“Yoga is too expensive!”
This is the #2 most used excuse for people to not try out yoga. The #1 excuse is “I have no time”.
It’s true, that for yoga classes you have to pay most of the time. You can’t really just do yoga, you need to get suitable yoga apparel, get a mat or or get membership somewhere which provides mats. Everything incurs costs.
To be fair, it isn’t just yoga which is not free. Even for gymming, jogging, cycling, swimming, tennis etc.. you need to get the relevant gear.
Anyway, I’ve gone through the options for yoga apparel and yoga mats, both of which are non-recurring costs. The part where you need to keep paying for is the studio membership.
In this blog I’ve reviewed all sorts of places and you need to fork out around $150/ month average for unlimited memberships or multi studio passes, or expect to pay around $20 for class cards minimum. For budget options, community center classes works out to be around $10/ session.
For those who really can’t afford (or unwilling to) fork out these recurring costs, you can rejoice to know that in this expensive city known as Singapore, you can still find free yoga classes to attend! You do not have to rely on YouTube videos anymore.
- Sunrise in the City
This is an initiative by the Health Promotion Board. Several studios are offering free classes in the morning (before working hours – think 7:15am or 8am) and on weekends and most of these studios are located near the city area. The purpose is to encourage people to attend classes before work, mostly benefiting people who work near these studios!
Slots are released 1 month ahead and you need an account or valid Singpass to sign up. Each person can sign up for 10 classes a month. Besides yoga, they have other activities too. Participating studios which offers yoga classes include True Yoga, Platinum Yoga, One Wellness Club, Amore and Fitness First.
Sign up here.
Pros: Good studio environment and facilities.
Cons: You got to wake up early.
2. Community Classes by Lululemon
In other countries like US, Australia or New Zealand, community classes are very common, as a way of giving back to the community (this is like Karma Yoga, one of the forms of yoga). Classes are usually pay as you wish and donated to charity, conducted once a week. In Singapore, such culture has yet to take off, but at least we have Lululemon! Lululemon conducts several free classes EVERY WEEK, mostly in their 3 stores or sometimes at a partnering studio. Besides yoga, it can sometimes be a mindfulness meditation class, barre class, HIIT class and basically anything.
Since our focus here is yoga, I shall talk specifically about it. For classes held in their stores, you need to bring your own mat and RSVP as soon as they launch the events! These classes gets filled up really quickly so you need to set notifications on their Facebook page to know first hand. Most of these classes are conducted by popular teachers from reputable studios in Singapore, so the quality is real. If you’re in luck, sometimes when a foreign instructor is in town, they may offer a community class via Lululemon too!
ION and Takashimaya stores offers the classes mainly on Sunday morning, 8:30am, before store hours because they’ll be using their shop space. Duxton store has an empty space above their retail levels and classes are sometimes conducted on weekday evenings.
Pros: Good teachers, frequent classes, wide variety.
Cons: You got to bring your own mat. Popular classes are filled really fast. Popular classes can be very squeezy.
3. Community classes by Rock The Naked Truth
Rock The Naked Truth is a body image awareness movement started just this year, and they frequently organize events to promote their cause. Some of the classes are held in participating studios (eg. The Yoga Co., the Yoga Mandala) . Since this is not a yoga movement but fitness movement in general to discourage against body shaming, they have other activities too like HIIT, group running, indoor cycling, self defense and golf.
Pros: Organized with good intentions, spreading positive messages.
Cons: The classes aren’t as frequent as the previous 2 sources, isn’t so much about yoga and most classes are a one-off thing.
4. Community classes by Fit and Fab
Fit and Fab is a niche sports wear shop focusing on yoga apparel from Lorna Jane and yoga accessories from Manduka. It’s not the usual sporting shop because they only carry products for women with focus on being fashionable (think athleisure). On some Tuesdays and weekends, they offer free yoga classes before store hours at 9am or 9:30am, in their Raffles City store. Manduka mats are provided for use. Limited to 20 pax.
Find out about their latest class here.
Pros: Mats provided and they are from Manduka! Indoor and very accessible venue.
Cons: Adhoc schedule, new teachers.
5. Yoga events
Events happens every now and then. This is not a regular thing, so it’s not ideal to rely only on these, but it does happen quite often in Singapore. Some of the events I’ve attended are organized by Lululemon. I’ve also seen events organized by malls like Mandarin Gallery, various studios for International Yoga Day (21st June every year), RWS for Global Wellness Day (11th June). I’ve documented some of the events attended like Yoglo and Zespri Kiwi Fest.
Yoglo by Lululemon
Sometimes yoga studios also offer free classes or open house days in their own studios. Such classes are not often, but open to all. Some of the studios with such practice (that I know of) includes Pure Yoga, Real Yoga and Lava Yoga.
Pros: Fun and great vibes from the big turn out. Unique experiences.
Cons: They happen at random and it’s more for fun rather than to understand yoga seriously.
6. Shopping Malls, NParks and Fitness at Work
Various shopping malls, parks and public spaces near offices offers free yoga and other classes to the public. These classes are bring your own mat and they have lots of space so they’re never full. It’s organized by Health Promotion Board and these classes are very regular and offered in a wide variety of places Singapore. However, note that most of their classes are not yoga as they also offer Zumba, Piloxing, Kickboxing and other group exercises.
Pros: Plenty of vacancies, various locations island wide
Cons: Participants are mostly older people and some may find it embarrassing to be doing yoga in such a public space.
7. Open Mat at Yoga Inc.
Yoga Inc. has kindly created a programmed called Open Mat where new teachers are given a chance to conduct a class in their studio. The classes are free to public and you only need to pay for a towel rental if you require one! It happens every Wednesday 7:30pm at their Guillemard Road outlet. The teachers are not repeated, so you’ll get to try a new teacher every week.
Pros: Regular schedule after working hours.
Cons: The teachers are all new.
With so many options available, it is very possible to have regular practice without forking out membership fees. But of course, if you are serious with your practice, you would want to get a membership at a good studio where you can grow. Some studios do costs a lot more than others, so do your comparison thoroughly before setting the judgement. Do use my yoga studio reviews as a rough guide if you need to find something within your budget!