Enthusiasts practice yoga together during the Beijing Ocean Yoga Festival last month. （CHINA DAILY）
Over the last few months, there have been a number of outdoor yoga events in Beijing, among them Wake-up Spring in March, Sweat in April, Inside-Flow last month, and the Beijing Ocean Yoga Festival this month. Post-COVID, yoga enthusiasts — mainly women aged between 20 and 40 — appear more willing to participate in these events, both to promote a healthy lifestyle and to share in the energy and benefits of physical activity.
On Saturday, the Beijing Ocean Yoga Festival, an event organized by yoga brands including Mona Yoga and Kamal Yoga, was held at the Taipingyang Andover Under Water World.
From morning till sunset, dozens of athletes, celebrity yoga teachers, and nearly 1,000 yoga enthusiasts exercised together, exchanged ideas, and enjoyed a very healthy day.
During the event, Mona Yoga pledged to make a donation to marine conservation organizations of 1 yuan ($0.14) for every class its students take, money that will be used for purposes such as marine protection and wildlife conservation.
In recent years, yoga has become increasingly popular with middle-aged and young women in first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. According to data from chinabgao.com, a company insight website, it is now one of the most popular sports for women in China, and the number of practitioners is increasing, with an estimated 12.5 million people likely to be involved this year.
As yoga grows, yoga styles and forms of exercise are becoming more diverse, from traditional forms of yoga such as Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga, to styles more popular with young people, like Inside-flow Yoga, Soundwave Yoga and Ocean Yoga.
At the Beijing Ocean Yoga Festival, well-known Inside-flow Yoga teachers Qian Xiaojie and Liu Yingqing, Mona Yoga Teaching director and Ocean Yoga teacher Li Shiyu, and Electric Yoga teacher Jessica, led enthusiasts through outdoor exercises.
"We are usually very busy at work and our bodies seem never to relax. I exercise two to three times a week to maintain my health," participant Wei Zijie said. She added that unlike exercising at the gym, participating in outdoor yoga activities at the weekend makes her feel more relaxed and happy.
"On the lawn, facing the sun and following the rhythm of music with so many friends, I feel that life is beautiful and the world is lovely," she said.
Liu Chuo, chief planner of the event, said: "Yoga is not just about stretching and flexibility, the way many people think of it. It also helps to develop strength, balance, and other abilities and has a particularly positive effect on rebalancing the fast-paced lifestyle of first-tier cities. We hope to cater to yoga enthusiasts in the future and give them an even greater variety of yoga experiences."
Many fitness bloggers also participated in the festival.
"I saw the staff picking up garbage on the lawn, which made me feel that people who love sports not only love themselves but also love the environment and the world. This is a transmission of sporting spirit, and has given me a lot of strength," said Xiaohongshu blogger, JS Jun.
Geng Yunfei, founder of Mona Yoga, said: "We hope that yoga becomes part of the healthy lifestyle. People who love sports also love the world more, so we have decided to donate a portion of our income to marine conservation, to create a positive impact."
Wang Ying, founder and CEO of Kamal yoga, said: "Yoga advocates for a healthy lifestyle, but unlike other sports, yoga is not just about physical exercise. It also connects to the philosophy of balanced living, as well as an approach to life. We organize events in the hope of accompanying yoga enthusiasts as they grow in body and mind."