Hot yoga is done in studios kept heated at 38-40 deg C, so you’ll start perspiring after five minutes. The heat is intended to make your muscles and joints more limber, preventing injury. We tried it for the first time at these five places.
Editor’s Rave: Updog Studio
#02-05A Playground @ Big Splash Singapore, 902 East Coast Parkway, Tel: 6440 0282, www.updogstudio.com
A single, one-hour class for $33.92; a 10-class package for $339.19.
FACILITIES The poshest of the lot. It has two workout rooms, one for 24 students, the other, 40. Mats, towels and lockers are provided. Very spacious shower and changing area.
INSTRUCTION Christina, the instructor, was warm and friendly. She demonstrated each pose before walking around to check our poses. She kept a keen eye out for first-timers like me. I struggled with the balancing poses and Christina was always there to help. When she felt I could go into a deeper stretch, she gently guided, not forced, my body. She constantly reminded us to breathe deeply through our noses.
WORKOUT This was a thorough workout but I didn’t feel winded from it. It covered more yoga poses than the others, but I was mostly able to keep up.
VERDICT 9. Nice environment, well-equipped and very well-paced.
Best Value: Yoga Movement
31A/33A New Bridge Road, Tel: 6534 4670, www.yogamovement.com.sg
A single, one-hour class for $20; a 10-class package for $180.
FACILITIES The shophouse studio is cosy. Its two yoga rooms take 15 and 20 people. There are no lockers, only cubbyholes. The shower and changing area are small but clean. Mats are provided. You can rent a towel for $1 (or bring your own).
INSTRUCTION Teacher Kiki demonstrated each pose and slowed the pace so newbies could get used to the heat. She was encouraging and attentive, making sure I settled comfortably into each pose before moving on. She reminded me to breathe deeply, and helped align my body in some poses, but not to the point of discomfort.
WORKOUT I felt energised post-workout. Kiki went through the least number of poses amongst the studios but we had to hold them for a good 30 seconds longer.
VERDICT 8. A less strenuous workout, with a helpful instructor. The package price is decent.
Great Find: Anahata Yoga
86A Arab Street, tel: 6291-1309, www.anahatayoga.sg
A two-class trial for $20; members get a stored value card starting at $200 (minimum).
FACILITIES The rustic studio is newly opened, and only one of its two rooms, which can hold 19 people, was ready at that time. There’s a big, airy locker room, with a changing area and shower facilities. Mats and towels are provided.
INSTRUCTION Instructor James took us through each pose, patiently explaining how they would stretch the body. As it was my first class, he made sure I had no medical conditions or injuries and checked regularly that I was not feeling faint from the heat. While he adjusted my alignment on the back bends, he didn’t push me beyond my limits. He reminded us to keep breathing and not to rush – I found it easier to cope with the heat when I relaxed.
WORKOUT The session didn’t leave me feeling exhausted but my thighs ached a bit. I left feeling calmer and more refreshed.
VERDICT 8.5. An attentive instructor, with a reasonable pace and price – good for hot yoga beginners.
Level 5, Parkway Centre, 1 Marine Parade Central, Tel: 6344 6164, www.platinumyoga.com
A single, one-hour class for $35; when you buy a class package, single classes range from $19-$25. Rates of packages vary.
FACILITIES The biggest studio of the lot, with space for 45 people, but it felt clinical. It has three other small rooms that hold 25 each. Mats, towels and lockers are provided; there’s a small changing area but no shower facilities.
INSTRUCTION Instructor Anil was amiable and chatty. He demonstrated every move and gave one-to-one attention. But he was tough – for certain stretches, Anil gently pushed me deeper into the pose, even when I felt I was at my limit.
WORKOUT The most intense session. I felt exhausted. It didn’t help that the studio was also the hottest, at 39-40 deg C. Towards the end, I was breathless and tired, and had to stop several times as I couldn’t keep up.
VERDICT 7. Big studio and dedicated instructor, but let down by the lack of shower facilities. Newbies would find the class a challenge.
#02-01, 3 Canton Street, Tel: 6438 0103, www.homyoga.sg
A single, one-hour class for $40; a 10-class package for $299.
FACILITIES A welcoming shophouse studio with two yoga rooms for 25 students each. Mats, towels and lockers are provided, plus shower and changing facilities.
INSTRUCTION Instructor Asami didn’t demonstrate every pose, only those the class found challenging; newbies like me had to look at other students to see what they were doing. Asami walked around to check on students but didn’t stop to adjust anyone’s alignment. I wasn’t sure if I was doing the poses correctly.
WORKOUT I didn’t feel very tired post-workout – when I saw that Asami wasn’t guiding anyone into a deeper stretch, I decided to cut myself some slack.
VERDICT 6. Good pace and location, but I would have preferred more guidance.
All studios are in Singapore. All classes take beginners, intermediate and advanced students; there is no minimum class size.
This article was originally published in Simply Her October 2012.
All pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine’s publication. We advise readers to check with the studio for the latest availability and information.