SINGAPORE — Singaporeans know how to avoid the outdoors like it's an Olympic sport. Yet, I found myself braving the scorching evening sun for some workout at a Vinyasa flow yoga class at Marina Bay Sand's SkyPark Observation Deck last Wednesday (31 May).
This was for the media preview of the Wellness Festival Singapore 2023 (WFS), where I experienced a snippet of the full lineup of 180 activities to be hosted islandwide across 10 precincts from 17 June to 9 July.
Did the outdoor workout improve my overall wellness?
Since becoming a full-fledged working adult, I have struggled with keeping up with a fitness routine. I always wonder, "How do people find the motivation to break a sweat before or after a long day of work?"
At the media preview, I finally understood why people do it!
Besides getting the best sleep I have had in months that night, I found myself in a newfound state of zen and a less crowded mind. The beautiful mix of a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout, a short guided Vinyasa flow and sound bath meditation gave me the time and space to be present and check in with my body and mind.
The effects do not last long, but simple exercises like 2-to-1 breathing really help to calm one's nerves. The other benefit: the encouragement from class participants and instructors. Sometimes, the fear to not lose face can be a powerful motivator.
That's not to say the experience was entirely painless. I practically stumbled my way home with wobbly legs, and my skin tone decided to go a shade darker without my permission. Despite that, I sensed a surge of positivity and lightness after the activities were done and dusted.
Overall, I'd say this experience sparked something inside me towards leading a more active lifestyle having tasted the mental and physical benefits of it. It's not an instant fix, but it can be the start of a new conscious journey towards improving one's wellbeing.
How you can kickstart your fitness and mental wellness journey
If you're interested in breaking a sweat, WFS 2023 has free workout offerings such as kickboxing, Hatha Yoga and Mat Pilates and a short guided 2km to 3km run along scenic East Coast Park. More intensive activities include mixed martial arts classes and HIIT workouts.
For fitness newbies and re-enthusiasts like myself, you can consider beginner-friendly classes like Gentle Flow with Singing Bowl, Yin Yoga, SkyPark Yoga or Nordic Walking.
If you are not a fan of physical activities, the festival still has something for you. There are lifestyle, emotional and mental wellness offerings that you can try. From sleep meditation to mindful nature art workshops and sensorial forest bathing, these activities are said to be able to help you relax and relieve stress.
If you're really not feeling up to it, you can otherwise practice mindfulness – the state of being more aware and conscious of your thoughts, with Ayurveda aromatherapy, art therapy workshops, tea making, self-care journaling and hypnotherapy. You can also book yourself an overnight retreat at selected hotels for a quick getaway.
Wellness Festival Singapore 2023 has fitness, arts and lifestyle experiences for both individuals and groups of different ages and abilities to engage your mind, body and soul. Full details of the festival and its lineup of programmes can be found on their website.
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