Ashtanga Yoga at Upward Yoga


One with Kyserunkrew and the instructor!

I can’t believe it has been a year since I went to a yoga class. With all the running and strength training classes, sitting still to practice on my breathing and maintaining flexibility was hard to fit into my schedule. My previous experience at a Vinyasa Yoga class seemed miles away, and I was pretty sure I needed to work on my mobility again.

However, since I am currently off-season for running I finally had the chance to venture (albeit briefly) into yoga again. This time, I tried Ashtanga Yoga at Upward Yoga studio, lead by Ninie.

ASHTANGA BASICS (75 mins) is a workshop-type class comprising Ashtanga sun salutations, Ashtanga Standing Poses, 10 to 15 poses from Ashtanga Primary Series, backbends and Ashtanga Closing Sequence. Tips to ‘jump back’, ‘jump through’ and ‘half / full vinyasa’ will be offered to help link your poses together and to retain your body’s warmth throughout the practice.

(taken from

So at 9am, my running crew and I find ourselves sitting very still with our eyes closed, cross-legged on the floor. We allowed ourselves to give gratitude for the day ahead and realign our minds. Using the power of visualization can be a very powerful tool.

img_6731img_6732 img_6733 img_6738Ninie’s yoga studio at Upward Yoga is all about the experience – the warm earthy walls, natural light, essential oil for the senses, and meditative songs and drum beats for the mind.

Just like any other sports, there must be a warm up, the actual work out, and a closing. We started to warm up by doing sun salutations and standing poses. These were basic movements, like Downward Dog and Warrior Pose. However, they were not easy. Not used to inverting my head often I felt disoriented and lost my balance several times! I also learnt to use the sound of the drum beats in the background through the studio’s speaker to help my breathing.

Then came the primary sequences, where the actual fun begins. Depending on your flexibility and experience, Ninie showed us more challenging poses. Ninie was very encouraging. Again by using the power of visualization, she wants everyone to believe that they can do those poses even if it was not perfect or accurate.


Blocks can add resistance or assistance to your poses

Until I have the ability to contort myself into a or in words of a friend, turn into a ‘human pretzel’ I have to keep on working on my basics first. Improving flexibility is always an advantage for not just for runners, but other sports as well.

For more info, head to their website:

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner

The Weekend Runner: Hot Yoga at Hot Yo Studio

I’m hanging up my running shoes for this weekend because:

1)     My back, neck, and knees were hurting, so no high impact workout.

2)     Running was starting to feel like a routine, so taking a break for a few days will be a good way to mentally reset myself.


I knew the right remedy for this was a good stretch, and I immediately thought about a hot pilates class that I used to go at a boutique gym/studio called Urban Spring. Unfortunately, the class that I wanted did not fit into my timing. So, out of curiosity, I stumbled across an app called KFit (it might not be available worldwide yet, but it is available in Asia), where you can find thousands of drop-in classes for gym, yoga, bootcamp, TRX, etc. and you can redeem one free class per month. And that’s where I found the perfect alternative – a hot yoga class at a new studio called Hot Yo Studio.


IMG_1290I prefer small, independent, boutique gyms/studios over franchises. They make me feel right at home because the crowd is smaller and more intimate.


I love how they put thought into the design, continuing on the monochrome theme from the studio, to the receptionist, changing room, and even the shower.


As soon as I sat down on my yoga mat in the 38°C studio, I can feel my muscles and joints starting to relax. There was a range of flexibility and experience from today’s crowd, so the instructor focused on some really basic ones such as tree pose, cobra pose, and pigeon pose, but she did encouraged us to follow more complicated poses as well such as half lotus toe balance.

IMG_1291 Warming up


My last experience in hot pilates has taught me to wear as simple as possible. Inner hijab caps are a big no, because the tight fabric will hinder circulation, causing a massive headache from the heat. Thankfully, Nashata’s Iman hijab was sufficient to ensure that my hair stays in place without the help of a cap. It is also advisable to wear something form-fitting yet not too tight, so the instructor will be able to tell if you are doing your poses correctly.

IMG_1293 Nashata’s outfits are not limited to running only. They are perfect for other work outs too!


At the end of the 60 minutes session, I felt ‘light’ and toned because the sweat has helped me detoxified, and the best part was the back and knee pain was gone! It was a good stretch to realign my posture and loosen up the tight muscles. I did not experience any muscle soreness or fatigue, and I am now mentally recharged to start running again. I’ll be back as soon as I can slot in a session between my running schedule!



A cold and refreshing shower after the work out, with complimentary shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and towel.


For more info, head to:

Urban Spring’s website ( for more info on hot pilates

Hot Yo Studio’s website ( for more info on hot yoga


Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.