Liv Magazine January/February 2022

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Former inmates tell us how to survive a Hong Kong quarantine INSIDE: Find out how to keep those New Year’s resolutions - for good - on page 28!




JAN-FEB 2022 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . co m LIV MAGAZINE

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 05 Editor’s Letter



06 Wishlist

22 All By Myself

Lovely things we want right now

08 Hot Right Now

New happenings on the wellness scene

12 Fresh Cuts

Air fryers: worth the hype or just a passing fad?

18 Review

Low-carb meals from Nutrition Kitchen and a "cruise to nowhere"

20 Community

Char Yoga & Wellness, a studio for cancer survivors

The art of quarantine wellness

28 Aspiration Nation

Local gyms, studios and wellness centres to support in 2022



32 Beauty

New clean beauty brands to get excited about

34 Home

Prep your home ahead of Chinese New Year

36 Family

Kids' fitness classes for all ages and levels 12







write this to you from quarantine, on my 20th and final day of pandemic detention. It’s been a wild ride these past several weeks, from navigating the byzantine process of re-entering Hong Kong to spending my first (hopefully last) festive season in solitary confinement. I think a lot of people overtly pitied me when I told them I was spending Christmas and New Year’s in quarantine, and I guess it is pretty tragic (hotel congee on Christmas morning just hits different, and not in a good way.) Truthfully though, it wasn’t so bad. Celebrating the holidays helped to break up the three-week period. Every weekend was a festive occasion, and everyone was off work and available to call me or drop off care packages. I had tons of personal projects I wanted to get started on, some that worked out (deepening my meditation practice, learning to love burpees) and some that didn’t (my first knitting project, learning how to contour my face). The most important thing I did for myself, or anyone entering quarantine for that matter, is just arm yourself with knowledge. The more you know about what to expect, the less jarring and upsetting it is. So with that in mind, we decided to cover the quarantine experience for this month’s cover story, with an emphasis on personal wellbeing. We asked local health experts and former quarantiners about how they looked after their health and wellness while in lockup, and compiled a list of recommendations to help make your stint of isolation that much more bearable. Read more about it on p.22. It’s the start of a new year which means resolutions aplenty for many of us! Whether you’re trying to kickstart your wellness in 2022, or just looking for a new community that will inspire you, we’ve rounded up some of the best New Year’s deals in Hong Kong right now. Gyms and studios may be closed, but they could use your support once the inevitable re-open happens! Check out some of our preferred partners on p.28. There’s also new clean beauty brands to get excited about in 2022, how to prepare your home for Chinese New Year, and we tackle that age-old question: should I get an air fryer?! It’s great to (almost) be back, I’ve missed Hong Kong and its wonderful community of Liv stans!


Ziggy Makant rounds up her favourite kids’ fitness classes to support this year on p.36.

Tanya Parmanand discovers the city’s first yoga and wellness studio for cancer survivors on p.20.

Aarohi Narain cleans up with new green beauty brands to shop in HK this year on p.32


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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS ANSHU RIJHWANI PARTNERSHIPS MANAGERS CHARU MATHUR EDITOR CARLA THOMAS SOCIAL MEDIA JO ROBINSON SPECIAL PROJECTS STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN TAMMY TAN CONTRIBUTORS ZIGGY MAKANT, TANYA PARMANAND, AAROHI NARAIN PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2022 Liv Media Limited. The content provided here is the property of Liv Media Limited and may not be reproduced in any part without the written permission of the Publisher. The information provided by Liv Media Limited’s contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the company. The information provided by Liv Media Limited, or its staff, advertisers and contributors is given in good faith; readers should gather more information before making the decision to purchase any goods or services highlighted here. Liv Media Limited will not be held responsible for any action, omission or error resulting from actions taken on the basis of the information provided here. Please seek the approval of a doctor before following any health advice.


Retail Therapy


Here's what we're crushing on this month


Cultivate that journaling habit you’ve been meaning to start, with this eyecatching Hong Kong-inspired notebook design from local artist Eleanor McColl. $180 from


Inject a little levity into the post-holiday lull with this highly amusing drinking game, inspired by the most weird and wonderful aspects of life in Hong Kong. $229 from



Housed in these gorgeous brightly-coloured containers, we can't get enough of these wellnessinspired Chinese teas, available in Classic and Peach oolong. $169-$179 from cteagallery


With just four ingredients, this chocolate-hazelnut spread is perfect for healthier snacking for the whole fam. $110 from The Moral Foods

Retail Therapy


Your favourite tween will adore this sequined initialed bum bag, perfect for stashing their essentials. $180 from AdKidz


Cat-lovers are guaranteed to catch felines for this adorable desk calendar, featuring 12 months of purrfectly bemused shop kitties spotted around Hong Kong. $98 from G.O.D


Got a friend in quarantine? Brighten up their day with a delivery of mixed bottles from Black Kite Brewery and Neonotic Cidery. It even comes with a glass - no plastic cups here! From $150 for six bottles from


Crisp white footwear with some subtle colour pops for good measure? These urban boots are the perfect blend of outdoor utility with streetwear chic, and we’re here for it! $1,590 from Onitsuka Tiger


Cool Stuff


The latest round of social restrictions have seen us all locked out of our gyms and yoga studios for the time being - not such a happy start to the new year! Stepping up to the plate in these dire times is PURE, who have extended universal free access to all their online fitness and yoga classes! All Hongkongers are welcome to limitless complimentary online classes via the group’s PURECAST platform, which offers over 120 live-streamed classes every week. All you need to do is register for free access, download the PURECAST 360 app, and book your spot in upcoming classes! If you can’t make it for some reason, you can also make use of a five-day replay feature, ensuring that gym bunnies and yogis alike can get their fitness fix any time of day. Stay strong by keeping strong over the lockdown! Register at


Cool Stuff

GOING UP Catsuits

Just in time for the Year of the Tiger, this feline-inspired fashion trend looks surprisingly good on most body types.


Hong Kong is an expensive place to live, and sadly, many people struggling with their mental health don’t have the money to afford the help they need. Local charity ReSource, a counselling service that offers subsidised therapy to those on fixed incomes, wants to help. Right now, the nonprofit is offering anyone their first two sessions for $60, to encourage people to relieve emotional distress through supportive counselling. Subsequent session fees are determined based on the individual’s household income, ensuring as many people can benefit from the services as possible. To learn more about it, call 2523-8979 or visit their website to arrange an appointment. 701, China Hong Kong Tower, 8-12 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai, 2523-8979,

Vegan desserts So many dairy-free dessert joints these days! Our latest go-to is Essentia, a new plant-based patisserie pop-up in Pacific Place (read more about it on p.14).

