Featured, Life

so far;

September 28, 2015
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I can’t quite believe that it is almost 2 months since my last update, and I honestly have been neglecting this space more than I should. Life has been great and crazy and scary and hectic and tiring and invigorating and so many other different opposing adjectives all rolled into one. The thing is, we tend to prefer to curate the prettier pictures in life than to recall the bad stuff. I’ve had my fair share of bad stuff over the past 2 months but as I always tell my students, what’s most important is whether you get back right up. Life will always throw you lemons and it ultimately depends on whether you want to make lemonade out of it.

Despite the occasional bad stuff, I am constantly grateful for the good things in life. I wake up every morning grateful for being able to do the things I do, and I am always thankful for the opportunities that come my way. I’ve been constantly reminded about the importance of treating yourself and others with honesty and integrity. I have been reminded of the need to own your space and make the best out of it.

I don’t often post life’s updates like that but I believe as the months fly by, I am going to look back at this and appreciate that I took the time to write this down. Because sometimes as we go through changes in life, we tend to lose touch of what keeps us going from Day 1. And in my Day 1, I want to be able to remind myself to stay truthful, grateful, and optimistic. x

Featured, Features, Life

Teach & Play in Bali with Coach2Play

August 10, 2015

This post is courtesy of Coach2Play.

 If you’ve been following me closely on Instagram, tumblr, or even SnapChat (sassyyogi), you’ll know that I was in Bali, Jimbaran Bay, for the past week! It was pretty exciting to be able to fly to Bali for both work and play at the same time. If you were to tell me a year ago that I would have the opportunity to do this, I would probably find it pretty unthinkable. Being able to combine work and play is a dream – and I am so grateful to be able to experience it for myself.All thanks to the folks from Coach2Play, I was given the opportunity to fly to Bali and stay at Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay for 8 days. On my first day in Bali, I was already blown away by the level of hospitality, conscientiousness, and friendliness of the staff at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay.

The villa I was provided with was extremely beautiful and spacious – plus you get your own private swimming pool. The boyfriend and I spent numerous mornings after my morning yoga classes just chilling at the pool. The villa also overlooks the sea, and not to mention the beautiful clear skies of Jimbaran Bay.

Besides the beautiful villa and the warm hospitality, my highlight was definitely being able to teach at Four Seasons. The reason why I love my job is because I have the opportunity to connect with so many people from all walks of life on the yoga mat. Many of the guests were trying out yoga for the first time and it always warms my heart to hear that they enjoyed my classes thoroughly. Some of the guests even requested for private classes, and conducting private classes allowed me to connect with the guests on a much deeper level, understanding their needs and limitations and working towards finding greater ease and freedom with their bodies through yoga.

On the fourth day in Bali, I had an off day from teaching and of course the boy and I had to hit the beach to learn surfing! Even though it was only a 2.5 hour introductory course, we managed to stand and surf on our boards. Not too bad for a first try!

We also managed to squeeze out some time to head to Ubud on our last day in Bali. Visited the art market as well as the Yoga Barn. Unfortunately, as I was feeling pretty unwell that day, I had to give the yoga class at Yoga Barn a miss. Another time perhaps, I will definitely be back for a retreat!

Venturing into Yoga Barn!

The week-long stay in Bali was definitely a great break from the usual routine and despite the fact that I had to teach yoga classes during my stay, I feel so energized and rejuvenated because of all the new people I’ve met. The boy and I managed to get some great quality time after being busy with our own jobs for the past few months – and for many, many reasons, it will be one of the most memorable trips ever.

If you’re interested to find out what exactly a teaching vacation is like, do check out Coach2Play! They are not only looking for yoga teachers, but also any other kinds of fitness trainers. Check out their website, Facebook, and Instagram for more.

Once again, thank you to Four Seasons Resorts Jimbaran Bay and Coach2Play for your warm hospitality! Also, a shoutout to Vivre Activewear for lovingly clothing me with their beautiful fitness apparel. x

(Photo credits to Stefanus Ian)

Featured, Features, Yoga hacks

4 ways to fully utilize your fitness tracker

July 20, 2015

This post is courtesy of Rewalkz Me.

