Namaste Hands At Singapore Rendezvous

So I’m heading to India to become a yoga teacher…

Those who know me from before 2016 will know that I’ve always been in the editorial field since I graduated from university in the year 2000. Then this year, I switched to focusing more on creating connections between people (fancier term for networking & marketing), and yoga as a job.

There’s a back story to my career switch—those close to me will know it well, and if you don’t know it, it means that we’re not close enough yet for me to tell you.

However, I do have a story to tell, and here it is.

Back in September 2016, and practicing at home.

THE TRIP

This November 6, I will fly to Mumbai via KL, to an ashram where I will stay for 37 days. During that time, 28 days is for my yoga teacher training, which begins on November 15 and ends on December 12. At the end of the period, I would have 250 hours of YTT, 50-hours more than most other yoga teachers.

 

If anyone wants to find me…

 

What happens between the 7th and 15th, before the YTT begins? There’s an International Yoga Festival from Nov 8 to 12, at the same ashram. It’s going to be loads of asana & pranayama practice, meditation, kirtans, henna drawing, rangoli making, learning how to cook Indian vegetarian, and more. Then more yoga workshops on the 13th and 14th, also at the same ashram. So it’s going to be about five weeks of ashram life with yoga!

 


Might as well get in as much yoga as I can while I’m there, right!?!

Those close to me will know why I’m so excited about this trip.

Firstly, it’s been a very long time since I travelled on my own. Meaning that I’m not going with a friend or meeting friends at the destination. I go on my own.

Secondly, it’s an extended period of being away from daily life as I know it.

Thirdly, I’m going back to school. Something that I’ve been dreaming of since 2012/13.

Lastly, I’m doing something for myself. Not for my family, or for my friends, or anyone else. After so many years of doing things that benefit or takes care of other people, I finally get to be a bit self-fish, and do something for me.

THE JOURNEY TO YOGA

To be honest, I only started doing yoga regularly in September 2016. I was working as editor at a platform that promotes wellness through yoga, fitness, and meditation but I wasn’t walking the talk. At that point, I had been inactive for more than nine years.

Just some of the Instiinct instructors & regular members getting bendy at a recent event.

I wished to get active again, considering that I used to do dance for 5-6 days a week in the years 2003 to 2006, before I moved away to Bali. And I figured that yoga is a gentle way of doing so.

I started watching YouTube videos to get started, as my work schedule meant that it was tough to do lessons–I had started pole dance lessons last September too but as I progressed, the schedule didn’t fit.

By December, I felt that I had plateaued in my practice and that I needed instruction in class. Coincidentally, my bestie was opening a yoga studio. So on January 5 this year, I found myself in a Power & Alignment class by Jeremy at Yoga Instiinct.

WHEN YOGA INSTIINCT HAPPENED

Along the way, I joined the #instiinctsquad in May. Many things had happened in my personal and work life in the months leading up to this momentous move from editorial to Lifestyle Curator at Yoga Instiinct. But I feel comfortable, accepted, and loved here at Yoga Instiinct.


To be honest, I earn a third of what I used to earn at my previous job. But I am more at peace, more excited, more fulfilled in this new role.

I get to share what yoga is for me, I practice with many seasoned practitioners, and I learn from our wonderfully giving teachers. It has enriched me so much. Every time I walk out of yoga class there, I feel like my well has been filled beyond the brim.

Basing a guy 15kg heavier than me in Acro Yoga at Yoga Instiinct

THE JOURNEY TO YTT

It was around this February when a couple of the yoga teachers at Instiinct seeded the idea of me getting my YTT. Bestie even suggested Yoga Point in India, the ashram where he had obtained his YTT.

However, I didn’t apply for it immediately as I didn’t feel I was ready, after all, I’d barely practiced yoga for 6 months! Additionally, I didn’t have the finances to pay for it + I had a personal commitment that required me to be physically in Singapore.


Then I received sage advice from one of the teachers Marilyn: “You will never be ready.”

Furthermore, my brother told me: “You have to live your life, you can’t stop it because of what is happening around you.”

So true. We’re seldom ready for anything cos we don’t know how it actually will be until we do it! It’s the same with every yoga class that I step into: I never feel ready when I go in but I do it anyway.

And if we don’t live life now, we won’t get this moment again.

Thus in July, I sent my application and the acceptance letter arrived a few days before my 40th birthday. It’s probably the best birthday present I’ve given to myself.

Acro Yoga at Yoga Instiinct

RAISING FUNDS

Despite this, I still didn’t have the funds to actually go for the course, which will cost S$2785. Here’s the breakdown:-

US$1250 or S$1700 — 250hr YTT
US$275 or S$375 — 5 day or 45hr International Yoga Festival + 18hr extra workshops
S$550 — round trip flight + transport expenses to Mumbai
S$160 — travel insurance

That’ll give me more than 300hrs of teacher training! Most teachers only get 200hr as the base.

With what I am earning, it was challenging to save for the trip. And in the time that I’m at YTT, I’m not working, which means I return with little in my bank account.

Guided into supported headstand by
Dr Murty Ram, who teaches at True Fitness Novena

 

Then an idea popped into my head: How about getting people to pay in advance for a yoga class with me, after I’ve returned from YTT?

In this way, I have the funds for the training, and when I return I already have practitioners to practice what I’ve learned.

So far I’ve raised $760. I’ve paid $482 for my flight, plus registration of the YTT & International Yoga Festival.

So here I am, asking for your help in funding my YTT by purchasing in advance a yoga class with me, to be held during off peak hours at Yoga Instiinct.

Go to http://bit.ly/YogaPointTT and purchase whichever class you would like to attend.

Any amount is welcome, I accept it with much gratitude. If you wish to pass me the money offline instead, like what 2 friends have done, please contact me privately and I’ll update the fundraiser status.

PRACTICE & ALL IS COMING

Before my trip, I will be practicing more often at the studio. Please do join me when you have the time. If the studio does well, I’ve a space to return to for teaching.


I’m also doing a Basics to Basic Yoga class, called Breath & Movement. It focuses on breathing in each movement, which is the essence of yoga. It’s a free class, but I’d appreciate a pay-as-you wish that will be donated to my charity of choice, the Children’s Cancer Foundation, in the name of Yoga Instiinct. Do send me a message for dates & times.

IN LOVE & GRATITUDE

I’m grateful for the experience I’m having so far. I enjoy it tremendously, and am grateful for all the learning that fellow yogis have shared with me.

This is just the beginning, there are more exciting things to come and I can’t wait to share them with you.