Body neutrality What do we think about this one? A much-needed check on toxic body positivity culture, or just the latest buzzword that tells women how they should feel about their bodies?

Return of low-rise jeans


Did you know that you can take fitness classes for free at Central Harbourfront? The AIA Vitality Hub at the Hong Kong Observation Wheel opened last month, and it’s making health and wellbeing accessible to the city’s residents through free community classes for all. Before the recent lockdown, there were several classes scheduled each day, from yoga and taichi to salsa, capoeira, HIIT, and Brazilian drumming, plus several kid-focused classes for sports like rugby, soccer, and dancing. Once restrictions are done, all you have to do is go online, book your spot, turn up and sweat it out! Did we mention it’s totally free?! 33 Man Kwong St, Central. Book classes at

Give us high-waisted bottoms or give us death! (Or just give us sweatpants, in the gluttonous aftermath of the festive feasting period…)



Festive Market ... AND FOOD DRIVE!

DECEMBER 13-19, 2021


huge thank you to all our readers who swung by Central Market just before Christmas to visit the #SupportLocal Festive Market! Located on the ground floor of Central’s buzziest lifestyle destination, more than 20 vendors offered all kinds of unique and sustainable gifts, from skincare and snacks to kids’ gifts, CBD, crystals and so much more. In addition to browsing and picking up lastminute gifts, visitors were also able to enrol in a chakra workshop hosted by FLO JEWELLERY, a


flower art therapy class with Mohlia, and kids’ sports activities with Island Sports. The event was also all about giving back: vendors and visitors alike were invited to donate canned food to Feeding Hong Kong as part of a food drive to secure donations for Hongkongers facing food scarcity over the festive period. Happy New Year to all our vendors and readers, and see you at the next event!

P A R T I C I P AT I N G V E N D O R S SEMPIMIMI customisable statement jewellery

Berry Buzz high-efficacy CBD

Suwimol Jaroensri handmade natural soaps

Cteagallery wellness-inspired Chinese tea

Soapnut Republic natural cleaning supplies

The Fidgets Store fidget gifts for kids

ISHA LIFE Ayurvedic wellness products

Momo artisanal nut butter and almond milk

BestBev Hong Kong-brewed beer and cider

Adkidz tween accessories

Coconut Matter coconut-based sustainable skincare

CamyCares beyond organic skincare

Kibo sustainable sneakers and sunglasses

krizto lab ethically sourced crystals

FLO JEWELLERY mindful, intentional accessories

Mohlia naturally preserved infinity flowers

IGETU Botanicals Australian skincare for sensitive skin

The Moral Foods nut butters from India

ConceptU minimalist homewares and candles

Conspiracy Chocolate artisanal vegan chocolate

Bamboa bamboo accessories and homewares

Rebounce CBD CBD gummies, teas and tinctures




FRY ME to the


Air fryers were a hotly touted gadget last year - some might say THE kitchen appliance of 2021 - but do they have the lasting power to stay relevant in 2022? By Carla Thomas


irst things first: what exactly is an air fryer, anyway? It’s pretty simple: they’re basically just small, countertop convection ovens that get insanely hot very quickly, thanks to the use of fan-forced air. They’ve actually been around for ages, but like all the best and worst things in life, air fryers didn’t become well-known until TikTok embraced them. As the pandemic feverishly stoked everyone’s need to cook experimental new dishes at home, the air fryer and its avant-garde culinary applications ascended in public awareness. So are these pint-sized hotboxes all they’re cracked up to be? Here are some of the pros and cons of air fryers, and what to know if you’re considering investing in one.




Made to fit on most countertops (assuming it’s not a stamp-sized Hong Kong kitchen, but we’ll get to that later), air fryers are a great space-saving solution for anyone who doesn’t have an oven in their home already. There are plenty of models on the market right now to suit kitchens of all shapes and sizes, and they do so much - the ultimate multipurpose tool, if you’ve got a sliver of space to spare.




Probably the most obvious advantage: air fryers use little to no oil, making them a healthier alternative to deep fryers. Not only does that mean you can make your own diet-friendly chips and chicken wings, you can also whip up nutrientdense recipes that wouldn’t normally hold up in hot oil, like zucchini nuggets or cauliflower tots.


Speaking of frying veg, that’s just one of the many, many uses that an air fryer has. They’re incredibly versatile machines, for something so small. The online air frying community (yes, it’s a thing) has come up with recipes for everything from pizza, donuts, brownies, French toast, steak, rack of lamb, even delicate meats like salmon. Another cool use of an air fryer is the ability to dehydrate fruits and vegetables - a handy tool for the health-conscious snacker.




Did we mention that air fryers are tiny? While that makes them ideal for countertops or storing, they’re not great for making large quantities of food. That could pose a problem if you’re cooking for a crowd, like a family gathering or a dinner party. Air fryers do range in size - some are big enough to roast a whole turkey - but buying a large model also means making room for what is effectively a portable convection oven on your kitchen countertop; they’re also far more expensive.



If you’re not entirely sure if you’re going to use your air fryer frequently, it can be hard to justify the expense. On Fortress’ website, air fryers range in price from $338 to $2,480, with most of the better ones falling on the more expensive side. If you’re new to the world of air frying, it’s probably worth thinking about your normal weekly meal routine and reflecting on where an air fryer may (or may not) fit in.



Where air fryers definitely fall short when it comes to Hong Kong living spaces is the total and utter lack of space! It’s hard to justify taking up what limited space we might have with something that might arguably just be a fad. Small though they may be, does anyone really NEED any more stuff in their home? To air fry or not to air fry, that is the question… 13



Hong Kong’s vegan scene just got a little more decadent, with the launch of Essentia, a plantbased patisserie brand by pastry chef Holger Deh. As the former head pastry chef at Rosewood Hong Kong, Deh knows his way around a bakery. He’s applied that same five-star philosophy to making refined dairy-free pastries, swapping special plant-based ingredients for traditional staples like cream, butter and eggs. Some of the stars of this dessert collection include the Rocher (inspired by Ferrero Rocher, naturally), a palm-sized indulgence made with oat milk chocolate cream, hazelnut praline, almond crumble and chocolate coating, and an exquisitely flaky Earl Grey millefeuille (also available in whole cake sizes.) You can check out the Essentia pop-up at Pacific Place, which will run until the end of February. Open from 10.30am- 8.30pm, call 8489-8435 for advance orders. 200E, L/2, Pacific Place, Admiralty,


