I’m so stoked to be sharing with you something that I hold very dearly to my heart …… YOGA !!!
Looking at how female models, athletes always pose with such flexibility, and looking so damn hot in bikinis and sports wear, this unrealistic wish of me looking like them somehow prompted me to try out Yoga.
I’m not ashamed to say that I lead quite an active lifestyle. I have participated in a few race events in the past. However, during my training days, I would drag my feet to change into my sports gear, then go for a run. But the truth remains: I hate running. Period. And that led me to turn to other forms of exercises to sweat and burn calories. Now, recalling the reason why I first took up a Yoga package back then, it was probably due to me purchasing those cheapo deals from online deal sites. And it turned out that the classes were of standard, and I was able to sweat buckets during a single class. So why not right?
Fast forward three years later, there’s at least one new yoga center springing up every quarter in Singapore. I’ve been to a few fitness and yoga centers since then (Pure Yoga, Fitness First, Virgin Active Gym, True Yoga, Bikram Yoga) so I have a good understanding of the calibre of yoga instructors, the facilities, the rates to the quality of yoga classes being conducted at each center.
Knowing that working ladies (yours truly included) are constantly seeking for new avenues to work out a sweat, so let me give it a shot at sharing my humble experiences with the 3 top favorites Yoga centers (in no particular preference) which I’ve been to.
This is the place where I signed up for my first yoga membership. I was there for 18 long months, purely because I really enjoyed the classes over at Real Yoga. I have a thing for Hot classes – Hot flow, Hot Back Bend, Hot Yoga, Hot Core etc. What I really like about Real Yoga is that they offer a great variety of Hot Yoga classes per week. I recalled attending a minimum of 2 classes daily back then. Oh well, those were the days… Yoga instructors are knowledgeable and highly experienced. I like Issey and Henry the most! Each class conducted by them was bound to make me pant like a dog and gasp for more breath as I enter into each yoga pose. They took pride in carrying out their classes, and they will take time to adjust members’ body postures to derive the full benefits of the poses. I am very certain they have a huge followers base!
Studio is clean and well-maintained. Cleaner will come in and clean up the mats after each class. Mats are spaced well apart so you don’t need to worry about hitting your neighbor when doing ground poses. ^^
The branch at Centerpoint Orchard boasts of 2 rooms (Hot, Non-Hot), changing room and a cozy lounge where members can sit, relax and browse through magazines before the start of each class. Changing room is spacious and there are hundreds over lockers. There’s enough space in the changing room in case you haven’t had enough of stretching! Towels are provided. However, no padlocks will be provided though. Thumbs down for that. How inconvenient for members to bring their own padlocks.
Even though there are plenty of shower cubicles (6-8?, I cannot really remember now), which is way more than what other studios have, you will still need to queue for the shower cubicles during peak periods such as evening time and weekend. One plus point is that Real Yoga also have 2 big make-up counters (with hair-dryers) within the changing room itself. So I was able to doll up and blow dry my hair before I leave the place. (:
The package rate for unlimited classes is quite reasonable and affordable. Suppose I attend a minimum of 6 classes a week, I’m only paying under $6 per class. Even though I wish to stay on at Real Yoga, but people do change. Especially for someone like me, someone who loves to have varied experiences…. at different yoga centers….
(Updated: Studio has since closed down in July 2015! :O)
I purchased 8 classes of yoga sessions at Sadhana Sanctuary through Groupon deal site. Very well worth the bucks! With its sleek, white interior, from the moment you enter, you will feel like you have stepped into a blissful sanctuary. The reception area is brightly- lit, clean and spacious. Talk about a welcoming environment to yoga classes after ending a day of work! They only have one outlet which is right smack in the heart of town – a mere 5 minutes walk from Dhoby Ghaut station. I hope that Sadhana will consider expanding to other outlets near Tiong Bahru vicinity. And when that happens, there is a high chance I will take up their package. Haha! :p
What I like about Sadhana Sanctuary is that they offer one of the most diverse range of hot and non-hot classes over many different times of the day. Just think about Hot Yoga, Hot Shape, Hot Spine Therapy, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, and Restorative classes. In addition to just purely offering Yoga classes, Sadhana also expands on its offering by having Pilates sessions in a hot and non-hot environment. The instructors are certainly qualified and relentless, and they are all out to make you sweat a bucket after each class. I especially like to attend Sandeep’s Hot classes as it is a perfect blend of toning x cardio. Thumbs up for the instructors and the heat temperature of the Hot room!
Fitness, health magazines and yoga journals are provided for leisure reading as well.
