Meet Vanessa, co-founder of H-Kore. Not that long ago Vanessa introduced the YogaKore series to our H-Kore community with the opening of our second studio in Quarry Bay. We've chatted with Vanessa about her own path in yoga, what to expect from her classes and why Yoga and Lagree is a perfect combination.
Tell us a little about yourself
I was born and raised in Mexico City. I lived in New York and London before coming to Hong Kong where I have spent the last 9 years with my husband and two daughters.
Initially I studied Speech Pathology and Developmental Psychology. Working with children was my professional plan until I discovered and fell in love with the Megaformer and the Lagree Method. I never thought of a career in fitness, but it was something that just naturally came to be.
What led you to become a yoga teacher?
I remember my first yoga class felt like it was the first time I was properly breathing and it felt so good. Deep conscious breathing was such a new and wonderful sensation that I was hooked and wanted more.
It wasn't until I did my first yoga teacher training where I met the most inspiring yoga teachers that I realized that Yoga would forever be part of my life. My first interaction with Yoga had been on the mat, but during that training I learnt that Yoga is much more than the physical practice of asanas (poses), it is a philosophy and way of life.
From experience I know the balance that yoga has brought into my life and I knew that it was something that I wanted to share with our H-Kore community. I am incredibly grateful that our Quarry Bay Studio has the space to offer Yoga.
I am constantly inspired by all the students that I see finding little moments of equanimity, acceptance and awareness on the mat. It is the looks of satisfaction and contentment that are so incredibly rewarding.
What mental and physical changes does yoga bring to you?
Mentally, it challenges me to be fully present and in the moment. To be proactive in life rather than reactive. To have the mental space and time to acknowledge what is in front of me and make a conscious decision of how I want to approach it.
Physically, it challenges me to respect my body. To work with what I have in a way that I can push myself to my thresholds while honouring my limitations.
Why was introducing the YogaKore Series to H-Kore so important to you and what is different about a Yoga class at H-Kore as opposed to another studio?
I love the Megaformer as much as I love the Yoga mat and find that the two create the perfect combination. MegaKore classes provide strength and mobility while YogaKore provides flexibility and serenity - all the things that a healthy, strong and balanced body needs.
At H-Kore you can expect a Yoga class that will teach you to mindfully use your body in a way that feels challenging yet balanced. Our small class number fosters an environment that allows you to explore, play and learn with the attention and guidance of very experienced and knowledgeable teachers.
What do you wish to bring to your students during your classes?
During my classes I strive to create an experience where students are fully emerged in their body and totally mindful of what they are doing. Yoga is not about the physical poses, Yoga is a state of mind. There is no physical goal and no such thing as a perfect shape. It's about the mental process and not the physical outcome; we use our body to access our mind.
What can people expect from a Yoga Sculpt class?
A dynamic, fun and challenging class where weights are incorporated into specific parts of the sequence to add a strengthening and cardio element to the class. It's still a yoga flow style of class but we take it up a notch by adding weights. The end result is a Yoga class where you will work hard, strengthen and stretch while still being fully present and mindful. The reward is the best Savasana ever!
Some people struggle to use their breath during Yoga classes, do you have any advice?
Come to H-Kore to take YogaFlow! We will teach you how to use the cadence and rhythm of your breath to lead your movement.
Do you have any advice to a first time yogi?
It's about you and your mat, nothing else matters. Just breathe and feel, that is the aim of Yoga. Who cares what your pose looks like!
Do you have a favourite Yoga pose?
Adho Mukha Svanasana- Downward Facing Dog. I love it because it allows me to feel and connect to every part of my body from my hands down to my feet. As a forward fold it promotes introspection, forgetting about the external world and tuning in to your internal landscape. The perfect asana to connect body and mind.
What do you get up to when you are not teaching?
When I'm not teaching I am usually running around with my two teenage daughters. On weekends I love to hike with my dogs.
Do you have a fitness / yoga goal?
Handstands. It's been a long bumpy road and looks like it will continue to be one!
What foods are always in your fridge?
Guacamole and olives and although it's not food - tequila :)
We can’t wait to strengthen, stretch and sweat with you! The first step is to create your account, once you’ve registered just purchase your trial pack, book your class and get ready to enjoy Hong Kong’s most talked about workout!