This was an impulsive signed up. Saw the Fb advertisement, texted a few of my yoga mates, one agreed and the other cited the sun for morning yoga. She was absolutely right.
At 7am yesterday morning, the cloudless sky gave us a hint of the coming weather. My friend E indicated the field nearer the tall buildings, hoping the shadows cast would provide some respite. She was wrong of course. Other than the VIPs in the tent, there was nowhere to hide from the scorching sun when it emerged.
The stage activities did not really start as planned at 7.30am, other than the appearance of the two DJs from Gold 90.5 and Yes933 with Marigold HL ambassadors Belinda Lee. I thought that was a weird mix of radio station – one for English baby boomers and the other playing current Mandopops. An interview with an a doctor from the Osteoporosis Association was quite informative but that took only about 10 minutes. We were mostly left to baked in the sun until the yoga hour-long yoga session started proper at 8,05am.
Our instructor was from Tatva Yoga. The pretty Indian was accompanied by two others on stage. After a show of hands indicating that most people there were current yoga practitioners, the class started. I looked around, the field was three-quarter filled. Some brought along their kids in tow, and they all gave up half way. Behind me, an old lady just sat on her mat to watch her younger friends, most of whom may be first timers, judging from the moans and groans.
Most of the poses I was familiar with, including the “rock the baby’ that I just learned from my new Friday Yoga class. They were not particularly hard poses but doing it under hot sun, in non-breathing polyester top made the session more torturous than my usual class in air-conditioned comfort. I was totally drenched mid-way, and luckily had a hand towel in my bag to mop away perspiration, something I never had to do in yoga. If not for the heat, I would have enjoyed yesterday event more. By the time the session ended an hour later, I felt a headache coming on and I was afraid it might be heat stroke, which I am very prone to getting.
At 9,05am, the session ended and I couldn’t wait to get out of the heat. I send my apologies to the performers on stage but I hope they can understand why most of us left early and did not stay for their performances.
There were many things I felt the organizer could have done better.
1) While the venue was central and convenient, the open-air field meant that either the session should start early, by 7am, or that the tent be extended for everyone. If not, have it in the evening.
2) The unusually large event shirt made of polyester was unsuitable for yoga. I was wearing size S, unusual for me whose running vests are usually L While dri-fit and wicking material may be suitable for temperate climates, it traps heat, which is really not suitable for our climate. Plus the tee heavy and thicker than usual. I would prefer a fitting shirt made of spandex and cotton. See the tees worn by participants in the recent mass yoga record in China?
3) While we were waiting for the event to start, we were subjected to the repeated blasting of loud advertisement music from the audio. Yes, we know Marigold HL is the sponsor, but a more suitable music for yoga before the start would be appreciated, so that we could get ready. Some meditative and soothing while we do savasanah perhaps? At the Panadol Yoga by the sea a few years ago, we had live string performance which was totally appropriate.
4) While I appreciated the milk so generously handed out to participants, there was no water provided either in the bag, or elsewhere in the ground. I finished my 300mls bottle of water and was dying of thirst. Those people who did not bring bottled water would be dehydrated at the end.
While things could be improved at the event, the goodie bags were awesome. For $25, we not only got the dreaded tee, a yoga mat, a gym bag full of goodies, plus three cartons of small packets of milk discretely placed by our mats while we worked out and a large one litre carton at the end. I was worried the milk would be spoilt in the heat.
There were many empty mats left on the grounds and ugly Singaporeans could be seen taking more than what they paid for. Despite my complaints, I appreciated the good work out on a Sunday morning. I know I would still be in bed if I hadn’t signed up for this.