Featured, Features, Yoga Teacher Training

5 important lessons I’ve learnt during my yoga teacher training

February 16, 2015
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This post is courtesy of Tirisula Yoga.

Hello you guys! I’m sure some of you know that I am currently doing my yoga teacher training, and I’m into my 5th week so far, with another 10 weeks to go! As I am doing a part-time weekend course, a 200-hr teacher training takes a lot longer to finish as compared to a full-time weekday course. I’ll talk more about the pros and cons of doing a part time teacher training in another post!

Today, I thought it’ll be great to share with everyone some of the really important lessons I’ve learnt during my YTT so far, that has really transformed my yoga practice. Prior to starting my YTT, I have been practicing for 2 years at various studios, only settling at Pure Yoga around 6 months ago. I thought I had considerable knowledge about yoga and what I am doing, but training at Tirisula Yoga has really changed my perspective about my own practice.

1. Alignment is extremely important, but also extremely overlookedProcessed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetThis realisation was one of the biggest lessons that has transformed my yoga practice, because most of the times, yoga teachers outside don’t emphasize the importance of alignment in ensuring a safe practice enough. Most of the time, many of us collapse our weight into our lower back without realising it, in a bid to enter more deeply into the pose.

My YTT has been a lot of unlearning and relearning of alignment and asanas even in seemingly basic poses such as Virabhadrasana I, II, Utthita Trikonasana, and many more. Because yoga teachers out there do not have the luxury of time to correct every single student in a yoga class, many of us are left with severe misalignment in our asanas without even realising it. This can cause severe spinal injuries in the long run. Yoga is supposed to heal, it is not supposed to inflict long-term injuries.

If you are in pain in an asana, you are probably in the wrong alignment.

2. The importance of pranayama and meditation 

10965298_10152630661126232_912702255_nKeeping up with a newfound habit of morning pranayama and meditation!

Pranayama and meditation are great but also under utilized tools in creating greater mental awareness and alertness that can help us immensely throughout the day, even outside of the yoga mat. Doing 50 rounds of Kapalabhati first thing in the morning and doing a short 5 minute meditation before starting your day can do wonders to our level of alertness and stress.

And no, meditation and pranayama are nothing about being religious – it is a tool to clear out the toxins in our body that builds up during a restful night’s sleep. You will be amazed how simple breathing exercises can help to clear out toxins and distractions in our mind and body.

3. Yoga is not just about flexibilityProcessed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetThis is something that I have always emphasized since the very beginning, even before I started my YTT. I always highlighted how yoga is not for the flexible – it is for everyone! You do not need to be flexible to do yoga. However, this lesson was constantly emphasized again and again during my YTT.

Yoga is a combination of strength, flexibility, and stamina.

The most difficult part about yoga is about balancing all these three aspects to perform different asanas. For example, sometimes flexibility can be a hindrance because one tends to collapse into the lower back due to back flexibility. This hinders one’s ability to balance in an inversion. Similarly, one who is really strong can find that they might be really tight in some of their major joints, such as shoulders and hips. Of course, stamina is another aspect altogether. Our stamina is constantly put to the test with 3 hour asana practices, and intensive strength and conditioning trainings.

4. Do not be afraid to ask questions

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 presetOne of the trainers, Erica, adjusting me into reverse prayer

That being said, I think it is important to ask questions after yoga classes if you have any questions about entering into an asana. Sometimes online resources has its limitations, and it is always better to have a more hands-on experience with your yoga teacher who have seen your practice during class and may be able to point out modifications or adjustments that are more specific to you. As I mentioned earlier in the first point, alignment is constantly overlooked in yoga classes because of the relatively large class size and a lack of time for the yoga teacher to go around and adjust individual’s alignments. Therefore, it is on our own onus to ask questions and be more inquisitive about alignment in yoga asanas.

If you experience any pain during your yoga practice, it is also extremely important to flag it to your yoga teacher so he or she will be able to suggest various modifications. Keeping quiet will only aggravate your injury or misalignment, and can be very detrimental in the long run!

