GuavaPass so far: 3 months checkpoint and my favourite Yoga studios

I’ve always been an active person, constantly moving and thinking ahead of my next step. When I made a decision to introduce fitness back into my life, last Christmas, I felt that Yoga and Pilates will be complements to dancing.

I wasn’t ready to sign on a studio membership. Have you seen the number of studios that have closed down without much notice in the last year? Boutique studios, Sadhana Sanctuary, Space & Light and BYCH have closed their doors and even chains, True Yoga has shuttered one outlet and Viva Fit has stopped operations in four outlets with two remaining franchise outlets. I don’t think I want to deal with having to seek mediation if a studio that I signed with closed down.

In come with fitness subscriptions which I am an advocate of. Long story short, you have access to a limited number of classes in its partner studios. There are two such fitness subscription providers in Singapore: KFit and GuavaPass. Your subscription is renewable monthly. Read: my full fitness subscription review of GuavaPass and KFit.

I have been on GuavaPass for three months so far and I attend mostly yoga classes.

Referrals and promotions

Just like any subscription that survives on sales, referrals are important.

GuavaPass: Each new member gets $40 off their first month with a referral code. The refereed gets $40 off to be applied in next month’s membership.

My GuavaPass promo code /referral link : https://goo.gl/Zo3tpd

KFit: Every new member gets $10 off and refereed gets $10 off. KFit seems to be changing their referral program fee very frequently. If you’ll like to double check on how much discount exactly there is, I’d suggest to drop me an email at hello@meowsyy.com and I’ll get back to you within 12-24 hours.

My KFit referral link / promo code is: JVBGZ 

The Not So Goods

Class cancellations

This has proved to be the biggest challenge for me so far. Most class cancellations require a 12-hour notice. For example, a 7.30pm class needs to be cancelled by 7.30am. Say bye to spontaneous dinner appointments or incur a $15 cancellation charge. Worse, a no show costs you $20.

Partner studio changes

You need to be prepared that your favourite classes may not be available. My favourite Pilates Reformer classes at R-Evolution were stopped when the studio closed down. Likewise, I only attended one Music Flow at Singapore School of Meditation and Yoga and was looking forward to more.

The Good Stuff

The user intuitive website

I prefer booking classes on the GuavaPass desktop website for its user-friendly interface. Then again, I am mostly desk-bound with frequent desktop access. The mobile app is convenient for last minute class bookings.

Last minute class bookings

From what I have observed, class bookings typically close an hour before the class, subject to availability of course. There have also been instances where last minute slots for popular classes open up.

My favourite yoga studios

I used to attend 3-5 classes a week but have dropped to 2-4 classes with my current dance rehearsal schedule. These are some of my favourite studios. I grew up on a staple diet of dance classes since young. Yoga is not my main form of exercise but complements my dance training. I find myself gravitating towards flow and power classes for the dynamic movements.

Updog Studio (East Coast)*

Update: Aug 2016, Updog is no longer a GuavaPass partner. Leaving this here for whoever finds it useful.

I am an Eastie and the location of the studio is easily accessible for me. My favourites are the Hot Flow and Hot Hatha classes. Coupled that with the beautiful full-length windows and breezy dressing rooms/showers, the full studio experience is always enjoyable.

Strala (Boat Quay)

The previous Strala at Armenian Street

The feel of Strala’s classes is quite different from other yoga classes I have attended. Strala is founded by Tara Stiles who is known for being a yoga rebel. The studio follows her style, which is flow based where one moves with ease from poses to poses.

Perhaps as a dancer before a yogi, the easy flow of poses resonates with me. My favourite Strala class is Strong – similar to that of power yoga. Expect inversions and hand stands in Strong classes.

Ziva (Tiong Bahru)

Ziva is the Sanskrit word for bliss and the studio is aptly named. I feel at ease whenever I attend class at Ziva. It is unpretentious and homely. Each class is 75 minutes, you don’t feel like you rush through the closing sequences.

The studio is also centrally located in Tiong Bahru, easily accessible from CBD.

Avante (Raffles Place)

The studio is famed for the Dianamic yoga class which is named after its founder Diana but I’ve yet to try her class.

Friday night is an unpopular slot for classes, I supposed most people would want to go for dates, drinks and wind down for the weekend. Avante has a unique 8.30pm Friday night class. The instructor, Angela, is known to push you to your limits. Expect physical adjustments. I almost hobbled out of my first class.

Alpha Balance (Multiple locations)

This is the Canvass studio. Alpha Balance is a dedicated collective of yoga and pilates instructors with classes across multiple locations.

There is a Wednesday 1.5 hour Vinyasa Flow class which really tests your endurance. It is a test of mind over body.

