Yes, you never read wrongly, there are actually FREE yoga courses available in Singapore. When my mother-in-law told me about this, i was like:
Zhun bo! Singapore where got so good, got free stuff! Somemore, it is free yoga classes! 😱😱😱
Yes, I am a skeptic. I can’t help but to think whether there is any other hidden agenda or whether the classes is of quality. Well, you can’t blame me for been so skeptical since the yoga industry in Singapore is very very commercialised! There are so many gyms and studios offering yoga membership. That is why my mind has been framed to relate yoga with money! 😆😆😆
Well, my wife Candyce and her sister Jiaying without second thoughts, immediately replied enthusiastically to my mother-in-law:
Okay! Let’s go! 😂😂😂
I really salute their non-judgemental mind. Well, in the end, I also agreed because it is free! 😂😂😂😆😆😆 No harm going for it, right? 😜😜😜 Anyway, we love to do yoga, it is one of the healthy activities that we enjoy doing together! 😉😉😉
About Nikam Yoga
I have decided not to talk about the origin & history of Nikam Yoga as you can find it in their website. But, one thing that fascinated me about Nikam Yoga is their strong community that is keeping this free yoga courses sustainable. They are almost equivalent to the taiji or qigong community in Singapore where they are supported by many instructor volunteers! These volunteers have a common goal in mind and that is spreading the knowledge of yoga to the public and encouraging them to adopt a healthy lifestyle! I really have to salute these volunteers for such selfless commitments!
Free 12-weeks basic course by Nikam Yoga
Okay, so we have attended most of the 12 weeks’ classes in 2 locations (Braddell & Bishan) before I wrote this review! It is a 12 weeks progressive course covering different breathing exercises and poses in each class. You can check out the poses been taught in their student note here (it is advisable to only practice them after you have attended their basic course else will be like martial art, walk fire into demon 走火入魔! LOL 😂😂😂).
Nikam Yoga Class Format
The class format is the biggest reason why you should start your yoga journey with Nikam Yoga! Each lesson is around 2 hour with the following format:
- Revision of Previous Lesson (1/2hr)
- Demonstration & Theory (1/2hr)
- Mass Practice (1/2hr)
- Focus Group Practice (1/2hr)
1. Revision of Previous Lesson
This does not applies to first lesson (obviously, duh!). Anyway, the class will start with a quick refresher of the previous lesson’s poses. It was good for us as we missed some of the lessons and this allowed us to catch up with the rest easily. For the final few classes, they focused more on sun salutation and breathing exercise routine. They also constantly encouraged us to practice the routines everyday.
2. Demonstration & Theory
This is the main differentiator why Nikam Yoga is good for beginners. After every demonstration, the instructor explained to us every detail of the pose like:
- why is there such a pose
- health benefit of it
- the common mistakes students made
- and body area to focus on! etc…
I personally think that this information is very important as it established a strong foundation in our yoga journey. Many classes outside just focus on doing the fancy poses without really explaining why! Although I have done yoga for many years, I was shocked to hear many new insights regarding all these basic yoga poses!
Moral of the story: Do not underestimate the basic! Strong foundation is the key to success!
3. Mass Practice
Back in the school days, science theory classes were always boring and science only got interesting when I was in the lab doing practical experiment. Likewise for this, after the yoga ‘lecture’, I always could not wait to get my hands dirty. You will see people very enthusiastically getting ready to try out the new pose except for some tough ones, LOL! 😂😂😂
4. Focus Group Practice
This is another reason why I think that they have an awesome class format. After our 2nd lesson, they started grouping the students based on age, gender and physical level. There are some focus groups that even have the same health issues like backaches or high blood pressure etc. By doing so, they had formed many support groups of common people; I was not peer-pressured for not been flexible or lagging behind as we all have the same physical level! Each focus group is guided by an instructor volunteer! Cool yeah!
By having such arrangement, this Nikam Yoga 12 weeks course is able to cater to wide audiences. Whether you are boy or girl, young or old, this course is definitely suitable for you!
Our Personal Tips for Nikam Yoga
Here are some tips for you based on our experience after attending the 12 weeks course at 2 different locations.
Tips No. 1 – Research on the Locations
Check out their classes webpage and choose the location out of many that is convenient to you. You can go to their Facebook page for photos of the different locations but my suggestion is to go down the exact location to have a feel of the atmosphere and talk to the friendly instructors there!
Here are the short reviews of the two locations that we have attended. In fact, we go for these 2 locations at the same time as we know we are going to miss some of the classes so easier for us to catch up (aka KIASU LAH! 😆😆😆). Do take note that you need to attend certain number of classes in order to attain the certificate so plan your schedule well yeah! 😉😉😉
This location is ideal for first timer, as it is an enclosed area, you will be able to hear the instructor better thus you are able learn better on the theory part. One thing to take note about this location is that you need to pay $15 for the entire 12 weeks course as a form of location maintenance fee. Eh Hello! That is around $1 per class leh! If you think it is expensive, then I bo wei gong (nothing to say)! Other things to note is that
- this location is air-conditioned, woohoo! But it might be too cold for some people.
- and their class is on Sunday which might clash with your weekend travel plans!
Unlike Braddell’s, location at Bishan is a public open area. Therefore, it might be harder to hear the instructor if you are further away from the speaker. If you are able to get there early, then you can find a space that is closer to the sound system. There are often kids playing at the playground and teenagers chit chatting which might be a turnoff for noise sensitive folks but I treat it as a form of training to find inner peace within the noisy world (Ommmmm!). However, since it is 100% free and it is conducted on Tuesday (lower chance for us to miss the lesson), so it is an ideal location for a refresher especially those aiming to be their instructor (you need to complete 2 rounds of basic and 1 round of intermediate course).
Tips No. 2 – Stay Humble
This advice is mainly for those who have already learned yoga from other places. Free your mind and be open to any knowledge, in that way, you can absorb to the fullest! 🙏
After the basic course, you can choose to continue their intermediate course after passing their entrance test. If you wanted to contribute back to the community by been a instructor volunteer, you need to complete 2 rounds of basic and 1 round of intermediate course before you are qualified for their yoga instructor course.
For half-past-six yoga enthusiasts like me (LOL! 😂😂😂), you can continue to take their basic course over and over again! Alternatively, you can then proceed to sign up for gyms or yoga studios membership since you will have a strong foundation and basic knowledge of yoga!
May you all be healthy, may you all be happy! Namaste! 🙏🙏🙏