Call it a one-stop shop for all-round happiness. Yoga, India's hottest ancient export (unless you count Kamasutra), has many advantages, and helps tone up your body, mind and (they say) soul. We list some of its advantages before taking you to options you can explore in Singapore.
You can do it at any age- The good thing about yoga is that you can do it at any age or stage. It's well known to improve bone density, balance, flexibility and strength. The bonus is that it can handle back pain with ease.
Tackles chronic pain - Even if you are debilitated by osteoporosis, obesity, chronic arthritis or other forms of chronic pain or stiffness, yoga remains accessible.
It can wear off depression - Doing yoga regularly has been proven to help lift depression and lessen anxiety and that's true whether you're doing it in a big group, with a few friends or alone on your balcony. This one is ideal for those of us working late hours or stressful shifts at work.
Types of Yoga - at a glance
This is a gentler variant of yoga. Hatha yoga concentrates on holding asanas (poses)ensuing physical alignment and maintain balance. It can also include breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation.
Named after its developer, B.K.S. Iyengar, this is a form of hatha yoga that emphasises detail, precision and alignment to promote strength, mobility and stability.
Targeting the deep connective tissues and the muscle fascia, Yin Yoga aims to help regulate the flow of energy in the body. Poses are more passive, and mainly done on the floor.
One of the more vigorous styles, Ashtanga yoga includes a series of poses, each held for just five breaths. To keep up the pace, you do a half sun salutation (Surya Namskar) between poses.
Mysore style yoga
This sub-category of Ashtanga yoga is both traditional and safe: it is taught one to-one, but practiced in a group setting. Students arrive as they please within a three-hour period.
Also called flow yoga or dynamic yoga, classes flow from pose to pose without pause, giving students a good workout. It's a good idea to take a few slower classes first to become familiar with the poses.
Perhaps the most comprehensive of yoga traditions, Kundalini combines meditation, mantra, asanas and dynamic breathing for a practice that is both physical and spiritual.
Until you've tried this, you haven't really sweated. In a studio heated to 41°C, 26 poses are performed in the same order each time. Strengthening and stretching, it also facilitates the release of toxins.