Bonus: Glow Yoga (Holland Village)

Flow at Glow Yoga was quite an intriguing experience. This was possibly, the most spiritual class I have attended and may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

A home studio within the instructor’s home, the space is filled with precious stones and knick knacks from travels. The instructor, Amy, did some incense twirling and ringing of bells to cleanse the room’s energy. It was an enlightening experience for me, Glow is like another “branch” of yoga seldom seen and experienced in Singapore. If you’re comfortable with yoga with a tinge of spirituality, try Amy’s class for a fresh perspective.

 

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Patience my young Padawan…

And so, I never thought this would happen to me…

My photos on my free account has exceeded the bandwidth so I just coughed up some cash to revive my images. I apologise if you have been seeing this!

Secondly…

ImageShack just told me my images are going to be unavailable. The last I checked, I have some 500 images with ImageShack for this blog, mostly 2013 and earlier, which means travelogues for Hong Kong are currently unavailable.

It’s going to be a lengthy process re-uploading my pictures and re-linking them but I hope to refresh the links by end of the year. If there are any blog entries that you’re seriously keen in, please drop a comment on that entry and I’ll push that to the front of the queue.

 

Retreat In Bali

So this is my view today while having breakfast:

image

I’m doing a mini two week retreat in Bali where I’m getting lots of sleep, good food, exercise from exploring the town and yoga classes. It’s a good break for me from work since this is my first “official” holiday this year.

image

Breakfast this morning

The wireless here is not the most fantastic hence, these mini updates. So, the service here is so slow too… perhaps, it’s a good reminder for me too to remember to slow down.

Seattle: Hotel Monaco

If you’re traveling to Seattle for business trips (I’m guessing Microsoft?) and you’re the kind who like a little more life/buzz, I would suggest for you to room in one of the Kimpton Hotels in downtown Seattle instead of Bellevue where most of the offices are located. Kimpton Hotels own a chain of boutique hotels in Seattle.

Staying in downtown simply offers way more options in terms of shopping, necessities and food. The trip from downtown Seattle to Bellevue is a relatively easy one by bus or taxi. If you’re a survivor of Asian traffic,  Seattle public transport is peanuts to navigate. I had initially opt for Alexis Hotel but ended up at Hotel Monaco as the former sold out on the basic room. Alexis Hotel was closer to the city centre and Pike’s Place but Hotel Monaco was merely a couple of blocks down. I believe the features of both hotel are similar.

I stayed in the Queen Room, the most basic room but even the most basic room is a 1-room suite.

The view once you step into the room

The work desk area for me

The sleeping portion

Each room gets a leopard-print and/or zebra print robe

No breakfast in the morning but there is free Starbucks basic brew with various options of milk and sugar

I remember my stay being enjoyable and pleasant!

Plus points:

  1. Register ahead before you book your hotel stay as a Kimpton InTouch member, this will give you free wireless and $10 mini bar credit.
  2. Comfortable plush bed with different options of pillows.
  3. Central location with a bus stop nearby for travel into Bellevue, it took me approx 30 minutes to travel into Bellevue from downtown Seattle. The bus ride is quite okay since not a lot of people take public transport in Seattle, you’re almost certain to get a seat. The Seattle public library, downtown malls, Target and Pike’s Place is merely a walk away.
  4. There was a recycling programme, if you don’t need your linens changed, I think they provided a coupon ($5 or $10) which you can redeem at the hotel restaurant.
  5. There’s a evening wine hour from 5-6pm where you get to sample a few types of wines
  6. There’s a gym onsite but quite minimal so don’t expect too much.

There wasn’t a free breakfast option but free breakfasts don’t appear to be common in Seattle. There were morning tea and coffee from Starbucks.

If I have the chance to travel for business again, I’ll probably go for Hotel Alexis for closer proximity to sights.

 

 

My first step at seven

So, it’s been a while since I posted but I thought here’s  a story for you about how I started dancing..

I was an early starter. I remember peeking through the louvres of the school hall’s sliding doors, admiring at the dancers’… long hair. I was fascinated at possibility of having swishy long hair I can whip around. Yes, I started dance so I can keep long hair…

And so it began, the start of my Chinese Dance Thursdays.

I remember the first day at dance was a very painful experience. My mother bought me the standard uniform (of a pink leotard and short blue tights) and reminded me to listen to the teacher. I thought it would be fun. Maybe, we would even get to prance around pretending to be fairies and killing monsters.

Click here to read the full story at Dance Lah

 

Chinese dance

I haven’t been writing much because I’m working on this little project with a few of my friends. We’re working to create an online community for the local dancers. It’s pretty cool to be working with like-minded people who shares the same passion as you.

I was just thinking abut my first brush of dance the other day and I dug up some old dance pictures of mine. It’s funny how my features remained the same, more or less.

I think this was age 9 or 10