5. Yoga teacher training is not only for aspiring yoga teachers

Many people may have the misconception that yoga teacher training is only for people who eventually wants to be yoga teachers. However, this is definitely not true, because there are so many fellow yoga teacher trainees around me who are doing this as a way to deepen their practice. YTT has definitely helped me deepen my understanding of yoga and transformed my yoga practice. Even if I don’t plan to be a yoga teacher in the future, all these information and lessons will definitely improve my yoga practice and physical wellbeing in the long run!

 

I will be sharing one of my YTT sessions at Tirisula Yoga with you in my next post! I am also planning to do a Q&A post for those of you who might have any questions or worries about yoga teacher training. I will be more than happy to answer them. Meanwhile, I will be posting more updates on my Instagram and tumblr, so do remember to give them a follow and say hi!

Featured, Life

#OmForAGoldenHome with me!

February 12, 2015
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Hello you guys! If you have been following me closely on my Facebook, tumblr, or Instagram, you would have heard about #OmForAGoldenHome, a yoga charity fundraiser that I am organizing together with The Yoga Co!

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What is #OmForAGoldenHome?
This yoga charity fundraiser is a personal project that I have pledged under this campaign For A Golden Home. The campaign aims to raise funds for Project HomeWorks by Habitat for Humanity Singapore, by empowering young individuals with a platform for them to raise funds for a common cause. It provides the opportunity for Singapore youths to create their own project, movement, or initiative in a way that they are most familiar with. It can be baking, arts and crafts, photography, or in my case, yoga! Not only is it for a really meaningful cause, it also seeks to show how easy it is to make a positive difference to everyone around us, especially to the needy community in our society.

What is Project HomeWorks then?
Project HomeWorks is an ongoing project by Habitat for Humanity Singapore, that seeks to restore basic living conditions of the elderly living alone in Singapore. Many of these elderly live in squalid conditions with dirt, grime, old furniture that not only pose safety but also severe health hazards. The proceeds from #OmForAGoldenHome will go to purchasing cleaning items, new furniture, paint, and so on, in order to help restore basic living standards for these elderly.

How can I help?
You can donate to the cause, pledge your own project, or even take part in any of the pledged events! They are all listed here.

What is happening on 14 March then?
#OmForAGoldenHome is going to be a day packed full of yoga classes, wonderful baked goods, juices, and yoga apparel. Proceeds from the yoga classes, baked goods, and juices will go to Project HomeWorks.

Here are the classes lined up on 14 March:
1. 11am to 12pm: Hatha Yoga (by Pei Shan)
2. 12.30pm to 1.30pm: Triple Threat Bootcamp (by Sandra)
3. 2pm to 3pm: Flow Yoga (by Elina)
4. 3.30pm to 4.30pm: Arm Balance & Inversions (by Erica)
5. 5pm to 6pm: Yin Yoga (by Pamela)

Classes are multi-level so no matter whether you are a regular yoga practitioner or someone looking to try something new, there’s always a mat for you. Drop in for a class on 14 March for $35 and all proceeds will go to Project HomeWorks. Hang around and mingle with us after your class with delicious baked goodies and healthy juices!

How can I sign up?
Email hello@theyoco.com to book your mat! And come say hi when you see me at The Yoga Co on 14 March! Looking forward to seeing you guys on that day! x

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Featured, Yoga hacks

Celebrating Valentine’s Day the yogi’s way!

February 9, 2015
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Valentine’s Day is upon us and what’s a better way to celebrate the day with your friend or partner yogi-style? The boyfriend and I always thoroughly enjoy ourselves when we attend yoga classes together, especially partner yoga workshops. Partner yoga is a great way to learn how to trust, communicate, and of course, fall and laugh together! It is definitely one of our favourite activities to do together.

So if you are looking for a special event to bring your yogi girlfriend/boyfriend/friend to this Valentine’s Day, here are 3 great events that you should sign up for:

1. Partner Yoga with Yun Ng and Roxanne Toh


Where: Hom Yoga
When: 10.30am to 12.30pm
$$$: $40 (prepaid), $50 (drop-in)
Discounts: 10% off for Hom Yoga members

Bring your yoga practice up a notch by incorporating a partner to bring you deeper into poses for healing and therapeutic purposes. Of course, there may also be some acroyoga elements thrown into the 2 hour long session as well! I personally have attended 2 partner yoga workshops by Hom Yoga in the past and I have always enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Check it out here!