Fitness trackers are all the craze now, with a range of fitness wearables for the professional athlete to those who are just starting out on fitness. Fitness trackers are definitely great tools to help you make informed choices when making the transition to a healthier lifestyle. Not only does it track your exercise regime, it also helps you to keep track of your food intake, water intake, sleep quality, number of steps taken in a day, and so many more.

Thanks to Rewalkz Me, I recently had the opportunity to test out the Fitbit Flex for around 2 months, working them into my daily routine. I must say that the Fitbit Flex was pretty useful in helping me keep track of my activity levels, especially when I keep up with an almost daily practice and I also teach at the yoga studio 5 days a week. If you’ve been following my blog, you would’ve known that I previously blogged about my experiences when I first received my Fitbit Flex. Now that 2 months is over, I thought it would be great to just sum up my experiences into how you can fully utilize your fitness trackers in 4 very simple ways.

1. Gamify your fitness routine

Sometimes getting started on making healthier choices can be a daunting decision to make. Especially when you find yourself stuck in old habits that can be detrimental to your health in the long run, sometimes it takes a lot of determination in order to break out of that habit. However, using incentives can be a great way to encourage yourself to break out of the old habit! Platforms like Rewalkz Me provide weekly challenges for you to take part in, and stand a chance to win various attractive prizes specially curated by the Rewalkz Me team when you complete the weekly challenges. That not only makes getting healthier a fun process, the incentives available also motivates you to push beyond your limits. Find what motivates you and what excites you, and always find new challenges regularly to spice up your fitness routine. That way, breaking past your boundaries and challenging your limits can be fun.

2. Form a support system with a buddy or a group of friends 

For some people, forming a support system with a buddy or a group of friends would go a long way in creating long lasting lifestyle changes and inculcating a regular fitness routine into your practice! Platforms like Rewalkz Me bring together fitness enthusiasts from all walks of life to take part in these weekly challenges. The support system formed by Rewalkz Me allows you to encourage and be encouraged – thus creating positive energy and interdependence amongst users. If you’re looking to get a fitness tracker, perhaps ask your friends to join in as well – getting started on a brand new challenge together with friends and support will definitely help to spur your morale especially on days where the going gets a little tough.

3. Constantly fine-tune your routine

Fitness trackers are extremely useful in helping you make informed choices when it comes to getting healthier and fitter, as it provides a wide array of information such as your quality of sleep, activity levels, food and water intake, and many more. However, fitness trackers are only as useful as you make use of them. It is important to make use of these information you get from the fitness trackers to fine tune your lifestyle and fitness routines. When you see yourself hitting a plateau or suffering from low levels of motivation, use the information you gain from your fitness trackers to change up your exercise regime, diet, or even sleeping habits. Platforms like Rewalkz Me also encourage you to change up your routine by providing brand new challenges every week so you won’t find yourself doing the same kind of routine over a prolonged period of time. Using the information from the fitness trackers intelligently and cross referencing from reliable sources on the Internet would definitely help you make sustainable lifestyle changes in the long run.

4. Cultivate discipline in tracking your fitness

Fitness trackers, in my honest opinion, are only useful when you use it consistently over a long period of time. The longer you use your fitness trackers consistently, the more accurate the information will be. Therefore, before you purchase a fitness tracker, ask yourself if this is something that you would utilize fully in the long run (in months or even years). That way, this will then allow you to fully integrate fitness trackers into your daily routine, thus making informed choices as mentioned in the earlier points. If you find yourself losing interest or just caught up in a fad of using fitness wearables, then perhaps fitness trackers is not for you. There are many other resources online that help you to make healthier lifestyle choices, and using fitness trackers is just one out of the many possible ways to do so. Always find what works best for you! What works for others may not necessarily work for you.

