More space, less stress with yoga on Pedestrian Night

Shoppers had a more enjoyable time walking down a car-free stretch of Orchard Road yesterday, even as close to a thousand yoga enthusiasts filled it for the second edition of Pedestrian Night.

Several changes were made after complaints of overcrowding at last month's event, which featured street tennis matches.

Pedestrians The Sunday Times spoke to found the stretch from Ion Orchard to Ngee Ann City less crowded and better lit.

"There is more room to walk around now," said polytechnic student Jeremy Chang, 22, who was at last month's Pedestrian Night.

"People are able to stop and take photos without obstructing those behind them."

While four of the five lanes along the 660m stretch between Scotts Road and Bideford Road were taken up by tennis matches last month, the mass yoga session yesterday occupied only three lanes.

Orchard Road Business Association (Orba) executive director Steven Goh said that like any pilot initiative, Pedestrian Night was a learning experience.

"We will continue to make necessary adjustments to improve the experience of the next Pedestrian Night," he added.

Pedestrian Night, where parts of Orchard Road are closed to traffic to inject vibrancy into the area, takes place from 6pm to 11pm on the first Saturday of the month.

Yesterday's Yoga Beat, a mass yoga session organised by yoga-wear retailer lululemon athletica and Orba, saw some 900 yoga enthusiasts stretching to the hip hop beats of local musicians, including rapper Kevin Lester.

Said participant Angeline Yeo, 28: "I enjoyed myself a lot at the event."

However, the tertiary student suggested it would have been even more fun if people had more time to mingle before the session started.

Organisers set up the stage and put the barricades in place within an hour before the event started.

While most of the pedestrians seemed to have enjoyed themselves, a few shoppers and diners in the area didn't like the experience. "The music is too loud," said administrative executive Judy Ang, 42.

"It affects the shopping and dining experience here."

This article was first published on Nov 02, 2014.
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