New age ther­a­pies to bust your stress.

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NNot too long ago, yoga seemed like a bizarre idea for a work­out. Med­i­ta­tion was some­thing only monks did in moun­taineous tem­ples. And Swarovski was the only kind of crys­tals most peo­ple knew.

New age self-care meth­ods, such as yoga, reiki and crystal heal­ing, have come a long way in re­cent decades. While many of their pur­ported ben­e­fits are not recog­nised by the sci­en­tists, their grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity begs us to take a sec­ond look.

If you have been stuck in a men­tal or emo­tional rut, these treat­ments may just be what you need to re­dis­cover your zen and walk into the new year re­ju­ve­nated.

Un­leash Your In­ner Strength: Vo­cal Ton­ing

In vo­cal ton­ing, you use your voice to “har­monise and re­bal­ance your en­ergy” us­ing a steady sound on ex­hale. Sounds can re­sem­ble any­thing from a hum­ming bee to vowel sounds and more.

Each sound is said to con­nect to dif­fer­ent parts of the body. For in­stance “ah” is for “ex­pand­ing the heart space” while “om” con­nects to the brow chakra, ex­plains Amelia Kang of Ame de Lumiere who con­ducts the ther­apy.

Be­fore the ac­tual vo­cal ex­er­cise, the ses­sion starts with a ba zi read­ing, fol­lowed by a check on your chakra health and en­ergy lev­els us­ing a crystal pen­du­lum. Based on your read­ing, Amelia will then pre­scribe the rel­e­vant vo­cal ton­ing sounds to tar­get prob­lem ar­eas.

While all this may sound lu­di­crous, Amelia tes­ti­fies to the ef­fec­tive­ness of vo­cal ton­ing to over­come ev­ery­thing from tricky busi­ness ne­go­ti­a­tions to di­vorce pro­ceed­ings. You are en­cour­aged to go with an open mind. Hard­core skep­tics should stay away. Where Arc de Lumiere Holis­tic Con­sul­tancy Web www.amede­lu­miere.com.sg

Em­brace The In­ner Child: Deep Calm

Thanks to the mil­len­ni­als, the heal­ing ef­fects of crys­tals like rose quartz, amethyst and quartz have be­come more com­monly ac­cepted.

At the Deep Calm class at Can­vass, crys­tals are not just a trendy prop, but an in­te­gral tool. Ev­ery­one is in­vited to pick a stone at the start of the class to prac­tice with.

The hour-long ses­sion fea­tures a range of yoga stretches us­ing blocks, straps and bol­sters at a slow, gen­tle pace. You are en­cour­aged to vi­su­alise na­ture’s el­e­ments and your own merid­i­ans.

The placid pace even­tu­ally gives way to more chal­leng­ing poses. The slight phys­i­cal dis­com­fort is sym­bolic of how lov­ing one­self or any­one else isn’t al­ways easy. At the end, the se­lected crystal is laced on your chest.

As you lie in savasana (corpse pose), you are treated to the ring­ing of Ti­betan singing bowls. You will leave the class introspective about life. Where Can­vass, 5A Bin­jai Park Web www.can­vass.com.sg

Tap Into A Higher Con­scious­ness: Ajna Light Ther­apy

Ev­ery­one knows that stress is bad, but it’s not al­ways easy for the ag­i­tated to ease into med­i­ta­tion. At Sage­house, a tech­nique called Ajna Light Ther­apy aims to give wired folks a hand in this de­part­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Sage­house founder John­son Chong, this form of ther­apy “takes you to what is needed”. De­signed in 2014 by Guy Har­ri­man, a for­mer Ap­ple en­gi­neer turned zen monk, the ther­a­peu­tic ap­pli­ca­tion uses neu­ral stim­u­lat­ing brain­wave tech­nol­ogy to help you eas­ily ac­cess a state be­tween wake­ful­ness and sleep, usu­ally achieved dur­ing deep med­i­ta­tion.

The flick­er­ing white light is also said to re­set your cir­ca­dian rhythm, re­bal­ance your yin and yang en­er­gies, elim­i­nate stress and anx­i­ety, en­hance cre­ativ­ity and im­prove fo­cus and con­cen­tra­tion among other ben­e­fits.

Mul­ti­ple ses­sions are rec­om­mended for more vis­i­ble re­sults. This is a heal­ing modal­ity that is best suited for those who are not com­fort­able with talk ther­apy, or have been frus­trated with failed med­i­ta­tion ef­forts. Where Sage­house, 163 Tem­bel­ing Road Web www.sage­house.sg

Love Your In­ner God­dess: Womb Yoga

For the yogi search­ing for a fem­i­nine, sensual prac­tice, womb yoga taught by Dewi Chen of Ex­hale stu­dio may be the an­swer. This womb-cen­tric prac­tice is a way to “lis­ten and hon­our the wis­dom of your body, es­pe­cially the cycli­cal rhythms of your womb life”.

This is a prac­tice that is less about the sport of yoga – no one cares if you ex­e­cute a per­fect headstand – than about cel­e­brat­ing women by honouring one’s yoni (vagina) and cy­cle (or lack of).

If this all sounds fluffy, it is, un­til you ex­pe­ri­ence a ses­sion. There, you’ll be en­cour­aged to em­brace your fem­i­nin­ity with pelvic open­ing poses to let one’s belly hang loose (in­stead of tuck­ing it in), repet­i­tive yoni mu­dras (us­ing your thumbs and fore­fin­gers to form a di­a­mond to rep­re­sent your womb) and an ut­terly re­lax­ing yoga nidra (yo­gic sleep) us­ing props that’ll leave you emerg­ing fo­cused and re­freshed.

This class can feel in­tim­i­dat­ing for the unini­ti­ated but it’s re­fresh­ing to be in an un­cen­sored space where women can freely be just that, a woman. Where Ex­hale, 230A River Val­ley Road (sec­ond floor) Web www.ex­hale.com.sg

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