Last week, as I was flying out of Hong Kong airport, I decided to pay a visit to the new Yoga space in The Pier Business Class Lounge. This review has also been added to our review of the best airport lounges in Hong Kong airport which outlines the best lounge to choose whichever airline you are travelling with.
Opened at the end of January, The Sanctuary by Pure Yoga represents a new angle in partnerships for Cathay Pacific. This 700 square feet space is located on the right side of the lounge upon entry.
Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Hong Kong, The Pure Group is a leading yoga focused group with yoga-related businesses in Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore and New York. The opening of this space inside a Cathay Pacific lounge is a new innovative idea which showcases how these two brands are continuously pushing the boundaries for their customers.
The Sanctuary is one long rectangular space, divided into two zones, the front part is The Body Sanctuary and the back part is The Mind Sanctuary. The Body Sanctuary, as you can imagine, is a space dedicated to activities involving body movements. To enter, you first needed to remove our shoes and store them in the storage to the right side of the entrance. On the left side of the entrance, there was a small cubicle for one person to do self-training.
Moving past the cubicle, in the main Body Sanctuary area, the left side of this area had 5 yoga mats on a slightly elevated podium. There was a large TV screen with a video instructor demonstrating yoga moves. I tried my hand in a few, and the instructions were clear and simple to follow. Maintaining the positions, however, was definitely not my forte!
On the right side of The Body Sanctuary are 4 chairs facing 4 display boards. These display boards contain instructions on how to perform seated stretching exercises for the neck, the torso and arms, the hips, as well as the legs. These exercises were easy to follow and made me feel better after some stretching.
The back part of this area was The Mind Sanctuary. This space was focused on meditation. On the left side, there were 4 pods with comfortable cushions facing a tablet with noise cancelling headphones. You can choose from a variety of narrated meditation sessions through the headphones and put your mind at ease. On the right side of this space was a different type of meditation; Trataka meditation, or gazing meditation. Trataka meditation is a method of meditation that involves staring at a single point such as a small object, black dot or candle flame. In this case, there are 3 of the same comfortable cushions facing 3 picture displays. I suppose lighting a candle within the airport lounge is considered a fire hazard?
I am not too sure about the execution of this last part, as a gazing meditation normally requires some form of tranquillity. While the Sanctuary was quite quiet in the time that I was there (6 AM in the morning!), I am not too sure if this will be the case during peak hours, or when other people are doing Yoga in the Body Sanctuary area just a few feet away. Perhaps some noise cancelling headphones might have helped?
Either way, I must say that I was very impressed with this new amenity provided by Cathay Pacific. Airlines are definitely pushing the boundaries these days with new innovative ideas for their lounges – with Etihad providing a gym in their first class lounge to Cathay providing a new yoga space. I look forward to more innovative spaces by more airlines!