1) How did your yoga journey begin?
This is going to be a long story!
In 2016, I started working as the editor at SOULSCAPE, previously known as INTHELOOP. The website covers yoga and wellness in Singapore, and the company organised the largest outdoor yoga festival in Singapore. Ironically, I didn’t do any yoga at all, even though I was editing articles relating to it. I felt like a fake.
One day, we had a pop up yoga event in the run up to the 2016 festival, and I decided to hop on the mat with the entire team.
Most. Excruciating. Experience. Ever.
I kept slipping in Downward Dog. I didn’t know what I was doing. My favourite pose was Child’s pose, then Corpse pose.
That first lesson challenged me so much on the physical level.
But at the same time, I always wanted to return to doing my other activities (I used to do dance lessons 6 days a week when I was in my mid 20s). And I thought that yoga might be a good way to gently awaken the muscles and build strength, before I attempted other activities. So I started turning up on the mat for 30-minutes a day.
All this happened in the months after I chose to leave my marriage. So doing the asanas helped me to calm down and not give in to the whirling emotions in me, especially despair. I was very sad, upset, and felt hopeless most of the time. It was just work at SOULSCAPE and yoga that kept me going. I particularly remember that twists of any kind, as well as Warrior 3 would cause me to break out into tears.
Initially, I practiced at home, watching videos by Esther Ekhart. Then in January 2017, I decided that I needed more guidance, and I started taking yoga lessons at a boutique yoga studio. My first teachers there were Derris Chew (Pure Yoga), Jeremy Lim (NPSY), and Hansel Cao.
2) How did you feel after that first practice?
I felt challenged, yet accomplished at the same time. Like, I didn’t know that asanas were so darn hard! Even child’s pose was a challenge as my ankles and knees felt painful. Yet I was so proud that I finally did it. Hahaha!
3) Tell us about your path to becoming a teacher?
It wasn’t planned, haha… After I left SOULSCAPE, I began working at a yoga studio where I had been practicing at. I was handling teacher scheduling, updating of website content & social media, as well as front desk duties. I started sharing about my yoga practice with new members, encouraging them on their first steps on their journey. I also became really close to the teachers who I practiced with, and many of them told me that I would make a good yoga teacher.
But I had always wanted to return to editorial work (I’ve been doing it ever since my second year in university), and never thought to do anything else. Then in a particular month, there were many teachers who took off or suddenly fell sick, and we had trouble finding cover teachers. At that time, I thought that if I had a teaching certification, I could just hop into class to cover. But I never took action.
I finally did something when one of the teachers said this to me: Even if you don’t end up teaching, the teacher training will help you to deepen your practice.
And that was when I applied for a teacher training.
4) How has your practice affected your life and perspective on it?
In some ways, my practice has taught me to be more patient, to go with the flow of things, and to breathe. But at the same time, it has also taught me to speak up for myself without using emotions, to stay firm in my beliefs, and to trust that my small efforts now will snowball into something significant with time.
I often turn to this phrase that is commonly used for yoga practice: Practice and all is coming. It is very true, as it can be applied to all areas of life. The more we practice, the better we become at something, so the easier it becomes for us.
The other thing that yoga reminds me of is that, at the crux of life, all we have is our breath. We can be healthy and fit, but if we stop breathing, we stop moving. So as long as we remember to breath, everything else in life will sort itself out. 🙂
5) Share something fun about yourself.
I’m quirky, I’m quite a klutz, I love giving hugs, I love sharing about anything that I love and that includes yoga, essential oils, nutrition knowledge, and anything to do with health & wellness.
Oh, and I do yoga to trance music (Above & Beyond, Oceanlab, Gareth Emery)….