From The Straits Times    |

Photo: Unsplash

A new year brings new resolutions, and with it the motivation to change up your fitness routine. If you’re not ready to give up your regular yoga, barre or pilates practice – and you shouldn’t have to – these hybrid fitness classes are a great way to keep you motivated on your fitness journey. Here are a few new ones to try.

When you love… Yoga: Try Yoga Reformer at Absolute You

Photo: Absolute You Singapore Facebook

When your weekly yoga class is no longer leaving that post-workout burn, it’s time to take things up a notch. Trust us when we say that this is a more challenging class than we anticipated. Doing a yoga poses on the mat – warrior, downward dog, sun warrior, bridge – is demanding enough but add in the reformer as form of resistance, and you’ve got your work cut out for you. Not that the presence of the reformer is all bad; certain poses like the chaturanga are easier as the bed limits and controls the range of stretching. Having some familiarity with yoga and reformer pilates will help you get more out of the hour as this is a class requires close listening to cues and monitoring your positioning. The mental effort pays off though, as you’ll emerge energised and with a better understanding of the body’s micro movements and how to make it work for you.

Best for: A regular yoga or pilates enthusiast looking to mix things up.

When you love… Yin Yoga: Try Gong Yin at Ascend Yoga Therapy

Photo: Ascend Yoga Therapy Facebook

If you’re looking to deepen your yin yoga practice, the Gong Yin class offered at Ascend Yoga Therapy is worth checking out. A passive practice that combines yin yoga poses with the soundscape of live gongs, the amalgamation of the two is extremely effective in quieting the mind. Similar to a yin class, you’ll stretch the fasia around the joints (knees, spine, sacrum etc..) by holding seated or supine poses for between three and five minutes. If you’ve always found it hard to fully concentrate during a yin practice, this is where the gongs (and the gong bath) may come in handy as the reverberations  ‘washes’ over your body, bathing you in a coccoon of sound. A practice more for the mind and the soul, you’ll leave calmer (the vibrations can stay with you for up to 48 hours),  more focused, and in all likelihood, happier for allowing yourself some dedicated me time.

Best for: Anyone looking to deepen their yin practice or try gong meditation.

When you love… TRX: Try Rip Circuit at Pure Fitness

Photo: 123rf

The name is a giveaway, this class at Pure Fitness is designed to get you ripped by intensely working on various muscle groups – core, rotational, scapular, lower back – by way of a Rip Trainer, a lever bar and resistance cord that allows for high speed striking movements or slow speed strength and stability exercises. Included as part of a circuit, rather than using TRX Suspension Straps, common movements performed with the Rip Trainer include overhead chops, squats and paddle rows, which you immediately notice engages the core and obliques, and can be scaled up or down depending on your level of strength and fitness. As if the slow burn from the Rip Trainer isn’t enough, the class includes other equipment like the Power Plate and body-weight training to bring on an intense metabolic burn. The real benefit of this class though lies in its focus on rotational power, think push-pull movements, which are needed in everyday life and ultimately help to strengthen and avoid back injuries.

Best for: Anyone looking to get ripped and improve functional movements.

When you love… Core Workouts: Try Fit Flow at Core Collective

Photo: Core Collective SG Facebook

Think of this as a complete physical conditioning class but one with a certain grace to it. Fit Flow, a substyle of Embodied Dance Movement, is a formulated modality developed by Daniel “Sonic” Rojas that focuses on getting our bodies loose. A class that’s better experienced in person, the dynamic practice blends the physical precision of calisthenics (read: you will be engaging your core) with mobility training for added flexibility and animalistic movements, all this via engaging neglected muscles that keep the body aligned. This class works on almost every aspect of fitness: strength, flexibility, mobility, co-ordination, balance, body alignment and overall mind and body awareness, so you’ll be sweating buckets by the end of it.

Best for: Anyone looking to improve their core strength and overall flexibility in a low impact manner.

When you love.. Barre: Try Barre Stretch at Barre Lab

Photo: Barre Lab Facebook

Call this a refinement of your typical barre class, here barre movements are combined with stretches to tone and lengthen major massage groups. Using a mixture of barre, pilates and yoga, the hour-long class’ laser focus on stretching – incidentally, a growing fitness trend – is done slowly to ensure proper technique is observed. Targetting common problem areas like the hips, legs and back, there’s a number of modifications to assist in the various passive and dynamic stretches. The result? Like most barre classes, you’ll emerge walking taller, like there’s an invisible string pulling you upright from the top of your head.

Best for: Barre lovers who want to further focus on lengthening their muscles.