Keeping fit used to be about playing badminton below your HDB block or swimming a few laps. But nowadays exotic fitness options like MMA, pole dancing and stand up paddle boarding are the norm—do anything more boring and it’s a sure sign that you’re over the age of 50.
And leading the pack is yoga, yes, that exotic practice derived from India. Some practitioners embrace the new-agey undertones, while others treat it like bootcamp. Even more confusingly, yoga can cost as much as hundreds of dollars a month or as little as, well, nothing. Here’s what you get at each price point.
You’ll have the advantage of being able to shower, sit around in a luxurious waiting room before your class and choose from a mind boggling array of styles at multiple venus. But in exchange you’ll be asked to sign up for packages that range from 6 months to years, meaning that you’ll have to make sure you go very regularly over the duration of your package to get your money’s worth.
Pure Yoga is the premium choice for yoga buffs in Singapore and probably the slickest, poshest studio out there, but that comes at a price. Members get unlimited access to their air conditioned facilities at Ngee Ann City or Chevron House and can also enjoy the use of showers and shop for yoga gear at their in-house stores.
For the premium you pay, you get five star treatment, including having tea served to you after a session. Pure Yoga also has one of the widest ranges of classes in the more common styles including hot, vinyasa, yin and hatha, as well as some rarer styles like wall rope and jivamukti yoga.
There are also workshops conducted by visiting teachers and the occasional celebrity yogi. Beware of the fact that you’ll be charged extra if you want to attend special workshops. Many teachers at other studios reportedly continue to take classes there.
Price: 6 months unlimited access – $1,104; 12 months unlimited access – $1,968; 18 months unlimited access $2,637, 24 months unlimited access – $3,269
While the name of this gym (part of the same group the True Fitness gyms belong to) is almost identical to Pure Yoga’s and for the longest time I could never tell the two apart, if you’ve been to both of them you’ll know that True Yoga is distinctly less fancy than Pure Yoga, and also less expensive. Many of my friends who are members at True Yoga chose it mainly based on the fact that it was cheaper than Pure Yoga.
Otherwise, you get the same facilities you would at any established yoga chain, including air conditioned classrooms and use of showers, lockers and steam rooms. There’s a wide range of popular styles on offer at their main branches at Pacific Plaza and Ocean Financial Centre including ashtanga, hot, vinyasa and hatha.
Price: Prices vary wildly depending on how the salesman is feeling, but expect to pay around $150+ a month or $3,000 for a 2 year plan.
Boutique studios are usually smaller, cosier and friendlier, and have the added benefit of offering packages consisting of a fixed number of classes that you can use at your leisure, rather than making you pay a monthly fee that might go to waste if you take a break. However, boutique studios may specialise only in certain styles, so you might want to try experiment till you find a studio that resonates with you.
This little studio on Guillemard Road has received rave reviews for its welcoming, unpretentious atmosphere. Students come not only to practise yoga but also to hang out with the resident dog. Classes on offer at Yoga Inc include hot, classic, flow, yin and prenatal, and rooms are not air conditioned (not necessarily a bad thing). Showers and retail area available.
Price: $35 for a single class, $300 for 10 classes, $500 for 20 classes or $600 for 30 classes, all to be used within 6 months. Unlimited membership at $300 per month or $840 for 3 months.
One of the most stylish studios on the block, Yoga Movement has quickly gained a following for its beautiful people. With four outlets, some housed in retro conservation shophouses, it doesn’t get much hipper than this. Styles on offer include core, power, power flow, zen, basic and hot yoga. Basic shower facilities are available, but be prepared to queue. This is one of the more affordable studios, and their 20 class package works out to be just $17.50 per class. Choose from four locations at Carpenter Street, Tanjong Pagar, Orchard 22 and Tiong Bahru.
Price: $25 for a single class, $190 for 10 classes, $350 for 20 classes, all to be used within 6 months
The Yoga Co.
The new kid on the block (and also the priciest of the 3), this quaint little studio located just off Mohamed Sultan Road at 73 Kim Yan Road. The Yoga Co. centers its classes around a home-concept studio, so you can expect a cosier environment. The place offers a range of yoga classes, but what is unique is that they also incorporate other fitness elements into the classes such as calisthenics and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to build strength, flexibility and stamina as well.
Price: $35 for a single class, $320 for 10 classes, $600 for 20 classes, $1,400 for 50 classes
Yoga in the suburbs
As many of you might have noticed, modern day yoga is very much about having a fit, slender body clad in the latest yoga-specific apparel. What if you’re not interested in all those frills and just want to learn how to develop a home practice that will help you maintain your health and sanity? The answer is to head to unpretentious suburban classes in your neighbourhood. You’re not going to find heated studios or the latest fad at these classes, where a more traditional form of hatha yoga closer to its Indian roots is taught.
Living Yoga conducts no-frills traditional hatha yoga classes in the Northwest area at their studio at WCEGA, as well as community clubs in the North and West like Bukit Batok, Zhengyua and Senja Cashew. Instead of classes designed to function as workout sessions, lessons are structured as a course designed to teach participants to develop their own home practice. Prices are much lower than those at virtually any gym or studio.
Price: $85 (basic) or $95 (advanced) for 8 weekly lessons
Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir
Inspired by a guru in India who set up yoga schools in Mumbai to teach yoga for free, Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir offers up yoga in its most authentic form. The group meets at various locations all over Singapore, in temples, school halls and rooftop gardens in shopping malls. Refer to their website for a full list of locations. Classes are designed to teach you a routine that not only includes asana or postures but also kriya or cleansing techniques, and the focus is on yoga as a holistic system for the maintenance of health and wellbeing rather than a chance to debut your new Lululemon outfit.
Price: Free, although $5 to $10 may be charged upon registration at certain centres.
Where do you do yoga? Leave us your recommendations in the comments!
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Tags: Fitness & Beauty