I hope you guys have found these pointers useful when considering to buy a fitness tracker or to make better use of your fitness tracker in your daily lives! Rewalkz Me is definitely a useful platform to use especially if you’re not too sure how to get into the fitness wagon using your tracker. Plus, they are open worldwide! You don’t necessarily have to be based in Singapore in order to use this platform.

They are currently hosting a summertime challenge that spans over 2 weeks, its biggest challenge yet! Plus, with the new referral program, you now have a higher chance of winning with every referral. The prize of this challenge is a Pebble Time smartwatch. So if you’re wondering what else you can do this summer, perhaps it’s time to try out something new and get on this challenge. Good luck! x

Featured, Yoga hacks, Yoga Teacher Training

FAQs about Yoga Teacher Training!

July 14, 2015

Hello you guys! It has been a long while since I’ve done a Yoga Hacks post on here, and I figured it would be a great way to get started again by taking questions from you guys on tumblr. As many of you may know, I completed my yoga teacher training (YTT) on 11 May this year, after nearly 5 months of part-time yoga teacher training on weekends. Before I get started on the 6 common questions that I’ve received with regards to YTT, I thought I should share some of my experiences with you guys!

Photo credit: Stefanus Ian

My YTT experience

I was lucky to have found the part-time yoga teacher training that happens just on weekends, which meant that I was able to juggle my school commitments on weekdays and then continue my yoga teacher training on weekends. Because I knew I wanted to be a yoga teacher and pursue a teaching career after my college graduation, the timing worked perfectly for me as I would have graduated from YTT the same time I graduate from college.

The pro of doing a part time weekend YTT is that I get the weekdays to absorb what I have learnt on the weekends, and get more time to expand on my asana practice at the same time. The extra time allowed me to soak in whatever I have learnt both in practice and in theory, and it did not feel as rushed as it would have felt if I were to take the weekday YTT.

That being said, 5 months felt like a really long time, and it definitely wasn’t easy juggling both school and YTT! School is stressful and at the same time I had teacher training to worry about. Not having time to revise my material before the next weekend swings around is not uncommon either. Sometimes I feel so stressed and overwhelmed from school that I didn’t feel that I fully immersed myself in my teacher training.

With that, let me now address some of the most common questions you guys have when it comes to doing your yoga teacher training! I would like to emphasize that ultimately, my opinions are based on my own teacher training experience and it may differ for individuals! I try to answer these questions the best I can.

Photo credit: The Smart Local

Q: How advanced do I need to be before I start my yoga teacher training?

Personally, I was practicing for nearly 2 years before I got started on YTT. Like many of you, I had a lot of doubts in terms of whether I was ready to embark on my teacher training journey. I wanted to make sure that I was physically and mentally ready to be a yoga teacher before I started the course, especially when the certification is not cheap to begin with. Most importantly, I wanted to make full use of my teacher training journey and gain as much experience as I can.

With that, I would say that while there is no base requirement in terms of when you should do your YTT, many studios do ensure that you have at least a year of regular practice before you sign up for YTT. For me, I knew that the weakest link in my practice at that point of time was inversions, so a few months leading up to my YTT, I attended inversion classes regularly and forced myself to face my fears of inversions. Without a regular inversion practice, I felt that my own asana practice reached a roadblock. Being able to confront my vulnerabilities in my asana practice in that aspect helped immensely in preparing my mental and physical self for the upcoming YTT journey ahead.

Some studios may not have any pre-requisites for you to join the YTT course. If you haven’t been practicing for over a year, it is good to speak to the trainer to ascertain your suitability before you embark on the journey. I always believe in preparing myself adequately before taking the leap. Of course, if you find yourself hesitating just because you don’t know when is a good time, then just take the leap. There is never a better time than now!

Q: Is there a minimum age for me to do my yoga teacher training?

From what I know, I don’t think there is a minimum age for you to do your YTT. I believe some studios do set age limits because of liability issues. And do you know that the youngest yoga teacher in the world was 6 years old? I have also met some friends during my YTT journey who were 17, 18 years old. So as far as I am concerned, there is no minimum age for you to do your yoga teacher training.