The team behind Michelin-starred fine-dining spot Roganic Hong Kong are venturing into more casual dining experiences, with the launch of The Baker & The Bottleman, a new bakery and wine bar on Lee Tung Avenue. True to chef Simon Rogan’s eco-friendly ethos - which also earned the restaurant a Green Michelin Star for sustainable practices - the bakery puts sustainability at its heart, using seasonal ingredients and working with local suppliers. By night, the space transforms into a relaxed natural wine bar, serving organic and biodynamic wine growers curated by an in-house sommelier. We’re pleased as punch to see one of the city’s pioneers in sustainable F&B expanding; catch us here once Dry January is done! Shop G14-15, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, 2386-8933,


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NEW HEALTHY DINING DESTINATION ON WYNDHAM Launching later this month, Orka is set to shake up Central’s dining scene with a nutrition-rich, plant-forward menu for carnivores and herbivores alike.


ounded by wellness professionals Aswini Rachel and Nobin John, Orka welcomes chef Ching Tso - who has formerly trained under Gordon Ramsay and Shane Osborne to create healthy and delicious menus that’s beautifully plated with mindful ingredients, to impress the vegans and non-vegans alike. At their vibrant Wyndham Street location, you will discover wellness-inspired lunch sets, a la carte menus, conscious high tea sets, in-house baked goods, specialty coffees, wellness tea offerings, and energizing vibes. The ingredients used in their food menu will combine fresh

36 Wyndham Street, Central

& seasonal, local and unique international ingredients. Orka’s beverage menu is loaded with unique functional teas, caffeine free latte elixirs, organic CBD coffee, black maca espresso and more. And finally, a we have a place where a vegan and a nonvegan can dine with equal choices on the menu. Also 90% of the dishes can be made fully plant based. Orka also has a large private space on 1st floor that can be hired for wellness events, yoga sessions, workshops and private celebrations. Contact them for your next event.

IG: orkarestaurant_hk.



Liv checks out the newest workouts and wellness trends STAYCATION

ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE-CATION The Buzz: With borders closed now for more than 24 months, a “cruise to nowhere” is about as close to a proper holiday as we hope for! We hopped aboard Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas to discover for ourselves why these cruises are getting rave reviews on social media. Prepping for the Trip: Safety of course is paramount during these pandemic-stricken times. Prep your vaccination records and make sure you have your negative PCR test on your phone to expedite the check-in process. And don’t forget to download the Royal Caribbean app so you can plan your activities and create a mini itinerary ahead of time. The Cruise: We checked into a spacious and family-friendly stateroom, which had breathtaking views from the balcony - there was plenty of room for two adults and one child. Feel like splashing out? Their Ultimate Family Suite comes with an an-room slide and a rec room for karaoke and video games! After checking in we went straight to the North Star aerial observatory. This enclosed viewing platform rises high up above the uppermost deck, giving you amazing 360-degree views.The weather was perfect during our sailing, and we spent a lot of time at Splashaway Bay, the family-friendly pool deck. Boasting colourful waterslides, pools, fountains and water cannons, there’s plenty to keep the little ones occupied while you sink a sundowner or two. 16

Bigger kids will love Seaplex, the multi-purpose sports centre. The bumper cars were our favourites, but you’ll also find ball games, archery, fencing and laser tag. If you want to get more adventurous, there’s also FlowRider, a stationary wave for surfing and bodyboarding, and RipCord by iFly, an indoor skydiving adventure. We also enjoyed Asia’s first Sky Pad, a virtual reality bungee trampoline adventure. We weren’t expecting much from the live performances, but were blown away by the quality of the shows on offer. Don’t miss “Silk Road,” a dazzling cultural journey that takes you from Rome through Persia, India and China via dance, music and multimedia effects. And if you’re looking for a quiet evening away from the kids? They’ll be thrilled to be dropped off at Adventure Ocean, Royal Caribbean’s amazing kids’ club. The verdict: We never thought of ourselves as cruise people, but with so much to do onboard and the highest hygiene standards, we loved this much-needed break. With the Easter break coming we highly recommend a three- or four-day cruise for a proper reset. Costs: Reservations are open from now until 28 February, 2022. Prices for a two-night sailing start at HK$1,170 per person.

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hes us how to

imitless teac Tricia Yap of L


re you making the same resolutions each new year? Struggling to get back to an ideal goal weight? Or perhaps you feel like you’ve tried everything under the sun, but with minimal results? Many people struggle with fat loss - not because it’s hard, but because they’re approaching it from a one-dimensional perspective. To achieve accelerated and sustainable fat loss, you need to take a truly personalised approachThis doesn’t mean just train hard and eat clean, because your digestive, hormonal and mental health - and even your environment - all play a bigger role than you realize in your fitness, fat loss and overall wellbeing. The five pillars to successful fat loss are:

ick once and

solutions st ose fitness re

make th

MINDFUL MOVEMENT Before embarking on an intense fat loss fitness programme, Improve your range of movement with structured exercise programmes that help to correct structural imbalances. This helps to prevent injuries, which lead to setbacks in your progress. HEAL YOUR GUT you are not what you eat, but what you can absorb and assimilate through your gut. If you are not absorbing nutrients from the food you are eating, and your cells are not up taking nutrients due to impaired digestion or inflammation caused by overgrowth of bad gut bacteria, you will be overfed, but undernourished, which means that your body may not have the raw materials to help it lose fat in the first place. For fat to be oxidised, you need adequate levels of magnesium and carnitine, which should be derived from the food you eat, as well as oxygen and sufficient hydration. IT’S IN THE BLOOD SUGAR Managing blood sugar is a small hinge that swings big doors to your personal health, because knowing how your body responds to the foods you eat will help you truly personalise your nutrition program. Using continuous glucose monitoring technology, we can measure your individual blood sugar responses and consider what, when, how much, and how you should be eating. SLEEP ON IT sleep is one of the most underrated keys to body composition. During sleep, the body detoxifies, repairs and recovers - all of which means that

for all!

inflammation is lowered, you have better cognitive clarity for decision making and you can make the most out of your designed training program. LESS STRESS The human body has evolved to store fat in times of conflict, and research has shown that our bodies are designed to only handle one of two stressors in a day. Thea means that if your adrenal glands are producing too much cortisol in response to stress, fat loss moves way down your body’s list of priorities. So while fat loss isn’t just a calories in and calories out game, you can lose fat, live life and keep the weight off if you can successfully tackle each pillar. At Limitless, we take a collaborative, problem-solving approach to help you set up a healthy environment for success. With this sustainable, whole-body approach, you will not have to make the same weight loss new year resolution again! AT LIMITLESS, WE CAN HELP WITH: • Personal training for fat loss, strength and conditioning

