Come for the yoga, stay for the panorama

Come for the stretches, stay for the panorama


Come for the yoga, stay for the panorama
Wellness & Aesthetics April 2nd, 2018

“Close your eyes, and take a deep breath.”

I defied the yoga instructor and her soothing instruction. She was a fresh-faced hippy chick who deserved my obedience, but I kept my eyes wide open.

She would understand, surely. We were practising at The Yoga School , a minimalist studio perched on the 39th floor of the OCBC Centre.

The view from up here is breathtaking. The Singapore Flyer, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, and the Marina Bay Waterfront was in full, high-definition view. I was compelled to soak in every amazing inch of the insane panorama.

Each window frame deserved to be printed on postcards. The National Gallery Singapore, the colonial-era landmark, is captured in a panel. Just a few windows to the right, the Esplanade’s spiky twin-domes is displayed in full glory along the Singapore River.

“I wanted our guests to feel at ease when they enter the space, and leave all their worries at the door.”

Dawn Chan, founder of The Yoga School 

Photo by Alan Lim


Founder Dawn Chan wanted to create a relaxing haven in our “fast-paced city”. The school’s prime location offers a convenient respite for suits working in the central business district.

“Taking an hour a day to connect to your body and your breath, can really help you build physical, mental and emotional resilience, while gaining some much-needed perspective on what’s important to you in your life,” says Chan, who sounds every bit the Zen master, having practised yoga for almost 20 years.

Tranquility takes over the senses once you step into the studio. It’s bathed in patches of warm lights and accented by timbre veneer. The feeling is a stark contrast from the tensed office mobs milling around the building just 39th floors below.

The calming effect on guests was part of the design brief.  “I wanted our guests to feel at ease when they enter the space, and leave all their worries at the door,” says Chan, who opened The Yoga School last year.

Courtesy of The Yoga School


The boutique studio gives off the intimacy of a home thanks to its posh waiting area. There is a disarming feeling of comfort when you are walking around barefoot on the plush carpet, in a space designed to look like a living room with its comfy armchairs, tasteful artwork and fresh white roses.

There is even a small pantry on the side. Guests are free to help themselves to crystal-infused water from a glass dispenser.

I’ve long heard of the purported benefits of soaking up the positive vibrations of the colourful gemstones. The friendly staff shares that the added ingredient is said to make your skin glow.

Water, I rationalise, plain or newfangled is good for me. I get myself some fancy water in a ceramic cup.

On the other side of the living room is a raised platform for contemplative meditation or simply unwinding. I settle into the pillowed corner admiring the row of expansive windows showcasing the skyline.

Photo by Alan Lim

“Even after a year, I still find myself staring out the window.”

Dawn Chan, founder of The Yoga School 

On days where Mother Nature is feeling generous, yogis go home with Instagram worthy shots of the sun setting into the horizon. But whatever the weather condition, there will always be the stunning vista of sky and urban skyline as your backdrop.

Iconic landmarks are not only a treat to look at. At one point during my class, a towering skyscraper becomes a useful reference for teaching. “Point your hands towards Raffles City,” quips the instructor.

Natural light bathes the studio at the start of the sunset session. As I balance, bend and twist my body, the daylight gradually gives way to a moody dusk, turning up a glittering skyline dotted with lights emanating from the likes of Marina Bay Sands and the Esplanade.

Time flies by faster than usual for me, and soon the teacher tells us to get into the closing pose of Shavasana. Attempts to compose my mind as I lay on the mat are futile. I cannot help but visualise the breathtaking backdrop.

As the founder Chan says: “Even after a year, I still find myself staring out the window. In the evenings, we watch the city lights as they come on, and cars head home, so we really feel in tune with how the city is unwinding, and preparing to rest for the day.”

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