stylish yoga studios
One of its industrial-influenced barres for its signature Xtend Barre programme.

For Fun, Creative Types & Fail-Proof Selfies… Upside Motion Shenton (#B1-01/02 OUE Downtown)

For a studio located in a basement, Upside Motion’s latest branch manages to convey an airy, zen-like feel admirably. A colour palette of mostly natural white and various grey tones complement the light wooden flooring and furniture, with accents of the company’s signature turquoise hue lending a hip, Instagram-worthy touch. Far from claustrophobic, the sense that one gets upon entering is a certain cool breeziness (we’re talking emotions, not wind chill, here).

“We envisioned a space for rejuvenation and calm with little hints of vibrancy – that’s what the brand is all about,” says the chain’s founder and director Beh Hwee Sze. To turn that into reality, she and her team brought on local boutique design firm Lannk, a go-to among brands looking for simple yet highly modern and fashionable spaces (among them, Brazilian shoe label Melissa, the design-centric news agent Allscript, and chic homegrown eyewear company O+). “They understood the importance of maximising the functionality of space, while keeping the aesthetic and identity of the business,” says Beh.

The waiting area – a marble reception table, sprinkling of cute potted plants and cushioned, Japanese-influenced wooden steps for seats – for example, was designed to encourage clients that span students to stressed-out professionals to interact and chill out. Meanwhile, to add to the spaciousness and conviviality, the walls between the studio rooms are movable.

“(This keeps us) open to different possibilities, such as private or corporate fitness parties,” says Beh. “The generous space is also intended to put our clients at ease as they prepare for class, and they’re welcome to take their time to shower and freshen up after.”

Of course, it helps that the vanity area and powder room on site could pass off as the work of David Rockwell – if he went hipster: a framed, floor-to-ceiling mirror; spare, wooden furnishings with slick, wire-thin legs; more framed mirrors – this time wide and circular. As Beh puts it: “They frame the perfect selfie.”

stylish yoga studios
The modern hipster design crowd will like the reception/retail corner
stylish yoga studios
The cavernous Uprise Studio for aerial yoga classes.

Photography Vee Chin, assisted by Sherman See-Tho Styling Imran Jalal Hair Sean Ang/Fac3inc, using Ouai Makeup Clarence Lee, using By Terry Model Nina/Mannequin Dress Tory Burch

stylish yoga studios
The highlight of The Yoga School is its expansive and spare studios with million-dollar views.

For A Five-Star Experience And Matching Views… The Yoga School (#39-01 OCBC Centre)

“A lot of thought went into the design of our premises. As we are primarily a teaching hub, we wanted to create intimate living spaces that would allow the ‘classroom’ to spill out into the lounge, and fuel post-class discussions and conversations,” says founder Dawn Chan.

Every part of this contemporary-looking institution that opened last May looks a certain way for a reason. The main studio was the work of architect Bobby Cheng of Brewin Design Office, whose portfolio includes esteemed and stylish names such as Aesop and the Takashi Murakami Gallery. It features walnut flooring, plush armchairs, vintage furniture and a cosy, pillowed niche – all there to carve out a warm, enticing space.

The overall interior holds meaning as well, reflecting the five koshas (or layers of being) of yoga philosophy, and representing “an inward journey into one’s self”. Chan explains: “At the entry foyer, guests are greeted by an arched ceiling clad in stucco. They then enter the inviting and tranquil lounge area. Finally, they reach the heart of the yoga studio, completely clean and stripped bare, facing the clouds.” (Located on such a high floor, the expansive school boasts million-dollar views of the city.)

A second studio, launched more recently, is just as meticulously thought out. Designed by Peter Tay, who won the President’s Design Award for Designer of the Year in 2014, it was inspired by monastic spaces, with few design elements save for chic open bulbs and generous windows to encourage introspection and quietude. “We wanted to take away all distractions, so details there are condensed to the essentials. The centrepiece in the studio is the soaring, layered ceiling,” says Chan.

The rest of its premises resemble that of a modern, Japanese-influenced spa, including cosy, pillowed corners for some R&R.

The school offers workshops that cover styles of yoga not commonly found in Singapore and that are taught by internationally known experts, with its clientele ranging from curious beginners to experienced instructors. Says Chan: “Our clients love The Yoga School for being a beautiful, safe space to learn and expand their yoga practice.

“They tell us it is akin to stepping into a tranquil spa, with its serene, soothing interior and breathtaking views of Singapore’s skyline. Guests also especially love the beautiful sunsets in the studio during their classes.”

Photography Zaphs Zhang Art Direction Adeline Eng

stylish yoga studios
The large, light-soaked studios (abovee, with model in Tod’s jacket and shorts) make perfect sanctuaries for aerial yoga.

For Those Into Cosy “Industrial” Chic… Trium Fitness (#03-01/02 Aperia mall)

Mention the Kallang-Lavender area, and mental images of flatted factories, offices and industrial compounds come to mind. Amid that, however, Trium Fitness, has managed to carve out a homely yet happening sanctum that overlooks a scenic stretch of greenery.

Over 8m-tall ceilings and windows that stretch from the floor up allow plenty of sunshine and natural light to flood in. Communal spaces like the members’ lounge, which is kitted out with colourful cushions on raised crates, and the pantry (refurbished old-school lockers, and free tea and snacks) help create an unpretentious, relaxed vibe that encourages clients to stick around post-class.

That’s not to say that the school, which opened in 2016, is all shabby hipster chic. All the main furnishings – the reception, most storage cabinets and the aforementioned pantry – are minimalist, mostly crafted from wood in a sophisticated palette of black and white. The changing rooms are further accented by marble-like walls, gold taps and luxurious rain showers.

Says founder Dawn Sim: “We also wanted to give a premium feel to the space, and this influenced the way we chose our finishings.”

stylish yoga studios
The communal areas feel cool yet unpretentious with design quirks like old-school lockers (above).

The firm behind this careful balance of cosy and sleek was the Singapore-based 3PSi Interior Design Consultants, whose clients include luxury multi-label boutique Pois and – unsurprisingly – plenty of residences. One of its specialities, says Sim, is its clever use of space. The expansive size and feel of Trium’s light-soaked studios is why clients keep coming back, she says. “The bright, open space is unique and ideal particularly for aerial yoga – it’s what draws some people to us in the first place.”

The other attraction, according to Sim, is something no designer can beat: the staff. Says Sim: “We have members who live and work in the West or far-flung eastern neighbourhoods who religiously travel down because of particular teachers.”

stylish yoga studios

stylish yoga studios

This story first appeared in Female’s February 2018 issue. 

Like this? Check out the 3 last minute escapes perfect for CNY, Tippling Club’s new gummy bear cocktail menu and everything to know about Supermama’s latest collaboration