“Yoga for normal people”. It’s one of the best mottos we’ve come across, and defines the teaching philosophy and comfortable, welcoming vibe of Kate Porter Yoga (KPY) on the East Coast. I’m a bit of a yoga skeptic myself, and even I came away from a KPY class energised, happy, and physically exhausted (in a good way)!
KPY began in 2010 when South African (and normal person!) Kate Porter started teaching free yoga classes in her living room while working toward a yoga instructor’s certification. By 2011 her infectious charm was attracting hordes and she acceded to her students’ demands to open up a new studio space (to this day the studio – on the ground floor of a residential condo building – evokes a homey, comfortable ambience with artwork on the walls, oriental rugs and a “take-a-book, leave-a-book” shelf).
A mama of two, Kate’s not only grown a fanbase of devoted students (in fact I first came across her studio after reading raves in a Facebook parenting group), she’s also built a team of professional and passionate teachers who oversee a range of Hatha-based classes, from “Tranquilizer” and “Soft & Gentle” Prenatal Yoga to Pilates and even “Bootcamp Yoga”.
I attended the “AB&T Flow” (that’s short for “Abs, butt and thighs”) class with one of KPY’s longest-serving instructors, a sassy Texan named Donna. She was lithe and fit as you’d expect a yoga teacher to be, but also rocked dangly earrings, played jazz music during the cool-down, and kept the mood light and entertaining as she put us through our paces (“Push-ups; let’s count down from 80!” … thankfully that was a joke).
Donna (pictured below with Kate) knew everyone in the packed class’s name, and wasn’t afraid to call them out (meanwhile plenty of them gave her cheeky grins and howled in mock-agony as we moved from planks to lunges to bridges). The spirit and camaraderie reminded me more of a spin class than some of the stiflingly spiritual Yoga classes I’ve attended in the past.
AB&T Flow is something of a hybrid class aimed at people looking for a workout (I’m sure the mood is more tranquil in some of the other yoga classes), but the tone seemed very much in keeping with KPY’s “Yoga for normal people” ethos. “We welcome people of all shapes, sizes, ages, levels of fitness and experience”, the website proclaims. “Coming to KPY is never competitive, it is never fanatical and it certainly involves zero pressure”.
After class we were served chilled tea and refreshing cold towels while people lingered to chat or popped into the bright shop selling cute clothes and yoga accessories. The vibe was so relaxed I didn’t want to leave, either! Kate Porter Yoga is an upbeat, welcoming environment that’s perfect for mamas of all fitness levels and intensities.
Make sure to check it out for yourself, mama, with KPY’s open house on Saturday 16 May, when they’ll be offering FREE trial Yoga and Pilates classes all day from 9am to 5pm. Click the link for more info and to reserve your mat!
Kate Porter Yoga, 01-27 Laguna Park, 5000G Marine Parade Road, Singapore 449290, Tel: (+65) 9781 3402, www.kateporteryoga.com