Time to de-stress: Where to yoga, spa and vent in Singapore

New year, new you, but first, take time off to chill and unwind – from releasing frustrations in an indoor rage room to enjoying a relaxing staycation

If you're feeling frustrated, just let it all out at The Fragment Room like Chua Enlai. (The photo was taken in accordance with safe management measures set by IMDA during film production.) PHOTO: SPH MEDIA

A new year brings optimism and renewed vigour, making it opportune to commit to new goals like taking better care of yourself. Before work picks up pace, why not take time to relax, unwind and feel grateful for all the good things that will come in the year?

There is no need to look far and wide for some relaxation, especially when our little island has much to offer. Book a staycation replete with massages and poolside lounging, or simply try a new yoga class… one that suspends you from swathes of silk to ease you into restorative positions.

Alternatively, go on a peaceful sensorial journey through the forest. Even taking time out for a drink at one of Singapore’s most unique bars is a fabulous way to unwind, de-stress and appreciate life’s little luxuries.

To help you along, here’s a list of everyday indulgences to spoil yourself with and take the edge off the daily grind, while rediscovering Singapore safely.

Where and how can you de-stress and feel relaxed in Singapore? Watch the video below for more tips and deals. 

SPH Brightcove Video
For this episode, we seek out ways to rest and recharge our bodies for the new year. How To Not Waste Your Annual Leave stars Chua Enlai as he searches better ways to spend your annual leave.

Unwind and reset

Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore was the first luxury hotel to make its debut in the thick of the pandemic – and what a salve to the frazzled city soul it has proven to be. A staycation here transports guests to the best of Thai hospitality, where warmth and smiles are par for the course.

The pristine greens at Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore give guests a sense of peace and calm. (The photo was taken in accordance with safe management measures set by IMDA during film production.) PHOTO: SPH MEDIA

Among its many hospitality packages available is the Discover Wellness Staycation Package, designed expressly to de-stress and revitalise guests. During your stay, choose between a 90-minute Body Balancing and Therapeutic Massage at the property’s soothing Devarana Spa. Choose between Core Yoga Flow or Stretch Band Yoga Session (class schedules permitting), along with breakfast for up to two adults at Greenhouse, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. Guests also enjoy a $50 dining credit at Greenhouse to use at dinner.   

With three swimming pools on the property, lounging under the warm sunshine and sipping on a cocktail is a sure-fire way to chill and while time away. PHOTO: DUSIT THANI LAGUNA SINGAPORE

Ultimately, it’ll be a day of yoga, massages, eating and lounging by the stunning pool beneath stylish cabanas – what a wonderful way to relax and reinvigorate.

Cost of staycation: From $600 per night
Availability: Daily
Address: 11 Laguna Golf Green
Click here to book the package.

A natural connection

Forest bathing isn’t just a New Age concept practised by hipsters but a legitimate Japanese practice in which people focus on being present and aware, in nature.  It compels you to slow down and soak up the nourishing energy of the natural surrounds.

Xiu Nature Connections provides guided forest bathing sessions during which your certified guide offers purposeful instructions that encourage you to connect with nature through nuanced sensorial experiences. These might include taking in the scents around you, observing the wildlife as they inch across the ground, and noticing how a tree bark feels to the touch.

A way of being in the present, forest bathing is good for the body, mind and soul. PHOTO: XIU NATURE CONNECTIONS

The Forest Bathing and High Tea experience begins with a two-hour private sensory exploration through Labrador Nature Reserve before returning to an indulgent high tea. It is a wonderful way to get in touch with nature and nourish your mind, body and spirit.

Sit back and indulge in delicious canapes for high tea after the forest bathing experience. PHOTO: XIU NATURE CONNECTIONS

Cost of experience: From $360 for two people
Tour availability: Tuesdays to Sundays
Meeting point: To be provided upon registration
Click here to book the experience.

One for the future

There’s nothing like Analogue Initiative in our dining scene. This unique resto-bar is redefining how we view luxury by focusing on ingredients and ideas that would change the future of food and farming.

Anchored by an undulating 3D-printed bar tabletop made out of 1,600kg of recycled plastic bottles, it serves a menu of delicious plant-based dishes and drinks, many of which are made with ingredients that are natural or sustainable. For instance, the kitchen reduces the juice of custard apples to make honey while drinks are made from succulents like cactus, agave and aloe vera, which are far more sustainable sources, and natural sweeteners.

Analogue Initiative aims to change people's perception of food and drinks by crafting them with sustainable and natural ingredients. PHOTO: ANALOGUE INITIATIVE

All of this makes for a wonderfully eye-opening experience that you can enjoy from the comfort of your seat at the bar. Kick back, sip on your sustainable cocktail and let the team regale you with stories of where their ingredients come from and how we can all make the world a better place just by making small, but different, choices.

Availability: Tuesdays to Sundays, 5pm to 10.30pm
Address: #01-31 Chijmes
Contact: 8518 1882
Click here to book the restaurant.

Unleash your rage

Different events in life result in stress and pent-up frustration. So what’s not to love about going into a room, releasing your fury with the help of a metal or wooden bat on everything in sight, and leaving the mess for someone else to clean up?

