We love our cool yoga studios around town, but no matter how hard they try…Singapore isn’t the most serene place for yoga. Whether the studio is in a commercial building, the teachers are overworked, mats are jammed into a tiny room, or there’s a loud construction site outside the windows of your studio—there’s going to be something a little business-like about yoga in Singapore.
Whether you’re an experience yogi or just started practicing, it’s worth it to get out of the city and practice in a place that vibes with the yogic style.
My suggestion—H2O Yoga and Meditation Centre on Gili Air, Indonesia. This centre, which is devoted to a relaxing and fulfilling practice is located 300 meters from the beach, amidst palm trees and gardens. The outdoor yoga platform is open air, allowing balmy island air to waft through the classes. As with traditional yoga, there are no mirrors on the platform. Personally, I’ve always preferred practicing without mirrors because it allows me to meditate on how I feel in the poses, rather than how I look in them!
Motorized vehicles aren’t permitted on the Gili islands and Gili Air happens to much less touristy than Gili Trawagan, so the serene environment stays in tact regardless of the time of day. Even when the rains come, the heavy downs only add an extra cooling breeze around the platform.
The instructors take the time to introduce themselves to every student and get to know what level of ability everyone is before beginning a class. They provide explanations and variations of every pose so the classes are appropriate for all levels. Amazingly, the outdoor air and added relaxation of peaceful surroundings often help students to reach new levels in the practice. I was able to hold poses I never have before and haven’t since.
Apart from regular yoga classes, they also offer introduction to meditation classes and candle-lit yoga classes with Tibetan singing bowl meditation at the end. The latter is my favorite yoga class—ever! Nothing can beat the beautiful song of the singing bowls coupled with island breeze and dancing candle light beyond your eyelids. The classes are only 12 SGD(100,000 IDR) for a drop in or 80 SGD (750,000) for a ten class card.
You can stay at the centre for a complete five-day retreat that includes accommodation, vegetarian meals, outings, yoga classes and led meditation (550 USD) or just go for a few days stay and join the classes you want. The accommodation is pretty basic, so if you prefer something a little more luxurious, check out some of the beach side bungalow resorts right down the road!
Gili Air is home to some of the bluest water around and also offers great snorkeling, diving, and other water adventures. It’s just a ten minute boat ride from Lombok and two hours from Bali, so I would recommend flying direct to Lombok for an easier trip.
H20 Yoga and Meditation–we love the price, we love the location, and we love the practice. We think you will too. Namaste.
To book a stay or retreat with H2O Yoga and Mediation visit their website at h20yogaandmeditation.com.