• Blood sugar management

• Semi-private group training

• Sleep

• Pre/post natal training

• Female health, including menopause, PCOS, PMS, infertility

• Hormone testing and optimisation

Em ai l: In

• Restoring gut health • Stress management

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Liv checks out the newest workouts and wellness trends MEAL PLAN

LOW-CARB MEAL PLAN FROM NUTRITION KITCHEN The Buzz: We’ve been looking for something to kickstart healthier eating habits, after an extended quarantine period where we subsisted on hotel ready meals. Hong Kong meal delivery service Nutrition Kitchen offers fresh meals designed by certified nutritionists that deliver all the vitamins, minerals and macronutrients your body needs. We try out their Low-Carb diet plan for our final few days in quarantine. The Meals: Three meals arrive each morning, in compostable packaging that clearly labels a breakdown of ingredients, calories and macronutrients. Breakfast includes dishes like an Italian sausage frittata, smoked halibut and scrambled eggs, and beef tenderloin with poached eggs, mushrooms, tomato and a mountain of spinach. For lunch and dinner, some highlights include chicken satay skewers - served with a highly addictive peanut sauce on the side - and shepherd’s pie topped with a butternut squash-cauliflower mash and a heaping side of steamed veg. 18

The Verdict: At this late stage of our quarantine, we would throw a nun into traffic for some fresh produce, so we are over the moon when we see how well-balanced and healthy these meals are! Once warmed, the food is almost mind-blowingly good, considering it hasn’t been made on site, and we’re pleasantly surprised by culinary styles that take you around the world - think Peruvian chicken, Brazilian fish stew, Vietnamese fish cakes, and classic French beef bourguignon. The breakfasts are a bit heavy for our liking - we tend to steer clear of so much meat in the mornings - but we could easily do a week of lunches and dinners on this meal plan. Best of all, it’s affordable as far as meal plans go, ringing in at $79 a meal on a two-week plan. Can definitely recommend as either a quarantine pick-me-up OR as a wholesome addition to your day-to-day life. Cost: $2,370, includes 2 weeks (Monday-Friday), of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

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with Tanya Parmanand



fter she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, Charmaine Cheng underwent a mastectomy and breast reconstruction - two invasive and painful experiences that left her wondering whether she would ever be able to exercise again. As a certified yoga instructor, Cheng focused on her recovery by tailoring her daily practices and meditations, eventually launching a YouTube channel and, more recently, opening her own yoga studio dedicated to the needs of cancer survivors. I spoke with Cheng to learn more about her social enterprise studio, Char Yoga & Wellness.


Q Can you tell us a bit about your yoga studio? Charmaine Cheng: Char Yoga & Wellness is Hong Kong’s first mind-body yoga studio that caters to cancer warriors. Rather than focusing on physical endurance, our mission is to promote a balanced and healthier life for all individuals, especially in the mind and soul. Not only do we offer yoga and singing bowl therapy, we also operate an in-house handicraft studio where we teach guests how to make candles and natural soaps, which are sold in our studio shop. We also provide job opportunities for cancer warriors who are struggling to resume work,

offering flexible hours, a stress-free community, and a happy working environment! Q Why did you feel called to open a yoga studio, specifically? CC: I have had a special connection to yoga and meditation for a long time. Most recently, yoga has been a way to connect with myself throughout my breast cancer journey, and I thought it was a great idea to open a studio specifically as a social contribution to serve the needs of cancer warriors. Our yoga and handicraft studio serves as more of a community, rather than just a place to work out. We want to


provide a welcoming and inclusive space for people to come and get in touch with their mind and body, and meet other people going through similar experiences. Q What benefits do you think yoga can offer cancer patients? CC: Cancer is something that significantly lowers your quality of life; fatigue, pain, depression, low self-esteem and trouble sleeping are really common when living with cancer. Yoga can help decrease the stiffness and tightness in the body from cancer treatment. It promotes relaxation, and lowers any stress and anxiety that someone might be experiencing. Even after someone recovers from cancer, the rehabilitation journey is an ongoing process; as cancer warriors, we need to always be exercising and maintaining our health. For instance, I underwent a breast mastectomy and TRAM flap

surgery, as well as four cycles of chemotherapy injections, which disrupted my normal life for around seven months in 2020. Bodies that have experienced trauma like that are meant to be stretched and exercised to release stiffness and tightness, but it seems that many cancer warriors are not aware of this. I have met people who were unable to raise their hands even after a few years post-surgery. This was the main reason I created my YouTube channel, Wellness with Char: to promote awareness of how yoga complements the rehab period and to show that exercise is a lifelong companion, no matter what stage of your life you are in. Q You mentioned that you also hire cancer survivors? Yes, some of our handicraft teachers and singing bowl instructors are also cancer warriors. That’s important for a studio like ours, because it means

that staff here can truly understand and empathise with what our guests are going through. Everyone in this space is able to provide valuable support, on and off the mat.

Classes start from $120. 1402, Kwai Cheong Center, 50 Kwai Cheong Rd., Kwai Chung, 5225-5538,

Tanya is a full-time law student and freelance writer, whose work has appeared in Lifestyle Asia, Honeycombers, and more! She covers eco-friendly initiatives, charities and NGO news for Liv. Send tips and pitches to


Cover Story


A guide to quarantine wellness They say two things in life are inevitable: death and taxes. In Hong Kong, there’s a third: quarantine. By Carla Thomas


s we head into 2022, the city enters its third year of pandemic restrictions, currently holding the dubious distinction of having the world’s strictest quarantine measures. Three-week hotel reservations and stints at Penny’s Bay have become a normal part of life here. And with global waves of new viral strains, such as the highly transmissible Omicron variant, this state of affairs seems unlikely to ease anytime soon. The reality is that a growing number of Hongkongers are likely to spend at least some time in quarantine, as we continue to do our best to stave off the challenges posed by the persisting pandemic. So what do we really know about the health risks we face from extended periods of solitary confinement? How can we put our wellbeing front and centre when we’re so limited by our circumstances? We spoke to local mental health experts and gathered first-hand accounts from quarantinees to put together our guide for surviving and thriving (or just surviving, if that’s all you wanna do!) while in quarantine.


