New form of yoga makes way to Singapore

A new fitness craze is taking over yoga centres around the world from Delhi to Dublin.

Move over paddle yoga (basically, yoga on a paddleboard, on water), here comes floating yoga.

Unlike conventional yoga, which uses a mat placed flat on the ground, floating yoga involves getting into mid-air poses while supported by a hammock-like fabric apparatus.

This form of yoga - otherwise known as floating yoga, aerial yoga, anti-gravity yoga and unnata yoga - began gaining popularity last year in the US and Australia. Its fans reportedly include popstars Mariah Carey and Pink.

And it has reached Singapore - fitness chain Celebrity Fitness launched it two months ago.

According to Celebrity Fitness, a one-hour class takes a maximum of five students so that each person can receive sufficient guidance from the instructor.

Floating yoga is especially suitable for those who suffer from spine and joint injuries, says the brand's fitness manager Xabier Fabrega.

The fabric hammock suspended from the ceiling helps participants stretch and execute a range of yoga poses to their fullest ability.

"Compared to conventional yoga or other forms of exercise, floating yoga helps to suspend the pressure or pain on your joints, improve body alignment and loosen stiff areas in your body," he says, adding that his students are aged between 20 to 60 years old.

Celebrity Fitness would not say how many students have signed up for the floating yoga classes.

Supporters say that, freed from gravity and with the support from the hammocks, you will be able to achieve better posture and try more advanced poses, such as invertions and headstands.

Consultant Nicole Choa, who has been attending floating classes for the past month, agrees.

"The first time is a little bit difficult, but it's definitely more fun, and more relaxing than conventional yoga, because you are suspended at different angles.

"It pushes your body to be more limber," says the 24-year-old.

This article was first published in The New Paper.