When it comes to staying fit, I’m always looking to try things that are interesting and different. So when I found out that Virgin Active offers yoga sessions on the Marina Bay Sands rooftop observation deck, I was excited to give it a try.
The studio offers 45-minute SkyPark Yoga sessions at both sunrise and sunset. You can choose from a 7am session from Thursdays to Sundays, and 6.30pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays.However, Mark Seeto, the Global Head of Yoga and Pilates at Virgin Active, was in town to lead a special 90-minute sunrise session, so I got up early and went along.
The view from the 57th floor
As we stepped out of the lift at the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands, we were greeted by the sight of the Singapore skyline. It was nearing seven in the morning, so we also got to appreciate the beautiful view of the rising sun.
Admittedly, I'm not much of a morning person, but I think the view made getting up early on a Saturday morning worth it.
Yoga equipment is provided
The yoga mats were already laid out when we got there, so all we had to do was pick a spot we liked. There were also two yoga blocks, two small towels, and a bottle of disinfectant spray provided at each mat.
We also got a pair of wireless headphones to wear during the session, to hear the music and the instructor’s voice. The headphones were comfortable, with an adjustable headband and volume. They were quite effective at muffling surrounding sound and providing an immersive experience, which I really enjoyed. They also ensured that we could hear the instructor clearly no matter where we were – a bonus for those who prefer to stay in the back rows.
Yoga for all abilities
The class was made up of a mix of people with different ability levels, from beginners all the way to experienced participants. To cater to everyone’s ability, the instructor would provide multiple variations of the exercises. We could choose which pose variation we were comfortable with according to our abilities and preferences. Rather than pushing ourselves to the limit, we were encouraged to listen to our bodies, and think about what we wanted to focus on for that particular session.
I found the workout to be challenging but calming. It was an effective full-body workout that targeted the arms, legs, back, and most of all, the core. While it wasn’t as strenuous as, say, running, it did leave me a little out of breath by the end.
That said, it was still a rather calming experience. We were encouraged to breathe deeply, practise mindfulness, and really focus on the present moment. The panoramic views from the Skypark and the outdoor nature of the session made me pause to take in what was around me, so the session also felt like a much-appreciated break from the busy pace of life.
There’s a wet weather plan
Unfortunately, the outdoor nature of the session also means that it is susceptible to bad weather. Midway through the session, it started to drizzle lightly. The session initially carried on, and the drizzle proved to actually be quite refreshing.
However, the drizzle started to get a lot heavier, so the session had to be cut short. We returned the towels and the headphones to baskets provided by the studio and headed indoors. In the end, we got through about 45 minutes of yoga – that’s about the duration of a usual session, so it wasn’t so bad.
The studio does have a wet weather plan for class credits if it starts raining before or during the session, so that’s not a big concern.
And despite the wet weather, I still really enjoyed the experience. It was a good physical workout, and it put me in a great headspace to kickstart the day. The view was a highlight and made it a truly unique and rejuvenating experience.
Virgin Active’s Skypark Yoga sessions take place at 7am from Thursdays to Sundays, and 6.30pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The sessions are priced at $30 for members of the public, $20 for Sands Rewards LifeStyle members and $15 for all existing Virgin Active members. For more information, visit the Virgin Active website or the Marina Bay Sands website.
This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.