Yoga is supposed to help you find peace and serenity, but the prices of some of the yoga classes in Singapore are enough to give even the most zenned out yogi a heart attack. Since when did inner peace have to come at such a price?
But all is not lost. Whether you prefer to practise yoga in its most traditional form with a strong focus on breathing exercises and cleansing techniques, or you prefer a hip environment filled with trendy Lululemon-clad classmates, here are three ways to attend yoga classes without spending a cent.
Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir
While we tend to think of yoga as a series of exercises designed to turn bodies into pretzels, in actual fact the ancient science of yoga was developed as a way to maintain physical, mental and spiritual health-not look cool in lycra or impress people with your handstands.
A big part of yoga is the breathing exercises and cleaning techniques that keep your insides functioning well, combined with the asanas or poses we're used to seeing. Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir's 12-week basic course teaches both at various locations all over the island. It's free of charge, although at certain centres a $5 to $10 charge will be levied upon registration.
What are classes like?: While there are mass practice sessions during the weekly classes, don't expect a bootcamp-style hardcore workout. Classes are designed to equip participants with the skills needed to practise yoga on their own, so a lot of emphasis will be placed on checking that the various exercises are done correctly, and at the end of each class students split into small groups to have their exercises checked by an instructor.
How to sign up?: Check the website for the starting dates of the next set of basic courses (beginning again in January 2016) and simply show up on the first day of the term to register.
Health Promotion Board Sunrise in the City
If you'd like to check out some of the latest and greatest yoga studios in Singapore and are well able to wake up early in the morning, you'll want to sign yourself up for free yoga classes under the banner of the Health Promotion Board's Sunrise in the City programme.
Studios all over Singapore, but mainly in central areas close to the CBD, open their doors early in the morning so participants can enjoy free classes. If you're disciplined enough to wake up early every day, this basically removes the need to purchase a gym membership.
What are classes like?: Classes are held at various studios, so teaching methods may vary slightly depending on which classes you're attending, although most follow the standard modern yoga style with air conditioned studios and a mass workout session with corrections from the instructor. Choose from morning sun salutations, hot yoga and more. The calendar changes each month.
How to sign up?: Visit the Sunrise in the City website and register for the slots you'd like to attend online. Slots tend to fill up fast, so once you enter your details the HPB will inform you when the latest schedule is out to allow you to book far in advance.
While Meetup tends to be a good resource for free sports and exercise groups, most of the yoga classes on the site charge per-lesson fees of about $10 to $25. Still, there are one or two groups that conduct classes absolutely free of charge, the most popular being the Yoga for Peace and Balance group.
The group meets every Sunday morning at the Botanic Gardens for an outdoor yoga session and has grown to be quite large, with close to 50 participants at times.
What are classes like?: The style is modern-style hatha, and while the class level is pitched as basic, those who have little experience with yoga will find it quite a vigorous workout nonetheless. The outdoor location makes it a nice alternative to air conditioned studios, although those who are afraid of the sun should come equipped with lots of sunscreen.
How to sign up?: RSVP on their Meetup page and show up at the appointed date and time outside Botanic Gardens MRT. The group will then move towards their spot for the morning.
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