S C I E N C E SAYS … There’s a good deal of research out there to indicate that quarantine carries a psychological toll, from increased levels of anxiety and stress, to higher risk of depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In Hong Kong, there’s much less in the way of large-scale studies on how the city’s long-term quarantine mandates are affecting residents. But last year, local psychologist Dr. Judith Blaine published an academic paper (the first of its kind) on the effects of 21-day quarantine on overall wellbeing, based on the experiences of 130 subjects based in Hong Kong. The paper’s findings lined up with other studies on the topic, pointing to negative psychosocial consequences - some of which were long-lasting. “Many of those who experienced quarantine expressed feelings of isolation, confinement,

Cover Story

loneliness, anger, depression and anxiety, some of which remained even after they returned home,” Dr Blaine writes. “Those that quarantined for 21 days seemed to experience the most adverse psychosocial effects, supporting previous research that showed that longer quarantine is associated with poorer psychological outcomes.” Local mental health experts say that Hong Kong’s stringent quarantine laws may actually work against our basic biology, ignoring fundamental human needs. “Humans are inherently social. After millions of years of evolution, we learnt that staying connected with our species helps survival,” explains Peggy Chan Sze-wan, a registered therapist at ReSource Counselling Centre in Wan Chai. “We feel safe and grounded when we’re with people we trust. During quarantine, we lose that feeling of being supported and connected, and other emotions, like fear and sadness, appear in their place.” Chan adds that quarantine can often act as a trigger point for negative emotions and thoughts that stem from past trauma or childhood experiences, an experience worsened by total isolation. Dr. Hannah Sugarman, a clinical psychologist with MIND HK, says that she’s heard of many people who have experienced worsening mental health in quarantine. “Deprived of the opportunity to access their usual methods of self-care and social contact, people report struggling to maintain their wellbeing in the way they would be able to when not in quarantine,” she says. In response to the challenges of COVID-19, in 2020 MIND HK launched their Covid-19 Mental Health Relief Scheme, a free, one-to-one online mental health support for those affected by the pandemic, including those in quarantine. Dr Sugarman says that around 95 percent of the people who accessed this scheme said that it was beneficial to their health, indicating the importance of proper emotional support.


When lawyer Aimee Hinksman went through quarantine last year, she said the prospect seemed daunting to her from the outset. “I was worried about maintaining my physical health, but I was most worried about my mental state and how I would cope with having zero human interaction for 21 days,” she says. “I specifically chose a hotel where the windows could be opened, as I was really concerned about having a panic attack or something similar if I started to freak out about the lack of fresh air.” Over her three weeks at Ovolo Southside, Hinksman found her experience was one of “peaks and troughs,” which she was able to get through thanks to regular fitness classes (her local gym offers at-home programming) and daily calls with friends and family. Even with her careful routine, however, Hinksman still hit an unexpected wall towards the end of her stay. “In my mind, I thought that the last week would be the easiest as it would be the final stretch at that point - but in reality, that wasn’t the case for me. I hit my lowest point on Day 16 and 17, which I wasn’t expecting, and really struggled.” Kirsteen Thain completed a 21-day confinement after returning from a trip to the US last autumn, and says that she suffered a similar experience at the end of her quarantine. “Overall, I repressed everything and it

Peggy Chan, Therapist, ReSource Counselling

Humans are inherently social... staying connected with our species helps survival.

Dr. Hannah Sugarman, Clinical Psychologist, MIND HK

The continuing use of long-term quarantine as a public health measure has the potential to impact the mental health of individuals.


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Aimee Hinksman, quarantined last year

I hit my lowest point on Day 16 and 17, and really struggled.

was only on my last day that I was hit with overwhelming anxiety - suddenly I had to leave and be responsible for myself. I was stressed at the idea of making choices, or small things like not knowing what the weather would feel like.” Thain is a personal trainer, and her career requires her to be physically present with her clients. She says that the financial stress of not being able to work for three weeks was one of the biggest factors that contributed to a decline in her emotional wellness during her quarantine. “I was very frustrated about the financial side,” says Thain, who is originally from Hong Kong. “Hong Kong has created a dystopian world where only people who are rich enough to not worry about time or money can travel. You’re either rich or desperate if you go abroad now.”


Kirsteen Thain, quarantined in October

It was only on my last day that I was hit with overwhelming anxiety.


It’s still unclear what kind of long-term impact this all might have on us. Thain points out that the forced nature of Hong Kong’s quarantine process - including hardline reminders of the strict protocol in place - can feel more frightening than the actual experience itself. “You hear stories of people being arrested for stepping outside their room for a moment,” she says. “There are notices with threats of imprisonment and fines up on the walls and doors. If you open the door for a delivery and there’s staff outside they leap away from you like you’re diseased.” Physically, many quarantiners said that their bodies also suffered from the limited confines of a hotel room or quarantine camp unit. Hinksman said that even with her regular workouts, her knees and hips ached deeply, while an elite athlete like Thain says it took her 10 days to recover. “Physically I had atrophied rapidly,” she explains. “Working out in a room can’t replace high-volume walking, so just moving normally in the real world injured me. The arches of my feet ached, my hip hurt, and my calves were sore.”

MIND OV E R M AT T E R How can we mitigate the risks that quarantine poses to our wellbeing? Most people who have completed a long-haul quarantine agree that it comes down to two things: preparation and perspective. Jean-Francois Goyette, a company director originally from Quebec, says that he relied heavily on a strict routine, planning his days out in extensive detail each of the three times he has spent in quarantine: twice in hotels, and once in Lei Yue Mun camp as a close contact. “Structuring your days is critical,” he says. “I set an alarm every morning, and got busy as soon as I got out of bed. Otherwise the moments of the day just merge into one.” Goyette says he found quarantine “fine, if a bit inconvenient”, and broke up the isolation through online sessions with a personal trainer and regular FaceTime calls with friends. “We all have the ability to creatively adjust to situations and produce novel responses, experiences, and narratives in unique situations,” says ReSource’s Chan, adding that humans have a unique psychological ability to be adaptable under even the harshest of circumstances. In Dr. Blaine’s paper on Hong Kong quarantiners, the researcher also found that some of the study’s subjects thrived from the experience, something she attributed to their overall perspective of the scenario. “For a very few participants, the experience was actually positive, which they attributed to entering quarantine with a positive mindset,” she wrote. So what does it take to emerge through quarantine a happy, healthy and relatively unscathed human being (if a bit lighter in your bank balance)? Here are some of the top recommendations for prioritising your wellness in quarantine.

