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Mountainyoga: retreating to the fragrant hills

(CRI Online)

11:20, May 17, 2013

A Mountainyoga instructor demonstrates Trikonasana, the triangle pose. [Photo: Wang]

Despite having an empty bank account, a Chinese man's daydream about getting a house and swimming pool started him on a pathway which inadvertently ended up with the creation of Mountainyoga, a retreat center which has calmed many a soul (and stretched many a limb).

On a whim, Gyangiri (his yoga name) decided to go out to the countryside where he could rent some cheap land and dig out a pool. While poking around Fragrant Hills, he stumbled across a peaceful courtyard for rent. "I was amazed by the view," he recalls. "It wasn't like it is now, with all these houses and buildings. It was more quiet and had a view overlooking the city."

He rented the place and was in the process of decorating it when a friend mentioned to him that she'd been invited to teach yoga in a cafeteria. This struck Gyangiri as odd. "My first response was 'Why are you doing yoga in a cafeteria? I think yoga is something you should do in the mountains, and I'm decorating a courtyard in Fragrant Hills. Let's do yoga there.'" From that moment on, yoga became the dominant theme of the courtyard, and in 2004, Mountainyoga was born.

Mountainyoga (which is admittedly tricky to find) is a pleasantly rustic spot. The main yoga hall is completely open to the central courtyard which is flooded with beams of sunlight.

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