My ‘Favourite’ Posture

I’ve always had a love hate relationship with backbends.
But now I can officially tell you that I love and still hate backbends.
As the saying goes,
I bend so I don’t break.

Backbend is where our spine bends backwards and it helps to align our spine and vertebrate.
Most importantly, backbend is a shoulders, chest and heart opener. As it says, when you open your heart, you open the huge possibilities to open your mind.

Doing backbends are actually a emotional journey that it will take us through. After a backbend, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and emotional because it opens up our hearts to all the feelings and emotions that are running through our bodies and mind.

This is why backbend is my favourite posture as its not only challanging to me physically but it is also a powerful lesson and journey towards knowing and controlling my emotions better. And if you can’t think straight, think upside down!

Yim

How yoga will help others

Yoga has been beneficial to me. In so many ways or another. Yoga was a help to me during my stressful, emotional and difficult days. With yoga around, I was more patient with people around me and of course most importantly with myself. I am also more confident of myself as yoga helped me and improved me physically. Therefore, I think that yoga will be able to help many more people out there.

How will yoga be able to help others? And how would I be able to link people to yoga? Yoga will be able to help people just like how it helped me. If people are willing to accept yoga into their lives, and are more open towards giving themselves a chance to explore yoga, they will be able to open themselves up to so many new possibilities. Yoga improves one person in terms of body, mind and soul. The more you open up and choose to learn and accept, the more benefits that yoga can bring to oneself.

However, yoga is not a destination or a stepping stone that you can forget after becoming ‘better’. Yoga is actually a journey. A long journey together with our bodies, hearts and minds. Therefore it is important to continue corporating yoga into our daily lives.

I think that I can link people to yoga by first being a better version of myself. And then which I will be able to introduce yoga to more people that have never been in touch with yoga before or had an misunderstanding with yoga.
Of course with a yoga teacher training certification, I will be able to life people up mentally, emotionally and also physically. So that I will be able to benefit people around me and people in our community.

Most importantly, to me, yoga never forgets about spreading love in this community! Yoga brings people of all walks together and yoga is a journey filled with interesting explorations and fun about oneself.

Yim

Yoga in my current life

Today, after 8 years since I first know about yoga, I find yoga being a kind of therapy for me. Yoga makes me happy and helps me alot in my daily life and the way I live.

With yoga, I’ve improved alot on my health and physical wellbeing. Other than that, with every practice I have, it helped me with my confidence and happiness. With every practice, I realise that I was slowly transforming into someone better.
I started to have more patience in my daily life and was more understanding towards people around me.

Yoga also helps me during difficult situation during work and my personal life. Yoga teaches me to take a step back to understand the situation before coming to a conclusion fast.
Yoga also taught me to have self love for myself and to give myself enough time and space to self reflect even during hectic time.

Yoga also allows me to understand my physical body better and if course to be more accepting towards my body as in some days my body is not at its best. So yoga teaches me to be patient with myself and my body.

Yoga is life changing for me and helps me alot!

Yim

How I came into yoga

I was first very skeptical about yoga.
Is it a spiritual thing? A religion thing? A meditation? Does it make me fitter?
Because of all of my what ifs, I didn’t take the first step to understand and to try yoga.

I first started to get more interested at a roadshow. I remember it was outside a mrt station. That was when I first met my yoga instructor and she spoke to me about yoga.

I clarified all my doubts and at the age of 18, I started doing yoga. When I first started, I was so excited about it. I started doing yoga and going for yoga classes EVERY SINGLE DAY. thinking about it today, I’m thinking that how hardworking I were back then.

But it didn’t last long, after about a year of daily practice, I started to get bored of yoga and stopped completely. After stopping for 6 months then I went back again to start yoga again. I realised that the reason why I stopped was before I was just going through the routine and I didn’t understand about it. I wasn’t focus and it was merely just a physical practice to me.

That was when I realise that I wanted to understand deeper about yoga. So I started to learn about postures and to improve them. Then it was it I realise that I found meaning in my practice and how my practice will help me. And therefore continued to constantly do my practice.

Looking back, it has been a great journey with yoga. And now that I’ve understand that, to continue my journey with yoga, I will have to understand why I am doing this and how I want to do it. It has also became a life lesson for me in everything I do in life. To make our lives more meaningful and fruitful!

Yim

Patience is key

Since I came to Singapore 13 years ago, I’ve developed a new mentality called ‘kia-su’, or competitiveness. Singaporeans are very good in what they’re doing and I’ve to constantly struggle to not ‘lose out’. As a consequence, I started to become more impatient, non stop chasing 1 achievement after another.

One of the biggest learnings from yoga that I got is patience. As I’m learning the postures, I realized that I can’t force it. If I don’t listen to my body and push too much, I’ll get injured. However, if I practice consistently and patiently, I realized that over time, I can do the postures more and more naturally. It’s like this in life too.

We can strive to do our best, but we can’t force things to happen. There is time for everything and everything will come at the right time. Even if we can’t see it now, we’ll realize later as we connect the dots backwards. There are so many moments when I thought “Aaaah.. this happened because of this” only much later in life.

‘Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.’ – John Lennon

Jess

First Yoga Class?