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I set an alarm every morning, and got busy as soon as I got out of bed. Jean Francois Goyette has quarantined multiple times

ST R U C T U R E I N S O C I A L T I M E Physical separation doesn’t have to be the same as social isolation. Make it a priority to stay connected to your loved ones, through texts, calls, video chats, and social media. This is one of the rare occasions where you can overuse your phone, guilt-free! Some hotels also offer online happy hours, where you can virtually gather with other people quarantining at the same time as you and commiserate over a beverage.

M OV E YO U R B O DY It’s no secret that exercise produces the “feel good” chemicals needed to lift our moods and see the light at the end of the quarantine tunnel more readily. Pro tip: if you don’t already have one, a smartwatch is a great idea. Not only does it give you an accurate idea of how physically active you’re being each day, you can pass the time by setting little challenges for yourself, like hitting a certain number of steps or a heart rate target.

GO OD SLEEP HABITS Sleep is the bedrock of wellness, and it’s important to maintain good sleep hygiene. That means sticking to a normal bedtime routine and sleep cycle (avoid sleeping in too late, for example). MIND recommends restricting your bed to sleeping and relaxing only, and working from somewhere else in your living space, if possible. And of course, limit your screen time before bed!

H AV E P U R P O S E “Do something creative every day that gives you an outlet,” suggests Chan. Everything from drawing, writing, knitting, playing an instrument (assuming it’s not a piano or tuba) anything that inspires you. This is also a great time to start something new; treat quarantine like the gift of time to finally pick up that new hobby or passion project.

B E PAT I E N T W I T H YO U R S E L F Let yourself feel the roller coaster of emotions that comes with isolation. Hinksman said that she found great solace in watching cheesy Netflix Christmas movies and just letting herself cry. She would also give herself small rewards for completing each day, from treats and magazines to a glass of well-deserved wine.

K E E P T H E FA I T H As lengthy as 21 days might seem, time is but a construct. Chan says to remind yourself that the situation is not forever. If you’re feeling especially lonely, make a list of some of the things you’re most excited to do when you’re finally out, and visualise yourself doing them with friends. Go one step further and just make some plans to look forward to, like booking a reservation at a restaurant you love, or buying tickets for a film you can’t wait to see.

For more mental health resources for quarantine, visit:



The Art of Wellness


We speak to K11 ARTUS General Manager, Cecilia Lo, on what inspires her to create a sanctuary for art lovers and wellness enthusiasts in the heart of the city.

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How did you get your start in hospitality? What drew you to this world? I have always had a love for exploring uncharted territories, and I never say no to an adventure! I first began in Sales & Marketing in one of the busiest hotels in Hong Kong. The thrill of winning a pitch is what drove me early in my career, but at this point in my journey, I would say that it’s the feeling of being a good host, taking care of our residents,and looking after the team that looks after them. I am obsessed with ensuring that anyone living under our roof is not only comfortable, but living life to the fullest, because our home, K11 ARTUS, is where they can contemplate and create their next chapter. K11 ARTUS combines art and wellbeing. What do you think is the connection between these two ideas, and how do they complement each other? I believe everyone can be an artist in one way or another. I remembered there was this one day – a particularly long day and I had to walk to clear my mind. As I was gazing at “or… No.1” – a sculpture made of curved wood and metal at our 10/F lobby, I realized that while a situation may sometimes appear twisted and there is still plenty of space within the tangle where you can find a solution. The sculpture reminded me not to think in a linear manner. When people are surrounded by art, inspiration comes from the objects that surround them, probably without even realizing it. When you live with art, it helps you to create a clarity of mind, a safe space where you can distil your thoughts.

How do you experience art and wellbeing outside of work? Getting outdoors to exercise sets me free. As I live in ARTUS, I’m blessed with an amazing jogging route that starts at the Star Ferry and goes along the Avenue of Stars to Hung Hom. It’s a great workout. On the weekends, my passions are tennis and hiking. There’s nothing like a good walk and being immersed in different shades of green. I’m keen to try forest bathing - it sounds magical and healing. How is ARTUS different from other residences? The luxury we provide is the serenity we offer to residents. Our residents often tell us that they feel detached from the busy city once they walk into our home. It’s quite an amazing thing because we are literally located in one of the busiest parts of Hong Kong. A project that is very dear to our hearts is the K11 Craft & Guild Foundation which conserves and rejuvenates fastdisappearing Chinese craftsmanship. Part of our profits go to support this meaningful cause, and we also display examples of these increasingly rare art forms throughout the residence. For us, art isn't just to be admired - it should be tactile, something to be enjoyed. So you’ll also find life-sized playable chess pieces in our lobby, books to browse and borrow… it’s all about living with art and giving you the space to create in whatever form that suits you. This has also inspired me to invite creative minds to stay at our residence and look for their inspiration here - a program we have coming up in the next few months. We also hope these artists will help to inspire our team as we embark upon a cultural discovery together. In our team, we always say that everything we do is no less than a work of art.

In collaboration with K11 ARTUS


2022 Resolutions

NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS Start 2022 off on the right foot! We’ve partnered with some of the city’s top local gyms, studios and wellness centres to make sure you smash those New Year’s resolutions. Want to know more? Read on…


2022 Resolutions I want to… reconnect with my body


Always wanted to give Pilates a go? One of Hong Kong’s leading Pilates studios, Anhao Wellness, has recently opened a second studio in the heart of Causeway Bay. With its focus on physical alignment and posture correction, Pilates activates deep muscles to improve strength, posture and body awareness, and is particularly suited to anyone recovering from injuries as it helps you to restore your strength and agility. We love their chic studio, with its retro rattan fixtures, pastel wall mural and top-of-the-line MERRITHEW reformers. NEW YEAR OFFER: 10 percent off on all packages if booked 24 hours after your free trial. I want to… invest more in my self-care


If you’re someone who dreads waxing appointments, or are prone to ingrown hairs, make 2022 the year you finally tackle your unwanted body hair! Winter is the perfect time to undergo permanent hair removal solutions such as IPL, and EstheClinic, with its highly trained aestheticians and results-oriented service, is a fabulous option. Their IPL is painless, permanent and works on all skin types, and there are plenty of packages available for multiple appointments. NEW YEAR OFFER: Get 50 percent off your first single treatment! Outlets in Central and Sai Ying Pun.