2. Handstand in Partnership with Marc Bauchet

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Where: Sadhana Sanctuary
When: 1.30pm to 4.30pm
$$$: $90 (per person), $170 (per couple)

This 3 hour long workshop is definitely great value for money. Not only do you learn how to enter handstands safely with the help of your partner, you also get to learn massage techniques and stretches that will help to evolve your practice. Learning how to spot others in their practice would also do wonders in creating greater awareness to your own body in your yoga practice. Plus you get a complimentary massage or facial spa with every sign-up!

Check it out here!

3. Valentine’s Day Contact Yoga with Marc Bauchet and Crystal Gui

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.18.24 amWhere: The Lumen Room
When: 7pm to 9pm
$$$: $50 (registered), $90/pair (registered), $60 (drop-in), $110/pair (drop-in)

For friends and couples looking for serious acroyoga fun, this would be the workshop for you! The workshop incorporates elements of acroyoga and dance, and there is also a milonga (social dance for tango) happening after the workshop. It is free for those participating in the workshop to observe and a discounted entrada of $8 for those tango dancers attending both. Definitely a fun way to spend your Valentine’s Day night!

Check it out here!

 

I hope you enjoy yourself with your friends, partners, and loved ones this Valentine’s Day! Who says Valentine’s Day is only for couples? It can definitely be a day to remind ourselves to show appreciation to the friends and family that we love dearly. Have a great week you guys! x

Featured, Yinspirations

February Yoga Challenge: #SGYogaLove!

January 30, 2015
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Time has been zooming past especially when 2015 has started off as a very hectic year for me! It’s crazy to think that the first month of 2015 is almost over!

However, February is proving to be a very exciting month, because I will be hosting a yoga challenge together with Jasmine (@jasmine_yoga) on Instagram!

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In the month of February, we will be celebrating the many facets of love with what we love most – yoga! #SGYogaLove is a weekday challenge with weekly themes and daily poses to celebrate many facets of love through yoga!

Here is what you need to do on Instagram:
1. Repost this image and tag your friends to spread the word!
2. Follow us! (@jasmine_yoga and @sassyyogi)
3. Follow our weekly sponsors @soulhaute, @madanayoga, @ohmywaves, and @namasteas
5. Have fun!

We will be celebrating February with weekly themes celebrating love and gratitude:
1. Week 1: Yoga Love – share with us what you love about yoga!
2. Week 2: Dedicate your daily practice to someone you love!
3. Week 3: Share with us one thing that you are grateful for
4. Week 4: Self-love – share a health or wellness tip with us!

Look out for the hosts as they reveal the daily poses with lots of beginner and intermediate variations to choose from. Remember to stay safe and have lots of fun. The weekly sponsors will be picking their winner of the week on Sunday night, and the winner will be announced the next day.

We really hope that you can join us this February in this yoga challenge! Give us a shoutout if you’re joining and hashtag your posts with #SGYogaLove so we know to look out for you! <:
See you in February! x

Featured, Features

The #InfuusaLife with Infuusa

January 28, 2015

This post is courtesy of Infuusa.

Not all of us are fans of plain water, and some of us are always looking for a thirst-quenching solution after a great workout. But do you know that most energy drinks are laden with too much sugar and calories that we don’t actually need?

Infuusa is a convenient way for you to prepare your infused water without having to buy separate ingredients, chop them up, and add them into a flask. Because they come in the form of teabags, it reduces your preparation time substantially. Not only that, it only uses natural ingredients with real fruits, berries, and tea leaves. There is no sugar added, only stevia for a little hint of sweetness.

The longer you leave the teabag to sit, the tastier the infused water gets. I personally love the Quad Berry infusion, and I find myself drinking it not only after my yoga sessions, but also while I’m doing my work at my desk. It’s tasty and guilt-free! It does not have to be a post work-out drink, and in fact there are so many possibilities – for parties, dinners, tea time, office, and many more.

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Infuusa’s new 2015 infusions

Do check out Infuusa for their creative infusions, and make your purchase via this link to get $5 off storewide. Happy infusing!