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Fitness: A decision at last!

A while ago, I was faced with a decision to make. My then-yoga studio was undergoing rebranding and introducing a new cost model, from having the option of paying on a per-class basis, to only per month basis. So I thought I might as well shop around for a new fitness option, since the rates were not compelling enough for me to stay loyal, and more practically, the location was not that convenient via MRT.

I was also doing pilates regularly.  Both activities are quite costly individually, and I was advised to check out fitness gyms with both yoga and pilates classes as a compromise. I did. I found Fitness First to be a good choice because of the convenient locations available and also it was recommended by my friends who are members. 

But, I could not get past the feeling that yoga and pilates classes in a fitness gym would never be as good as dedicated yoga and pilates studios. I decided that I would let pilates take a backseat for now while I would focus on finding a new home for my yoga practice.  And I checked out a few hot yoga studios in the last few weeks. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Real Yoga
They have two locations - Centerpoint and Tampines.  Centerpoint was easily accessible. There are two yoga rooms, one hot and one non-hot. The sales consultant was really nice and patient. Rates were also very competitive, the best for per-month in fact. There is a water cooler to fill your bottle and a little relax area to chill out. But I didn't like that the studios were not very pleasant. The mats were quite worn and a bit gross (sorry!) and there was a humid stank in the air of the hot studio. The instructor for my trial class was Indian and he was pretty good in the poses. However he had a strong accent which I had a tough time trying to understand. Additionally, there was not many showers available in the changing room and you have to bring your own lock and key. Bathroom was outside the studio, in the common Centrepoint area. I knew this place was not for me after the first trial class.

2. Sadhana Sanctuary
There is only one location, at Regency House. One plus point for me is that they offer per-class option. On a per-month basis, it was not that different from my previous studio. They have a odd system to leave your shoes right after you enter the entrance. General bathroom was also outside the studio. There was a big living room area to chill out. Perks include free (TWG) tea and coffee.  The number of showers were limited and the changing room was pretty small. The lockers themselves were also quite small, so no big bags. Additionally, the top row lockers were quite high. I consider  myself tall, but I had to tiptoe to access them. No plastic bags available, so if you sometimes forget to bring your own, good luck.  But the facilities overall was pleasant and I took the introductory package of 6 classes. In class, many of the students do not practice general courtesy. You see phones, lots of talking, people bringing tea into the studio (!), etc. I didn't like that there were no rules.  The nearest MRT station is Dhoby Ghaut but it is not that near that if it rains, that might be a deterrant (to me at least).

3. Pure Yoga
They have two locations, both of which are easily accessible via MRT and sheltered all the way! That is a strong point for me. The changing rooms are big with many showers. The lockers are equipped with in-built locks so there is no need to bring your own. Additionally, there are water coolers to fill your own bottles, and plastic bags available as well. There are at least four yoga rooms per location and they are clean and the mats are pretty decent. There is also chill out areas with the latest magazines and newspapers.

So, yes, I made a choice. Pure Yoga will be my new studio home for the next year!

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