I want to… find my purpose


As we step into another year of uncertainty, perhaps you don’t want to make a resolution, but rather set an intention - one that leads you back to yourself to cultivate a stronger body and mind. Hersha Yoga’s School of Teacher Training offers a style of yoga that is empowering, inclusive and accessible. Join their 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training or the Raja Yoga Foundation Course to embark on a personal journey to find your own path of wellbeing through comprehensive yoga teachings both on and off the mat. The next course starts in February and enrollment is open now. NEW YEAR OFFER: Use LIVMAG for 10 percent discount on upcoming programmes, which are also available online.

I want to… step out of my comfort zone


Wyndham Street’s newest fitness destination, SELF offers all kinds of unique classes to align body, mind and soul. Classes include meridian yoga, sound meditation, fascia release, and strength & mobility flow, to name just a few. The studio is also the first in Hong Kong to offer the Garuda method, which combines Pilates, yoga and dance. With so many unique classes to choose from you’ll never get bored! Classes are capped at just six participants, ensuring you’ll get plenty of attention from their instructors. NEW YEAR OFFER: Score a five-class package plus a private training session for just $2,100 - a 25 percent discount!


2022 Resolutions

I want to… prioritise my mental health


As the stress of the pandemic continues to disrupt our lives, perhaps this year your goal is simply to better support your mental and emotional wellbeing. All About You is on a mission to destigmatise mental health, and make visiting a therapist as commonplace as talking to your doctor. It offers private sessions, workshops, practitioner training and a wellness shop to promote mindfulness and positivity. Services are provided by experts in hypnotherapy, healing, NLP, regression therapy, tarot reading, trauma release exercises, couples counselling and coaching. The centre is a space where people feel accepted, safe and ready to address their deepest and most challenging issues. NEW YEAR OFFER: Mention this writeup to get a 20-minute free consultation and find out how hypnotherapy can help you.

I want to… get serious about my health


Want to kickstart a new healthy lifestyle? Heather from HKM Fitness Coaching offers a positive, realistic and educational fitness space that helps women achieve their goals through sustainable habits. Clients learn to shift their thinking, from the negative stigma of “diet and exercise” to the more positive mindset of “fuel and train.” HKM Fitness offers all kinds of programmes, from fun outdoor bootcamps at Sun Yat Sen Park to private coaching sessions, and Heather’s 12-week bespoke online coaching programme is also available for those looking to make a transformative change. This trainer welcomes women of all ages and stages of life - including pre- and post-natal - to help them make long-term changes to their health. NEW YEAR OFFER: Liv readers can receive a free 30 minute consultation to find out which programme works best for you., email:, ig: hkm.fitnesscoaching, fb: HKM Fitness Coaching

I want to… test my limits


Wanna raise the bar and level up this year? Asphodel, Hong Kong’s first CrossFit gym established in 2010, is Kennedy Town’s premier strength and conditioning facility. Under the guidance of expert coaches, Asphodel combines traditional strength training methods with a circuit training style unique to CrossFit. At Asphodel, running, jumping, swinging, pulling, and pushing are all in a day’s work. Their program is guaranteed to not only get you stronger and fitter, but help you become the most capable human you can be. They also offer active isolated stretching and In-Body scans. Packages start at $2,500 per month, no contracts. NEW YEAR OFFER: Liv readers can get 10 percent off their first month. Just mention the offer when making your booking. 30

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News from the beauty aisle

IN WITH THE NEW From medicinal mushroom tinctures to skincare enriched with mare’s milk (yes, really!), refresh your routine this new year! Check out these new-to-Hong Kong clean beauty brands set to make waves in 2022. By Aarohi Narain








With its first Hong Kong retail store recently launched in Admiralty’s Lab Concept and two more shops set to open in TST in the next few months, this natural beauty brand is a welcome addition to the city. ALKMIE promises pregnancysafe products with an emphasis on anti-aging, and boasts 100% recyclable packaging, too. A06, 2/F, Lab Concept Mall, 93 Queensway, Admiralty,

It’s all in the name: Malaysian brand LUMI promises to make your skin as luminous as it can be. Newly available at Beauty Botanica, LUMI packs a punch with their fruity formulations, relying on natural extracts like apple and citrus. All of their formulations are cruelty-free, and you won’t find any potential irritants like parabens, mineral oils, or fragrance either.



Formulated in Switzerland and based in Hong Kong, Evolcare has joined up with global skincare experts to create natural, harm-free formulas with 100 percent natural active ingredients. Packed in handy individual doses, Evolcare is perfect for stashing in your bag for on the go, and stands firm against animal testing and harmful ingredients such as paraben, mineral oil, or alcohol in their formulations. Visit their new stores in Hysan Place or K11 Art Mall. 32


Get grubby with Point68. Flying in the face of clean skincare convention, this brand offers just one product with an atypical core ingredient: black soldier fly larvae extract, distilled into a face oil for hydrating and promoting cellular healing. Soldier grub oil is said to be one of the richest natural sources of lauric acid, which has been shown to benefit acne-prone skin. Do you dare to give it a go?




Pretti5’s clean beauty solutions aim to restore your natural glow with the help of TCM based in Hong Kong and produced in their laboratory in Japan. If you’re looking for a gentle toner to amp up your regimen, try their Antioxidant Hydrating Toning Essence, featuring adaptogens, including Goldflower Root and Snow Mushroom. Available at Sephora.

Get one steppe (ha!) closer to ultra smooth skin. Based in Hong Kong and made in Kazakhstan, TruNomad’s skincare line harnesses the nourishing properties of mare’s milk. Blended with calming and anti-ageing ingredients such as vitamin E, we love this contemporary interpretation of Central Asian beauty.

RAINBO Up your wellness quotient with fungi-focused edible beauty brand, Rainbo. Renowned for their potent mushroom tinctures featuring chaga, turkey tail, reishi and more - which could help with everything from improving memory and concentration to strengthening overall immunity - it’s mycoprotein magic for the Instagram crowd. There’s a number of handy recipes on their website to help you integrate these otherworldly elixirs into your routine.

WILDHEART ORGANICS Let these scents transport you to a zen state of mind. Scottish aromatherapy brand Wildheart Organics creates candles, diffusers, mists, and roll-ons that are perfect for everyday R&R. In lieu of petrochemicals and artificial perfumes - common irritants that can wreak havoc on our bodies - their workshop in Edinburgh pledges to use only pure essential oils and therapeutic-grade ingredients. Available at Beauty Botanica, Pamper DPT and The Right Spot.

