It's not a secret that I like to visit Shanghai's parks and green spots several times a week - whether it's for a run, some yoga, a tabata workout or just a stroll. What is kind of a secret is the location of some of my spots! But Sharing is Caring right?
I find that by having different spots with different qualities (near my home, near some water, big & bustling, small & secret etc.) there is always a place I feel like going when the alarm rings too early in the morning! And there are less excuses...
Fuxing Park is easy and accessible, it has a decent size for a 5k morning run and it has great green areas for doing post-running stretches. But if you don't feel like running around hundreds of curious locals during their morning routines Fuxing is just a no-go. This has sometimes been my excuse for not getting out there (oh yes, I have good excuses as well).
But not long ago we discovered an amazing spot just around the corner from our apartment and I've been going there several times since. It's lush, it's beautiful and it's the spot I like to call my Secret Yoga Garden. In the morning you literally see below 10 people in this garden and it's just such a good little morning or afternoon green get-away from concrete and crowds! Only minus is that a 5k runs would include quite a lot of loops - but it's a great destination for a run through the streets and for doing yoga or other post-running activities!
Sharing is Caring
My Secret Yoga Garden is actually not my garden (!) no, it belongs to the Okura Garden Hotel on Maoming Lu/Changle lu which started as a French Club in the 1920s. Due to a visit by Mao in 1959 the Garden was designed with its current look including lots of small paths so the chairman could have his leisurely walks (read more on the Okura Garden Hotel's website).
The Garden is open everyday with access from Maoming Lu (between Changle and Huaihai) and as far as I am aware it is public (otherwise I am pretty convinced the Chinese guards and gardeners would have informed me as well as the small expat groups I've seen doing picnics here on weekends).
Do yourself a favor and visit this lush, secret spot in the heart of the French Concession in Shanghai. Whether its for pure healthy activities or a nice hangout make sure to bring a blanket and don't forget to do some stretches on the grass or practice your headstand like me and my boyfriend (I'm making him a yogi, so happy!!).
Enjoy Friends, and see you in the garden!