  • The first time I went to a Yoga class was totally unplanned: a friend of mine had a free ticket for “hot yoga” class at Great World City and she asked me if I would join and have dinner afterward. I accept thinking I would be happy to have a moment with my friend and then go to a nice restaurant, where I could eat plenty.
  • When I arrived in the yoga class, I found my friend sitting on a matt, first raw of the class just in front of the teacher. I entered the room and sit next to my friend, and I was thinking, “it’s so hot in here, why don’t they put the aircon?” I could barely breath and was already sweating while waiting for the teacher. The class started and I ended up sweating and falling from posture to posture, I was completely lost and suffocating all along the class. I also could not retain to giggle when falling from a supposed-to-be “crow pose” and the teacher looked at me with a severe look as I was disturbing the class. At the end I told my friend this was a very bizarre physical practice and I could not understand why people practice yoga, or even worse Hot yoga.
  • A year later, I started to practice yoga during my lunch time, at the Gym next to my office, and since then I have learnt to love yoga and practice it daily!

Yoga is love

I’m an extremely busy person – constantly juggling to do so many things at the same time. As a result, I’m constantly stressed, trying to finish 1 task after another, not being mindful and able to enjoy life. I felt like a zombie and began to question what’s the purpose of life.

Yoga has helped me so much and showed me that life is full of love.

It started from the ‘feel-good’ after a yoga class – my body feels better, my mind feels calmer. Whenever I don’t practice yoga or exercise at all during the day, I get angry and irritated much faster, I do things without much thinking, resulting in me spending more time in doing each tasks, which ultimately results in more stress and loss of productivity.

Now I thank myself for practicing every day – even a quick yoga stretch helps me a lot. I know that by making time for the practice, I’m saving a lot of time doing the other things as I’m able to be more mindful and to enjoy what I’m doing more. Above all, I get present to how I’m affecting the people around me when I’m constantly busy and stressed. Every time I practice yoga I remind myself to be more intentional in what I’m doing. This allows me to truly experience the beauty of each moment and as a consequence, feel the love of the amazing people around me.

There’s still so much to learn. I’m so blessed to have found yoga in my life and I’ll continue to explore more and more.

Jess

Finding the flow in my life

Nothing beats the feeling after finishing a yoga class; I feel calmer, more grounded, lighter. My favorite class is vinyasa – a style of yoga characterized by stringing postures together, whereby we move from one posture to another using our breath. It is commonly referred to as “flow” yoga.

As I’m flowing and focusing from 1 posture to another, my mind quiets down. Finally the constant chatter stop and I can feel at peace. Only when I’m in peace, I can be the best version of myself. If I do yoga in the morning, I feel better throughout the day – more focused & productive at work and mindful of other people.

I used to think that I’m a good multitasker – doing many things at the same time. This has been proven wrong by science (as apparently nobody can multitask, not even women – that’s not how our brain works) and experience. What I was doing was jumping back and forth between tasks and it was counter productive.

In the vinyasa classes, I’ve no choice but to focus on 1 posture at a time (or I will lose my balance & hurt myself). This has taught me to find my focus, to find the flow in my life.

Jess

The beginning of my yoga journey

I still remember my first yoga class – it was a hot yoga class that was on a promotion, I felt really dizzy and couldn’t even finish the entire class. I went out of the class thinking “Yoga is not for me”.

The moves were too difficult & painful – I couldn’t reach here & there, I couldn’t hold the postures properly, I felt like a.. failure. I hate it. That was 6 years ago and at that time, I wasn’t really loving myself and my body much. I was eating unhealthy and not exercising at all. I took almost all my pleasure from getting drunk in the weekends, repeating the self destructive cycle of getting stressed at work on weekdays and relieving stress by partying in the weekends, just to get even more tired & depressed when Mondays come.

My friends and colleagues kept asking me to join more yoga classes and even though I resisted & gave a lot of excuses – their persistence won. I can’t thank them for that! Over time, I began to like yoga more and more – as I went to more classes I can feel my balance, strength and flexibility grow. The postures became easier to do. My body feels better after the classes. Above all, I feel the change in my mind. I feel calmer, less angry, more appreciative of life & myself.

In the beginning I didn’t think much when the yoga teachers said “Thank yourself for coming into the mat to hear your mind & body”. Now I know it’s true. I know so little about yoga still, but I can feel the massive healing benefits it has brought to myself.

I was so blessed that yoga came into my life and I’m excited to continue learning & sharing it to everyone around me.

Jess

Misconceptions Of Yoga

Yoga is becoming increasingly popular and is definitely way more talked about than perhaps just a few years ago. But still, there are so many misconceptions and generalisation of Yoga out there.

“Nah I’m not flexible enough for that.”

“Oh I’m not someone who can just sit down and om.”

“Isn’t it for girls?”

“It’s so slow and boring that’s not a work out.”

These could not be any more wrong. I’m a huge believer in – You don’t know until you try it. Like food (oh I love food), you’ll never really know whether you like it until you actually put it in your mouth and try it. As with Yoga, it is a journey. Try 1,2,3,4,5 classes, if it isn’t something you like (I doubt it) then that’s fine.

♡ You don’t have to be flexible to start yoga. You naturally become more flexible through yoga.

♡ “Om”-ing/chanting is a small branch of yoga. It is not an integral or the only part of yoga.

♡ This isn’t something like having menstrual cycles. Yoga can be practised by men, women, children, the elderly.

♡ Today, there are so many kinds of classes you can go for. If yin/backbends aren’t your thing, try going for ashtanga/hatha/vinyasa/core I’m pretty sure you’ll get a good work out in.

I’m not trying to promote anything, I’d just love for people to be more open to what Yoga is and can be for them. Everyone is going through a different journey in Yoga, the benefits it brings me might not be the same for someone else but rather something else.

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” 💚 🌿

xx