Together with Allan Wu, Chua Enlai (with bat) vents his pent-up frustration by smashing things up at The Fragment Room. (The photo was taken in accordance with safe management measures set by IMDA during film production.) PHOTO: SPH MEDIA

That’s exactly what you get at The Fragment Room, where you can choose from various packages ranging from a solo session to raging with a group of five. Safety is of utmost priority. “Players” will don protective gear such as a helmet with visor, freshly-washed overalls and cut-proof gloves. Safety boots are also available for rental.

“Players” get a crate of breakables like crockery and electronic goods sourced from a karang guni supplier, which were headed for the trash anyway. So there’s no need to feel guilty about waste. The leftover debris after every session is then sent for recycling. Genius!

Cost of experience: From $41 (for one) to $163 (group of five), for a 40-minute session
Availability: Daily, 12pm to 10pm
Address: 490 MacPherson Road
Click here to book the experience.

Feeling buoyant

Hop in, tune out, turn off – that sums up the flotation therapy experience offered by Palm Ave Float Club. Flotation tanks date back to the 50s and since the first commercial flotation tank was made available in the 70s, people around the world have been turning to it as a way of relaxation and healing.

At Palm Ave Float Club, enclosed fibreglass pods are filled with 11 inches of very salty warm water that enables people to float effortlessly. Once you get in, the pods are free of any stimulation such as light or sound, save for a few minutes of soothing music at the beginning and end of your hour-long experience. You can choose to have light in your tub if you don’t sit well in pitch darkness.

Float your stress and troubles away at Palm Ave Float Club. PHOTO: PALM AVE FLOAT CLUB

In this womb-like environment, your body can recover from aches and pains, and your mind can reach a calm, meditative state that’s near impossible when the wiles of the city and the day surround you in the outside world. 

Cost of experience: From $89 for 1 hour
Availability: Mondays to Wednesdays, 10am to 9pm; and Fridays to Sundays, 9am to 9pm. Address: 66 Kampong Bugis, #05-00
Click here to book the experience.

Sugar and spice

Ice cream makes everything better. Especially when you’re hot and bothered in Singapore's swelter. Even better is ice cream that’s inclusive – meaning you can eat even if you’re on a keto, lactose-free or vegan diet. Pastry chef Janice Wong’s latest offering, Softhaus offers plant-based sorbets in flavours such as mango; banana and passionfruit; and pear thyme. All the confections are sweetened with sugar-free maltitol, which makes them keto-friendly. These are quick, easy delights that offer instant gratification when you need a break from your daily grind.

Softhaus has ice-cream for everyone, including those on a keto, lactose-free or vegan diet. PHOTO: SOFTHAUS

Availability: Monday to Sunday, 10am to 10pm
Address: #B1-K135 Great World and #B1-44/45 i12 Katong

Be in suspense

There’s something about bending, stretching and long, deep breaths that make yoga such a cathartic exercise. Now imagine doing all that suspended from a swathe of stretchy silk that provides support as you float into the various poses. If you haven’t tried it, an Aerial Silk Stretch Class at Hale Yoga is just the ticket to get the kinks out of your body.

Even if you’re an experienced yogi, the silks suspend and swaddle you into familiar poses, giving your practice an added dimension of the unknown. For complete newbies, it’s a great way to work your body into extensions while blissing out to balanced, mindful breathing.

While it was not a walk in the park, Chua Enlai and Allan Wu cleared their minds after their aerial yoga session. PHOTO: SPH MEDIA

Hale Yoga offers Aerial classes for all levels, using stretchy silks or parachute trapeze fabrics provided at the studio. Besides Aerial Stretch classes, there are Aerial Hatha (where poses are held slightly longer) and Aerial Vinyasa (where poses flow from one into another) classes too.

Aerial yoga classes at Hale Yoga are for everyone – from novice to yogi. PHOTO: HALE YOGA

Cost of experience: From $35 for a single drop-in class
Availability: Daily
Address: #03-03/03A Cineleisure Orchard; or #19-02 Robinson Square
Click here to book the experience.

Dining in pleasure

Relax and unwind at dinner in this newly-minted Michelin-starred restaurant. Serving a menu of modern European delights, 28 Wilkie dishes out creations by Singaporean head chef Seth Lai who parlays his earliest food memories into contemporary offerings. For instance, in the restaurant’s winter 2021 menu, its signature tajarin pasta (ribbon-shaped noodles) was paired with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and white truffles from Alba, the ultimate in luxurious simplicity.

Dishes by 28 Wilkie will always be a delight in terms of taste and looks – caviar plays a key role too. PHOTO: 28 WILKIE

Enjoy Lai’s delightful dishes in a charming dining room set in a 1930s heritage building with its interiors designed by co-owner Cynthia Goh. A lovely adjoining lounge appointed with French windows and armchairs is the perfect space for pre- or post-prandial drinks. There’s no hurry when you’re bent on enjoying a languorous evening, after all.

Cost of set menu: $238
Availability: Tuesdays to Saturdays, closed on Sunday and Monday
Address: 28 Wilkie Road #01-01
Contact: 9776 2828
Click here to book the restaurant.

Prices, rates and packages are accurate as of date of publication on Jan 20, 2022. 
In partnership with Singapore Tourism Board

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