier with a quick speedboat ride to Chek Keng. From there, it’s a 45-minute hike along the MacLehose Trail to Ham Tin beach in Tai Long Wan. A degree of fitness is required for the invigorating uphill stretches, rewarded by stunning views of Hong Kong’s loveliest beaches. “We arrive at about 11am for an hour of traditional Hatha yoga,” Dudman says. “Then there’s time to dip our toes in the ocean or have a quick swim, take some photos and enjoy a vegetarian lunch at the dai pai dong.” After lunch the yogis retrace their steps, returning to Wong Shek Pier by about 2pm. Familiarity with yoga is not required. “It is fabulous to walk and talk and relax and connect and enjoy all that nature offers with new and interesting people,” says mother-of-three Libby Howell. “And Barb is a magnificent leader.”
Dudman, 40, is Australian and lives in Sai Kung with her husband Andy and daughters Madeleine, 12 and Olivia, 9. “In more than 10 years, we have lived all over Hong Kong, but moving to Sai Kung was a conscious decision the country park, islands and mountains at our doorstep, and this wonderful community for our family to grow up in, all made the choice easy.” She trained with Yogaprasad Institute mentor YoYo Yu, and now leads classes at Yoga with YoYo. “I am really fortunate to teach here. YoYo is a highly experienced teacher with energy and presence that are truly inspiring. Her studio is supportive, nurturing and community-minded,” Dudman says. “The goal of my class is to encourage people to work with their body, mind and breath to find strength, stability and calm. The benefits of yoga are endless, and being able to share what I have learned is so rewarding. If I can help someone de-stress, develop better posture, find inner peace, lose weight or simply maintain all-round fitness, then I am happy.”
Yoga B hikes cost $300, including yoga, lunch and boat.
Private bookings available for a minimum of 10 guests by calling 6076 7134, or visit the Yoga B Facebook page.