It’s just before 6 am in Singapore and I’ve been awake for nearly two hours already (damn jet lag!) so figured while it’s still partially dark out, I’d write an update on my travels thus far.
When I finally arrived in Hong Kong, I was almost giddy with excitement mainly because all I really wanted to do was get up, walk around and have a real cup of coffee. I found coffee before I even made it to my gate and even stood in a ridiculously long line for it without any complaints. I was just happy to be off that plane with the prospect of coffee at my fingertips.
When I finally made my way to the gate, I recognized others from my flight and settled in to do a little work. Since I was having a hard time hearing the announcements, I ended up asking a woman sitting near me who I recognized from my flight when we would be boarding. And as it turns out, she was also headed to Bali for a month long yoga teacher training. We talked for a little while about missing our dogs and our families at home and being both nervous and excited for what was in store. Suddenly it was time to board and I thought, yes, last leg!!! But when I made it up to the gate, they said, no you’re on a different flight. For some strange reason, I was on an entirely different, later flight out of another gate than everyone else on my plane.
I made my way over to my real gate and realized I still had an hour and a half until I was supposed to board. Since it was 8 something in the morning Hong Kong time, I grabbed myself a smoothie and got back to work. Seriously, the smoothie bar….didn’t feel like it belonged in Hong Kong…
Once on my real flight, I started reading some of the yoga books I had with me in my backpack, given there was no inflight Wifi. The flight seemed to take forever. I was antsy and ready to be done. They served yet another inflight meal which I politely declined. Ugh, no thank you. When we finally touched down in Signapore, I all but jumped out of my seat.
Getting through customs and even grabbing my bag was a breeze – I was in and out of the Singapore airport in less than 15 minutes. I got in a taxi, at first feeling very confused when he got in on the right side in front of me (ha!) and then made my way to my hotel, Moon 23 Hotel in Little India. My taxi driver was really helpful in giving me ideas for places to go and telling me more about the area where I was staying.
I got checked in and went to drop off my bags and change out of the clothes I had been wearing for 30ish hours. The rooms at Moon 23 Hotel are teeny tiny but they do the job just fine – they make efficient use of their space – and it was pretty inexpensive for Singapore standards. I changed into yoga clothes and decided I would attempt to take a yoga class after finding a studio with a power vinyasa class an hour and a half from when I had arrived.
I mapped it from my hotel, took a picture of that map and made my way toward Yoga Movement on Orchard Road. I did pretty well – overshot it a little – but only had to backtrack about 5 minutes or less. When I arrived, I had to pat myself on the back (directions are not generally my thing). The studio is in the same space as a dance studio and I really love the vibe…and also the decor.
I was about 20 minutes early for class so that I could get checked in – and when I told the front desk Iwas new – they got me set up with a waiver – but weren’t overly friendly about it or anything else for that matter. It definitely isn’t a Flex & Flow environment, that’s for sure. I put my things in a locker and made my way into the studio. I noticed how everything is black and white in the studio and very orderly. The mats were already lined up and ready for use – perfectly positioned, like someone took a ruler and measured out exact distances between them. I took a spot in the back since there was a full mirrored wall in the front (I find mirrors to be distracting – maybe because I’m so vain??!?!? HA!).
As people started to fill in, I noticed that nobody acknowledged one another. Nobody seemed to even look in another person’s direction. It was quiet, almost sterile feeling. It made me miss home and my community even more and realize just how wonderful it really is to walk in somewhere and have people smile, give a shit about you and make you feel welcome.
The instructor walked in about 2 minutes before class started (it was a 3:30 power class) and she seemed very cute and sweet – Siska was her name. I loved her warm-up sequence – it was exactly what I needed after all the flying – shoulder opening, chest opening, leg stretching. But once we moved on from there, it admittedly got a little slow for me. I mean, it felt good to be moving but it wasn’t a power class by any stretch of the imagination.
We did maybe 3 vinyasas total and I handstanded by brains out. And when I went into headstand during a long wide-legged forward fold, she almost seemed a little flustered by it. Felt a little like a sore yoga thumb in that room but kept on keeping on as I do. Class seemed to end quickly – like it was over before it began – and I was still wanting more. I stayed and stretched for a few more minutes but I felt like they were waiting for us to exit the studio. Once I was in the locker room, again nobody spoke to each other. We all just silently collected our things and exited.
I still had to pay for class because they give you a complimentary first class if you buy a package. Only issue is, the only packages they offer are for 10 classes or 20. I asked if they had a 5 class option and they said, no, but you can do a drop in each time you come in while you’re here. GREAT…..so I paid $30 (about $22 USD) drop-in for an hour class, plus add another $1 to that if you want a towel.
After paying, I browsed the retail to see what brands they were carrying and they had some cute stuff. As I fingered through pants and crop tops and cute sports bras, another staff member came over to tell me shoes weren’t allowed in that area. Again, not friendly. I said sorry and promptly took them off. Nobody told me where I could / couldn’t wear shoes and there were no signs. So……
Anyway after the most expensive hour of yoga ever, I went walking around a bit. It was hot and muggy but it felt good to be moving. There were people EVERYWHERE – I guess it was 5pm-ish on a week day. So far, what I love most about Singapore is all the trees. Beautiful trees everywhere you look. My phone was about to die and I didn’t want to get too lost so I decided to back to my hotel, charge my phone and change clothes so I could go find food.
Only….when I got back to my room, I changed, checked my email, did a little work and the next thing I knew I was asleep. It was just before 8pm when I went to bed so naturally I woke up around 2, then again at 3 and then finally at 4 am. The nice part about being awake at 4am is that you can get a lot of work done. The crappy part about being awake at 4 am is you have to wait several hours for the hotel free breakfast to start and if you skip dinner and lunch and all the things, well, you’re STARVING and ready for breakfast the minute you get up. Maybe the title of this post should have been HANGRY in Singapore.
Anyway, today my plan is to eat….and then possibly do some more yoga? Maybe somewhere different if I can find another studio easy to get to. And then eat some more. And explore some gardens and things.
Stay sweaty friends!