As huge yoga fans, we’re always hunting for new, original schools and classes to stretch out at. Here, we review Pure Yoga’s oh-so-unique Pure Air
Having struggled to find the perfect yoga class in Singapore that offers me A) a balance between workout and meditation B) a convenient location and, most importantly, C) relief for my bad back, I’m always on the lookout for new methods to try in Singapore. While I love both hatha yoga and vinyasa yoga, and often trot along to Pure Yoga for their hot classes (because it’s both a lovely fitness centre and super close to my office in the CBD), I found myself struggling to complete some of the moves that aggravated my spine and also frustrated that I couldn’t hold my dang poses for long enough to stretch as deeply as possible.
After chatting to one of Pure Yoga’s best instructors, Michael, about the pain, he recommended that I test out a practice that he’d invented himself for people like me; Pure Air. Not only did this sound like a great new exercise challenge, but after learning that the class is nicknamed ‘Pure Back’ due to its intense healing qualities, I was IN.
Pure Air: Class review
Everyone in the class (around 14 people) uses a soft fabric hammock and two stirrups (with three handle heights), for full support and stability both in the air and on the ground. It’s an entirely new experience (and a lot of fun), and aims to use gravity an ally when it comes to deeper stretching, less compression and more precision. This tackled the unwanted pain, tightness and muscle fatigue I often felt during more regular classes. In fact, I actually felt it lengthening my spine – and, if I’m honest, the session did more for me than a year of physio has!
Thanks to Pure Air, my ‘dancer’ pose was almost a full split – and I wouldn’t even consider myself as super flexi. This is down to the stirrup and mat combination; Michael’s workout makes use of traditional poses and flows alongside the traction and placement of the mat, which is one of the reasons why Pure Air is both unique and effective.
While it might sound like you’re swinging about and collapsing into giggles during the class, I promise that the straps and hammocks are actually super stable and cater to different heights (I’m 6ft and had no issues with any of the equipment) and body types. The support provided actually enabled me to focus even more on the poses, pushing me to stretch deeper without worrying about losing my balance (which happens a lot when I’m working on the mat).
In terms of the meditative side, Pure Air is about opening up and allowing energy to flow through the body (whereas often instructors prefer students to use their inner strength as the main source of control). I liked the idea of ‘open energy flow’ and striking that mental and physical equilibrium, plus Michael pays a lot of attention to the breaths – which I need when it comes to focusing and zoning out.
This, along with the uber-stability I mentioned, may well be why I found Pure Air super-relaxing from a meditative point of view. And there was me thinking I’d be going along and mimicking an orangutan for an hour! Finally, a couple of things that are worth noting when it comes to Pure Air – the hammocks are only used for part of the class, as opposed to a full class (common in aerial yoga), in order to decompress most effectively. Wear a comfy top with sleeves to avoid any chafing (a t-shirt is fine). Plus, it’s suitable for everyone, including those who are pregnant! There are a few moves that are adjusted to ladies with beautiful bumps, but the session itself is said to be incredibly therapeutic and great for those aching limbs.
As I was leaving (and definitely not thinking about grabbing a Mars bar), Michael suggested that I also try another newly launched class, Wall Rope, to give my bod a hand when it comes to alignment. Do I want to test out practicing yoga with ropes, pelvic swings and bars…? Er, YES. Sign me up!
Pure Yoga is extending a complimentary three-day pass to all Honeycombers readers! All you have to do is to fill up a form in this page. Offer ends 30 June 2015.
Pure Yoga, Level 4 Chevron House, 30 Raffles Place and Level 18 Ngee Ann City Tower A, 391A Orchard Road. *Pure Air is currently only available at the Ngee Ann City location.