If you’re looking to improve your all-round health and learn how to live in the moment, hot yoga might just be the answer. And there’s no big secret to it. “Hot yoga is essentially Hatha yoga, which is the big umbrella; the physical form of yoga. Most other styles of yoga fall under Hatha. It’s just that hot yoga is practiced in a room that’s been heated up to temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celcius,” explains Diane Lee, founder of Bikram Yoga City Hall.
Heat For Life
Any person worth his or her kettle bells will know this universal rule of exercise: You must warm up before your session. But in an already heated room, your body quickly eases into exercise mode, reducing any chance of injury caused by exertion. The excessive sweating involved in practicing hot yoga is also a useful means of detoxification. As the sweat pours from your body, toxins are released through your skin. The environment in which you are practicing also trains you to breathe well, opening your lungs to their fullest capacity.
”With hot yoga, I don’t even have to follow a specific diet because it really speeds up my metabolism,” explains Tara Moralez, an experienced yogi. Fellow yogi Elaine Ee agrees. “Since I started practicing Bikram yoga, which is hot yoga with a systematic set of 26 postures, my metabolism has been like a furnace; it burns up everything I eat so I can eat pretty much what I want, whenever I want!” she tells us.
In such a challenging physical environment, you have no choice but to focus on the present moment. As you practice doing this regularly, you may find your mental stamina improving. For yoga teacher Alison Fisher from Hom Yoga, that means more willpower, patience and focus, all a huge help when dealing with daily life.
Where to Drop It Like It’s Hot
The first authorized Bikram studio in Singapore, Bikram Yoga City Hall was founded by marketing consultant Diane Lee, who at the time was suffering from numerous ailments despite a rigorous gym routine. Inspired by the Bikram method of hot yoga, Lee decided to make a career out of it. The studio has even seen people suffering from slipped discs, chronic hepatitis and even Parkinson’s disease coming in for classes. “They all experience improvement in movement,” says Lee.
Where: #02-14 Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Rd., 6339-6639.
How much: A single drop-in class costs $43 while a one-week unlimited pass for beginners costs $100.
Offering a fresh and modern approach to the practice of hot yoga, Hom Yoga conducts its classes in spacious rooms bathed in natural light. State of the art heating systems are also fitted in the studios to draw fresh air from outside to heat the room to the specified temperature. Here, you can ease into a variety of hot yoga styles, including Hot Hom, Hot Hatha and Hot Flow, taught by experienced yoga instructors. Eco-conscious yogis will also appreciate the use of energy efficient lighting, a filtered water fountain and eco-friendly cleaning products in the studio.
Where: #02-01, 3 Canton St., 6438-0103.
How much: A single drop-in class costs $39 while a monthly membership will set you back $370.
Pure are one of the more prominent fitness brands in Asia, and their professionalism is undeniable. Despite their location in one of the busiest parts of town, Pure manage to create a calming, sanctuary-like ambiance and the facility is equipped with excellent shower and security facilities, a retail space and a lounge with day beds and Wi-Fi access. Pure offer a full range of programs, including hot Hatha and classic classes, which are perfect for beginners.
Where: #04-00 Chevron House, 30 Raffles Place., 6304-2257.
How much: A single drop-in class costs $50 while 10 classes will set you back $459.
The newest addition to chef Emmanuel Stroobant’s empire is the Updog Studio, a joint effort with certified yoga teachers Betty Kong and Andrea Yeo. While the studio’s focus is on hot yoga, it also provides other types of classes. In addition, there’s an extensive range of yoga-related products on sale such as apparel, mats, books and DVDs.
Where: #02-05A Playground @ Big Splash, Blk. B 902 East Coast Parkway, 6440-0282.
How much: A one-month unlimited membership costs $299.