Studio is clean and well-maintained. Cleaner will come into the studio and clean every mat before the commencement of the next class. However, the mats are placed very closely to one another, so there is this consciousness of hitting your neighbor, thus restricting the movement when doing certain poses.
Sadhana Sanctuary boasts of 3 rooms (Hot, Non-Hot, OM room for private practice), changing room and a spacious modern lounge where members can chill and relax before and after each class. The Hot room oversees plenty of lush greenery, so the view is way awesome when moving from pose to pose in the class.
Despite the variety of classes and quality of instructors, I have a few reservations about the changing room though. The changing room is small and crampy. If you are given a suay locker number, you will either need to tip-toe to reach for the locker, or bend your way down to unlock the locker with the keys. -.- The number of lockers are very limited in the changing room, so during peak period, even members will need to deposit their bags/belongings at the reception area. -.- Within the changing room, only 1 small dressing table is provided. So usually after classes, I will head straight for my belongings and go off simply because the changing room is too smelly and crampy. The waiting time to get into the shower is sufficient for me to get home. Oh, did I mention that you will need to pay $1 for rental of one bathing towel?
The saving grace for the large members base at Sadhana Sanctuary would probably be the package rates. The package rates here are very competitive. I would say that the prices per class would fall between the range of $7-$9. They are famous for offering great yoga classes at very affordable prices. On top of that, Sadhana Sanctuary allows for twin sharing of large packages (50 classes, 100 classes option). Because of the competitive and very affordable pricing, the crowd turnout for every yoga class was massive. It was getting way too overcrowded in the studio that I was not able to devote myself to a peaceful practice… Perhaps the management of Sadhana Sanctuary can look into expansion moving forward…
I attended my 1st Hot Yoga Power class at Tanjong Pagar studio, and was instantly hooked to the environment of the boutique studio. Within my heart, I knew this is it. This is the ideal yoga studio for me this season. I took up the BIG 30 classes package, with 3 complimentary classes over a 1 year validity. How sweet is the deal!
What sets Yoga Movement apart from the rest of those bigger yoga studios is that Yoga Movement embodies the New York vibe and intimate setting in its interior. With the minimalist feel (think black-and-white posters with chalk designs on the walls, polished concrete floors, dark interior accents and mood lighting), this boutique studio has earned a huge following of yoga practitioners, and I’m proud to be one of them!
With 4 convenient and superb studios location – Carpenter Street, Tanjong Pagar, Orchard 22 and Tiong Bahru, there are simply more reasons for me to break a sweat over at Yoga Movement. (:
Each studio boasts of a nicely designed, full amenities and clean changing room. There are only one to four shower stalls in each branch, which makes showering after a hot class a bit of a drag. Based on my observation, the members have quite high EQ, so the waiting time for shower is generally quick and fuss-free. Rinse and go.
Out of all the 4 studios, I very much prefer Tiong Bahru’s pod concept studio. The number one key factor for me is convenience! It’s a mere 5 minutes walk back home after the class! How awesome is that! (((: Aside from the convenience factor, housing this pod concept here just adds a hippie charm to the quaint Tiong Bahru neighborhood enclave. Even though there’s only a single practice studio, the area is huge enough to accommodate up to 33 mats per class.
Yoga Movement currently only offers six classes across all studios. It is my hope that they will expand on the classes offerings, especially to launch a dedicated class for arms balance and inversions. Usually, I will go hard on myself and attend their 90 minutes signature Monster Hot class, which is essentially Bikram yoga. The instructors here are enthusiastic and friendly, and I really got to hand it to them for knowing how to set the pace and right energy for each class.
Although the package rates cannot fight with the big boys (Fitness gyms offering yoga classes), the prices are pretty decent as compared to other boutique yoga studios. Over at Yoga Movement, there are no complicated packages or limited time schtick. No hard-selling of packages at all. The drop in rate for each single class is at $25 (YM have recently raised their prices), and if you love the class enough to sign up for their packages on the spot, the session will be complimentary! All in all, the average price per class ranges from $14.50-$19. One drawback though, I will need to pay $1 for rental of a towel, and $1 for a bottle of water. Personally, I wish that Yoga Movement can provide members with free towels, so we don’t have to lug too many heavy sports gears to work, to yoga classes and then back home.
Well, so there you have it!
My humble experiences with the 3 yoga studios which I really like personally.
There truly is no better way to celebrate yoga than this.
Hope this post is useful for people who are just starting out for yoga, or are looking at a change of environment for your yoga practice.
♥ Namaste! ♥