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An invigorating holiday in Phuket which encompasses the hottest wellness trend in paradise, Bikram yoga, is just what the doctor ordered to re-energise your life. Try this on a vacation infusing Thai massage and island boat tours and you'll return home feeling amazingly rejuvenated, no matter how short the stay.
Bikram Yoga is the hottest weight loss trend to hit the tropical island of Singapore. You can register for a free class on any holiday and discover it's a great therapeutic activity to wind down from Singapore's retail therapy, before you indulge more in Singapore's infamous food therapy!
Located in the middle of shoppers' delight near Singapore's Orchard Road, at Pacific Plaza on Scotts Rd, Bikram Original Hot Yoga is a heated yogic activity where 26 Hatha postures, and two breathing exercises, are twice performed under remedial temperatures of 41 degrees. Hot? Yes. Benefits? Plenty. In a 90-minute class you will burn approx 900 calories by working on strength, balance, flexibility, and definitely on focus. Forget issues of bad flexibility, this is a beginner class. Bendy or not, Bikram yoga is an activity that will help everyone remember they are alive.
Walking in to the Pacific Plaza studio it's hard not to be drawn to a large wall adorned with pictures of the inventor of Bikram style yoga, Bikram Choudry, greeting international celebs (watch out for my fave David Beckham.) The pamphlet handed to you by friendly reception staff also highlights a strong celebrity following: Madonna, Julia Roberts, Jessica Simpson, Sharon Stone, Matthew Mcconaughey, Elle Macpherson, George Clooney...Google this and the list goes on.
There's good reason celebs are into Bikram yoga - the results of regular classes give you an incredibly toned body - just take a look at any instructor if you're in doubt of its effectiveness. Throw a few classes into your holiday schedule and devouring that extra Singaporean chili crab is a guilt-free luxury.
During class, instructors recite consistent dialogue of the poses, peppered with details of the multiple health benefits. Rapid weight loss, body toning, and strengthening of muscles are yours in the making. Spine strengthening is benefitting muscular and skeletal problems. Your body is helped to regulate diabetes, heart disease, asthma, insomnia, chronic indigestion, blood pressure, and the benefits go on. This is the kind of practice that will keep you healthy well into old age. A class worth trying...
The Bikram Original Hot Yoga studio at Pacific Plaza makes it easy to pop in for a class, then shower, change and continue your tourist day. No need to take a towel or mat, these are provided. Just turn up with water bottle (or buy one there) and clothes easy to move and sweat in. Don't eat food at least three hours prior, or your tummy may feel funny when stretching.
If you arrive early, the studio boasts a chill-out lounge to relax in with mags and international articles on all things Bikram. With two studios, Bikram Original Hot Yoga offer up to 70 classes a week. The huge locker rooms are quite deluxe for a fitness centre and the lockers generously-sized. There are large private showers, with complementary shampoos and soaps, to complete the rejuvenation feeling after class. Plenty of mirrors and the use of hair dryers ensure you leave in as good a condition as when you arrived.
On my visits I liked to arrive early to allow time to meditate in the heat and let my body acclimatize - not hard when it‘s hotter outdoors. As I waited for the evening class to begin, watching the amazing sunset filtering through skyscrapers, I considered stressed-out workers nearby who could truly do with a dose of this ‘escapism' yoga - it really does take your mind somewhere else completely - out of the city and into you!
Byron Bay on Australia's noth coast of NSW is considered the country's yoga capital due to the the many yogi's who flock to the area seeking sun, surf, health and like minded people. Incorporating yoga into your own holiday will rejuvenate your soul, and Bikram yoga is worth looking into. It's a hard, sweaty class, but the health benfits are numerous and the after glow is guaranteed, as is the happiness that comes with having successfully lasted a 90 minute workout.
The Byron holiday package includes unlimited yoga classes for one or two weeks, with option of three classes a day. There is plenty of accommodation nearby which you'll need to arrange yourself. The studio resides opposite a beach (in summer a swim after class will be your life saver.) Byron Bay is one of Australia's most holistic destinations for the health conscious traveller. Aura and psychic readings, massage, organic foods and naturopaths are in abundance and all part of a chic hippy culture. The town is full of trendy cafes, outdoor pubs and activities like surf lessons, and kayaking. Whale watching whilst on a bushwalk up to the lighthouse is not to be missed.
Can you imagine a theme park of trampolines? It exists! Sydney boasts a venue called Skyzone, where rows of trampolines lay side by side for you to bounce between, like a big kid. The best part? These trampolines are aimed at adults for health and fitness as well as an active day out. The venue is rather large, and rather fun. You can shoot hoops in a super high basketball ring, play dodgeball, or take a fitness class called tight buns. Or you can jump high into the air from a trampoline and land softly into a sea of foam squares. This is something you always wanted to do. And you didn't even know it existed! Be warned, you may find yourself with The Pet Shop Boys Absolutely Fabulous song stuch in your head and subconcously quoting Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous ''Buns so tight he was bouncing off the walls' from the song - as you leave the fitness class - because you just bounced off the walls with your tight buns!
Where: Alexandria, Sydney
What to wear: Exercise gear
Expenses: Special grip socks, included in the price.