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Meditation, yoga and holistic health practices are more popular than ever in Hong Kong. Five-star hotels are hosting tea ceremonies, luxury brands are incorporating gong baths into media events, and if your morning meditation practice is falling short of 30 minutes, then you have some catching up to do.

Space and time are hard to find in Hong Kong, and the lack of both are two reasons that the fitness industry is growing at such a rapid pace; it’s now considered quite mainstream to work out and eat well. However, being physically fit is just the first step in overall well-being, and people are starting to realise that the quest for true health includes training our minds and not only our bodies. Here we’re giving you a primer on three increasingly popular ways of doing this.

Tea ceremonies can help achieve peace of mind. Image by王 Wang 杉 Shan / Unsplash

Tea Ceremonies

If you’re looking for a way to connect with your inner self and find some peace of mind, a tea ceremony might be just what the doctor ordered. The simple practice involves a one- to two-hour seated ritual that includes bowls or cups, hot water, organic tea and silence. The idea is that tea connects us to nature, as represented by the leaves and water which come from the earth, and ourselves. By being quiet, sitting still and turning something as basic as drinking tea into a ritualistic practice we can create space to connect with our inner selves.

Experience it: Resham Daswani of Spiral Spaces is a walking advertisement for the tea ceremonies she hosts each month. Calm, poised and peaceful, she specialises in ‘Cha Dao’ or ‘The Way of Tea’, a Daoist tradition that aims to create a sense of inner harmony and awakened presence. Her serene yet joyful sessions last from one to two hours and include sharing any thoughts you had during your time together.

Gong baths are a form of sound meditation that can help relieve stress and anxiety. Image by Manja Benic / Unsplash

Gong Baths

Listening to music evokes a wide range of emotions - it helps us to study, party, chill out, work out and zone out. A gong bath is quite similar in that the right notes and beats help us to forget our problems and enter into a better state of mind. You lie down on a yoga mat with blankets, pillows and an eye mask while planet gongs, symphonic gongs or Tibetan singing bowls are played by a healer. As a form of sound meditation, gong bath benefits include relief of stress, depression, anxiety and a host of other symptoms that are detrimental to our well-being.

Experience It: Martha Collard of Red Doors Studio is Hong Kong’s go-to gong meditation expert, trained in many alternative practices including reiki, transcendental meditation, labyrinths, access bars and more. Similarly, PURE Yoga offers Nada Yoga classes, which focus on sound vibration generated by chanting, singing, mantra repetition or external sound such as singing bowls, tingsha or sacred musical instruments.

Breathing exercises are one of the most accessible and straightforward ways to help your well-being. Image by Carol Oliver / Unsplash


Accessible and straightforward breathing exercises can have significant benefits including weight loss, detoxification and improved cardiovascular health. When your adrenaline is pumping and you’re stressed out, a few deep breaths can help to combat your fight-or-flight reaction, and if you’re struggling to fall asleep simply breathing in for three seconds and out for six can help you enter a relaxed state. After meditation, breathwork is one of the most accessible wellness exercises that can be done multiple times a day by everyone. Many students who have a regular breathwork practice even boast that these exercises benefit their posture and overall well-being more than traditional physical yoga classes.

Experience it: Breathwork or pranayama classes began gaining popularity last year at PURE Yoga studios and are now offered almost daily in most studios. Book a pranayama class with Shalina, Rana, Linda, Amy or Sachendra.

Dervla Louli is founder of Compare Retreats

Top image by Fabian Møller / Unsplash