Prenatal Yoga is pervasive in Singapore, but what are the key features to look for? And what should you be paying per class? Our reluctant yoga enthusiast reveals her top picks
I’m not gonna lie — I gave in to the Teeki-wearing Whole Foods- shopping cult when I lived in the yoga Mecca of the world, Los Angeles. What started with me, an Indian woman scoffing at a blonde girl teaching me how to perfect my downward dog, became an obsession. I was nowhere near limber but was determined to find the perfect studio and instructors when I came back to Singapore — and then I got knocked up.
Prenatal yoga classes are best done after you’re done barfing out your meals for three whole months. Of course, these classes are more restorative, and relaxing compared to your usual Hatha or Vinyasa classes. I’m no expert but you can read more about prenatal yoga from an expert here.
Dawn Sim, Founder of Trium Fitness and badass mama of four cautions, “The expecting mother should always use her breathing as a tool to help her monitor if she needs to ease off from a particular pose. So if she’s holding her breath or barely able to breathe when practicing a pose, then she will need to take it back a notch or modify the pose.
“The key is always to be mindful on feeling the stretching or working of muscles. But if there is anything like a pinching sensation, a sharp pain or pain in the joint, then she will need to stop practicing that pose.”
In the hunt for the best prenatal yoga classes, I waddled around the island and tried a bunch of classes so you don’t have to.
$20 first trial/ $45 per drop in class thereafter
I was honestly surprised that COMO’s prenatal classes were priced competitively with other yoga studios. Each class is a 75-minute session where you’re taken through breathing and meditation exercises, stretches and strengthening poses. You use a variety of props, and as someone who detests repetitive yoga sessions where you’re taken through the same poses each class, COMO always offers you something new. Whether it’s a bite-sized piece of advice from the instructor about managing labour, or an entirely new way to look at how to strengthen your pelvic floor (and you know we need that!), COMO’s classes rank amongst my favourites.
PROS: Daily 11am prenatal classes; conveniently located on Orchard Road
Free trial/ $30 per drop in class thereafter
Housed in the upper floors of a cluster of refurbished shophouses, The Art of Yoga offers prenatal yoga on both Saturdays and Sundays. Classes are small, as most studios’ are, and they’re taught by in-house pre- and post-natal specialist, Natalie Lim. The class I attended had us focus a lot on strengthening the thighs and legs in preparation for labour, which I had no complaints about for sure. The instructor has an affinity towards the goddess pose for prenatal yoga, and I particularly enjoyed the mini massages she would offer while we were in modified child’s pose.
PRO: More affordable than most prenatal classes
$38 per drop-in class
When The Yoga School promises “a sanctuary in the sky,” that’s exactly what it delivers. Located on the 39th floor of OCBC Centre – just a skip and hop away from Raffles Place MRT station – you feel like you’re stepping into a spa in the skies rather than a yoga studio. A soothing palette of white, beige, and brown form the canvas of a resolutely serene interior where you will go through your practice with instructor Lay Peng, who also teaches regularly at COMO Shambhala. Classes are kept small and held twice a week, at 10.30am and 12.15pm on Fridays. Lay Peng is always attentive, making minor adjustments to suit her students’ needs, aches and pains, and she’s clearly very well-informed when it comes to the prenatal condition.
PROS: Best looking yoga studio EVER and conveniently located in the CBD
$50+ GST per drop in
Pure offers prenatal yoga daily — the only catch is that they offer it across the three clubs they have in Singapore (located at Orchard, Asia Square and Raffles Place). The good thing is, the clubs are all conveniently located so you could easily hop on the train and go to a different one, no matter your home membership. The schedules are fixed, so you can work it around yours. And anybody who has attended any class at Pure will know the high standards they deliver.
PROS: Conveniently located studios, perfect for those who enjoy studio hopping.
Free trial/ $40 per drop in class thereafter
Yoga Lab’s classes were the first prenatal classes I attended and I found the first class gentle and relaxing. I experienced DOMS the next day from the shoulder opening poses, which was very much welcomed. However, the second and third sessions I attended had the same sequence, and same poses with minor variations, which made wonder why I forked out money for this when I could do the same thing watching a YouTube video at home. Granted, poses that pregnant women can do are more limited but I would have liked more variations.
PROS: Multiple locations, including Duxton and CBD areas.
Lead image sourced via COMO Shambhala