Monday, December 24, 2007

Singapore Dec07: Pure Yoga

One of the items high up on my to-do list in Singapore was to try a yoga class at Pure Yoga.

On the day I arrived, after lunch and drinks with my uni mates (excl S-En who wasn't feeling well), I popped by Pure Yoga at Ngee Ann City to look around and find out if I could partake in a class the following day, and how much a drop-by would cost.

The customer representative that attended to me was Nicky. He showed me around the studio, talked me through the various classes they have, told me a little about a few of their instructors, and set me up for a class the next day. A class costs S$40 for a one time drop-in but if you're Singaporean and keen to sign up for a package at Pure (or you really know how to work your charms hehe), you get a trial class for free!

I was very eager to try out Hot Yoga (a.k.a. Bikram Yoga), which really is just yoga taught in a heated room. Nicky recommended I try Hot Flow since I already do yoga.

I arrived half an hour before my 12.30PM class the next day, got changed and lounged in one of the very comfy sofas reading a yoga magazine until Nicky told me it's time to go into the studio. The instructor was Kenny, who reminded me of famous yogi Rodney Yee. Must be the hair.

We started off with the usual sun salutations, then moved through a series of poses. I didn't find it as flow-y as I'd expected, since it was supposed to be a vinyasa class. It wasn't very challenging, I don't think. But it wasn't easy-peasy-close-your-eyes-can-do either. Er lets just say, if you've done some power yoga before, you won't be struggling through the poses and won't be dead tired when you get out of class. I'm not saying Kenny's not a good instructor; in fact, I think he is rather good. Very precise, the kind who'd go around correcting your posture. I guess it's just that the class wasn't designed to be super challenging.

My favourite part was when we moved from shoulderstand (the unsupported version; I can't find a link for that) to bridge, to urdhva dhanurasana. I don't know why I refer to some poses with their English names and some with their Sanskrit names. Anyhow, I love how instructors are able to come up with interesting sequences like this, because I can't. Or maybe I can't be bothered to think.

I found it a little tricky to hold the Bakasana pose though, because my arms were so sweaty that my knees kept slipping bit by bit. I had to hold in my abs a lot more but they still slipped slowly. Maybe I wasn't holding in enough.

In a regular yoga class, I have to make a concious effort to practice Ujjayi Pranayama throughtout the class but in this hot yoga session, I found it came very naturally. Strange.

Prior to this, I've heard that some people feel faint in a hot yoga class so I was a little worried. I felt very very slightly lightheaded for a few minutes while we moved through the sun salutations but once I got used to the heat, I was fine.

Bikram Yoga is great for detoxification because it makes you sweat a whole lot more. It also makes it easier to stretch because your body is warmed up. However, I think the danger with this is, if you don't know your limits, you could think "ooooh I'm so flexible!" and over stretch, so do be careful!

It would be advisable to bring a large towel, so that you can wrap yourself up after class to keep your body warm. It's not very fun coming out from a heated room to an air conditioned room. I kept myself wrapped up all the way to the showers!

Pure Yoga has great facilities. The changing / shower room is huge (with rain showers!), and shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, facial cotton, cotton buds, body lotion and towels are all provided. Use of lockers is free. Yoga mats are provided too. Really, all you need to bring is yourself and a change of clothes. If you forget to bring a bottle of water, fret not, you can buy bottled water there. Or if you have your own bottle you can fill it up at one of the many water dispensers around.

There is also a branch at Raffles Place but if I had to pick one to sign up with, I'd choose the Ngee Ann City one. No prizes for guessing why.

Pure sells yoga wear as well, which I was planning to buy because all the female instructors at Jiva have such pretty yoga wear (they wear mainly Lululemon, mostly purchased at Pure Yoga HK when they attend workshops there), but changed my mind when I found out a simple top sells for about S$100 (some more, some a little less). That's just the top. So I'd have to shell out RM400-ish for an entire outfit! OK, maybe on the next trip, if I don't actually buy anything else and/or am feeling much more generous with myself, I might consider buying expensive yoga wear. I'm a sucker for all things pretty.

Then again, as Gav put it...."for a few pieces of spandex?!"

I got a text message from Sharryberry when I left Pure, so I decided to tell her that I just had a yoga class. "Seriously you are a FREAK!" came her response. Haha that cracked me up!!


Isabella said...

heya i googled "rain showers" and ur blog post came up. i just signed up at pure fitness myself and was wondering if the yoga outlet at ngee ann had rain shower facilities too. interesting entry! oh and i just splurged on lululemon today - got a pair of long pants, a sports bra and a singlet top. it was, yeah, ouch expensive. so i know what u mean :)

Carrot said...

hello!! nice to know your search led u here!! i'm a member at pure fitness too! the showers at the gym are far nicer and newer of course :)
well done on your purchases!! i'm sure you'll have more fun working out in them than plain old shorts and tee! i'm like that too :)