Available at Lane Crawford

Looking for

ACTIVITIES OVER THE HALF TERM BREAK? Get the kids out of the house with Island Sports HK’s multi-sports, swimming and skateboarding camps. Whether you want your kids to pick up a new hobby, develop their technique or just have a ton of fun, we’ve got you covered.

Island Sports HK also does birthday parties! Whether you’re looking for superhero characters, pirates or princesses, let us help you organise a day to remember, with top-to-bottom event planning, from activities to goodie bags and everything in between. At Island Sports HK, our mission is to help our students develop as people. We set up healthy habits and a love of physical movement, while developing soft skills such as interpersonal

relationships and teamwork - the perfect recipe for developing well-rounded and empathetic individuals. TESTIMONIAL: “What impressed us most was the focus on teamwork, empathy for others, reflection on core values and constantly evolving fun activities that kept the children highly engaged at all times”

Get in touch!





TIDY HOME, TIDY YEAR Sweep away the bad luck of the previous 12 months by deepcleaning your home ahead of Chinese New Year. We speak to Aaron Chin of interiors firm The Editors Company to discover how an orderly home can help you set your intention for the new Lunar Year ahead. Q Why is Chinese New Year a good time to springclean your home? Traditionally, cleaning your home helps to wash away your previous year’s bad luck, and prepares your household to receive good fortunes in the coming year. But a spring clean is always a good idea! We cannot emphasise enough the number of times we’ve seen how a clean and organised apartment brings so much calmness and productivity to the lives of our clients and their families.

Q Do you have any hacks on how to organise your space? A common mistake we see is that clients are so eager to hide everything away that they can no longer find their things! One trick is to make use of trays or baskets to store files and toys, while at the same time keeping them in reach. It does wonders! Another tip for making a space look neat and tidy is to follow the “cantaloupe rule” - don’t openly display anything smaller than a cantaloupe. A bunch of small items will make a space feel cluttered and unintentional. Q How can we keep clutter out of sight? Just like how we should decorate each room of our home with a clear purpose and style, we can almost always find a corner of our home where we store all of our not-so-often-used items. A good rule of thumb is to put anything in there that you're confident you won't need for at least six months. We often help our clients buy storage beds for putting away little-used items. A bench placed at the end of the bed with storage space is very useful, and it also makes your bedroom look inviting and classy, while giving you somewhere to sit.


Q How can we easily jazz up our interiors so we can start the new year with a fresh feeling in our home? Scented candles and flowers are a small but impactful way to instantly upgrade your apartment, both visually and aromatically. Find a corner or two where you can display your favourite candles, flowers and plants to boost your mood. Q Bright colours are popular during Chinese New Year. How can we incorporate pops of colour in our living space without overpowering the room? Warm colours such as red, orange, and yellow are often favorite festive colours for Chinese New Year, and we are all for going all in to celebrate family and tradition. One thing to be careful of is to not to use excessively bright red colours if your space leans towards a more neutral colour tone. Choosing warm colours with a grey undertone is a more subtle way of adding colour without detracting from your overall look. Try the 80/20 rule - your accent colour should be used on just 20 percent of your interiors. 35



with Ziggy Makant


KID-FRIENDLY FITNESS CLASSES One New Year's resolution that I like to revisit again and again is supporting local businesses as much as possible. With that in mind, here are some of my favourite local operators offering top-quality, energyburning activities for kids of all ages, so the whole family can hit the ground running in 2022!

MINISPORT (1.5-8 years) With a mission to introduce children to sports as early as possible, Minisport is a great (and popular) choice for parents of active little ones. This four-in-one programme includes units on tennis, football, basketball, and rugby, and is run by an enthusiastic group of sports educators at multiple indoor and outdoor locations around the city. You can also book private sessions and parties, or join a holiday camp during festive seasons. Classes start from $180.

BALLROOM BEES (1.5-11 years) From improved balance, coordination, and motor skills to gaining new confidence, the joy of dance is something that every kid can get into! Former “Strictly Come Dancing” cast member Katya Virshilas and husband, Klaus Kongsdal, have compiled a roster of over 70 weekly classes in 17 locations. Classes are divided by age groups, and cover dance styles like cha-cha, jive and even some TikTok dance trends! Classes start from $250.

MY GYM HONG KONG (6 months-5 years) This long-running programme in Hong Kong targets early childhood development with a combo of sports, dance, gymnastic and kinesiology. Little ones can burn off energy in either of their sizeable indoor gyms - one in Wong Chuk Hang, the other in TST - while building confidence and social skills through meaningful play… something they could probably use after the last year! Classes start from $350.

D’JAGO BJJ (3-12 years) All the way from Rio, D’jago is a fairly new Brazilian jiu jitsu studio in Central with two different classes for children interested in learning “the gentle art” (there’s no kicking or punching in this form of martial arts - just controlled movement!). Check out one of the two kids’ classes offered: 3-7 or 8-12 years. Classes start from $350. 1/F, 37 Cochrane St., Central, 9430-7234,

TRYBE (3 years and up) Movement is the name of the game at Trybe, from gymnastics and parkour to ninjainspired fitness classes. Older kids and teens can even take part in more advanced techniques, like Circus & Dance, which uses different apparatuses for acrobatics, or tumbling. A great place for kids to learn more about their body and its many different ways to move! Classes start from $300. Shop 10B, G/F, Nam Hung Mansion, 5H Belcher’s St., Kennedy Town, 5400-7710,

Ziggy is a Hong Kong-based mum of two, pre- and postnatal trainer, micro-influencer, and co-host of the Mom Body Soul Podcast. She loves all things motherhood, sustainability and parenting. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @zig.fitmama or reach out to say hello at for FitFam leads and pitches!





The vestibular system is responsible for providing our brain with information about motion, head position and spatial orientation. It helps us maintain posture, balance and is closely linked with the visual system. Both adults and children can benefit from vestibular work to improve their body awareness and coordination, so give this one a go with the whole fam!



Get into downward dog, then move from side-to-side, or backwards and forwards. To make this extra fun, place objects in your space that you have to race to!

At the playground, hang from a set of bars behind the knees - just like a monkey in a tree! Support your child to do this by holding their heels towards their bottom.



Ask everyone to start walking in one direction slowly. Call out a different direction unexpectedly: “To the trees!” or “To the benches!”. For an extra challenge, turn your head in a different direction than your body, whilst in motion.

On a low, safe ledge, walk along the top on your tiptoes. Try standing on one leg with your eyes closed to really force your vestibular system to kick in and work (you may want to hold your child’s hand as they do this.)






You can place an order for these healthy Nut Butters on 37

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