Q: What materials did you use when you were doing your teacher training? 

Besides the materials that my teacher training school provided me with, we also use the Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long, to study the human anatomy. It is a great book with very vivid illustrations that made learning the various muscle groups a lot easier and entertaining.

Personally, I also use Yoga Sequencing by Mark Stephens. It is a great book that has guided my teaching from the very start. It focused a lot of sequencing yoga classes based on themes, chakra points, special needs, and many more.

Q: What is a regular day like in a yoga teacher training course?

The yoga teacher training course started at 7.30am, with a 3 hour asana practice until 10.30am. Then we have an hour long break before we start on our theory lesson from 11.30am to 1pm. It is a 5.5hr session every weekend for the next five months. Towards the second half of the course, we then focused more on teaching techniques. We were split up into small groups and everyone would take turns teaching each other in preparation for our teaching exam at the last few weeks of the course.

Q: Was it easy to find a job after you have completed your yoga teacher training?

I was fortunate to apply for a marketing job at a yoga studio which eventually doubled up into a full-time yoga instructor at that studio when I graduated from YTT. It is important to find your edge and your branding as a yoga teacher in order to differentiate yourself effectively from many other yoga teachers in the market. Most importantly, you need to have the passion and drive to pursue what you want to achieve in your teaching career. Building a rapport with your students is extremely important, and taking the effort to be in tune with your students’ needs, strengths and weaknesses in their practice would go a long way in catering yoga classes according to their needs.

Q: What was the most challenging part of the yoga teacher training course?

Personally, the most challenging part of the yoga teacher training was to study the human anatomy. Coming from an Arts and Humanities background, I was never adept in Science since I was young. Having to dust off the biology books to relearn the human anatomy was pretty intimidating, even though I must say that it is also very fascinating to learn how the human body works. Being able to break through that barrier was rather liberating because having that extra anatomical knowledge would inform your sequencing in class a lot better. It is still a very difficult part of my practice as I continue to read up and study about the human anatomy after graduating from YTT, and it is a challenge that I still have to overcome on a day to day basis.

Photo credit: Belif Singapore

Hope this post has given you a much better idea of what to expect out of a yoga teacher training course! If you have any other questions about YTT, feel free to comment below and I will answer them the best that I can. If you’re getting started on YTT yourself, share them with me and I would love to be a part of the journey too.

Good luck! x

Featured, Features

Discover your badassery with ohsosom

July 7, 2015

This post is courtesy of ohsosom

Being a badass is about pushing the boundaries of conventions. It’s about being confident, brave, and unapologetically yourself. It’s about going against self-imposed limitations and rediscovering the real potential in yourself. It is about knowing that your yoga practice is no one else’s but your own. It’s about understanding that your own practice is a larger reflection of yourself and your personality. It’s about filling up the blank canvas (that is your mat) with your practice – with its strengths, vulnerabilities, and quirks all combined into 1.

And that is why I really resonated with the core idea of “being a badass” with the apparel that ohsosom creates. Because they are such a huge champion for being unapologetically yourself, for being a badass, for being a confident and self-empowering yogi, that I felt that sort of confidence rub off on me when I wear their apparel.

I am in love with the Lorraine and Jodie leggings – they are absolutely adorable and certainly the kind of apparel that instantly lights up your yoga practice (and your wardrobe). They are extremely stretchy, not sheer, and definitely a staple in my yoga wardrobe.

If ohsosom’s branding is not self-explanatory, I believe these tank tops embody the ohsosom spirit like no other. I love my “Kiss My Asana” tank, and the “wild thing” tank. They just make me feel so proud of being a yogi when I wear that out into the streets. Not to mention, they are also perfect tank tops to wear off the yoga mat, paired with a pair of denim shorts for the summer season.

Check out ohsosom on their website, Facebook, and Instagram pages. Keep your eyes peeled for their upcoming collections and show your love for their latest range if you haven’t gotten them already. Rediscover your badassery on the mat with ohsosom. x