Monday, March 30, 2009

Yoga Outdoors

Took the students out for today's class. Weather was good and it was nice listening to the stream of water flowing down the rocks and breathing in fresh air. I think it's nice practising yoga asanas in nature, especially when you are surrounded by green trees, blue skies and natural light. Very much different from practising in a studio environment.

Just imagine, getting into trikonasana from warrior II, as you square your chest to the side and turn your head to look up at blue skies and white clouds. It just takes your breath away.
Sue had her son with us, so Andrew decided to join us and I was amazed at how good he was with the sun salutations. He's only 6 years old but brimmed with enthuasiasm and focused during the whole session.
Looking forward to our next outdoor yoga tomorrow.....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Just Messa' Round !

Ardha Chandrasana

Standing Half Split

Bandha in extended side stretch, parshavakonasaChakrasana
Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

One of the yoga students kindly requested me to do a yoga video for her so she's able to practice it back in the UK when she returns. I decided to take the shoots at my old studio in Kiulap. The new landlord hasn't made his move in ( I have no idea what's going on with the buildings now.) so the studio is still there with all it's floorings, lightings and mirrors intact.

It was as if I never left the studio, it felt good to be back in it. A bit dusty but just a little sweep up with the broom did the job nicely. Peter played the director while I did the sequences. It was harder than I anticipated. 10 minutes into it, my nose started itching, the sweat was trickling down my eyes, my throat was tickling and it made me wanted to cough, ..................................... We had to do retakes and trust me, it was really a truly yoga challenge to complete the video.

It took us finish off everything. (Jules, I really hope you like it)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A good yoga teacher

The most frequent question I get from a student is,"Can I do yoga?" I like to end the question with just one word 'depends'. But here's my advice to everyone out there who's new to it or who's considering taking up yoga classes again.

Here are things you should be looking out for and questions you should ask a yoga teacher:-

1) A friend's recommendation to a yoga class is good but please do check the teacher and the studio atmosphere, sit in one of the classes. Unless it's a big corporate studio where non members aren't allowed, I understand but they should still allow you to have a general 'feel' of the class. The last thing you want to do is buy a 'yoga package' deal without realizing what you're getting yourself into. Observe the yoga class and see if it's what you really want and be realistic about your goal. i.e during your observation of the class, if your jaw drops and you think the class looks like a boot camp, do rethink on whether 'what yoga means to you.'

2) The poses may look simple in cut outs and magazines, until you're actually doing it. Be sure the teacher's leading and guiding you into your practice. Not all poses suit everybody, our bodies are made differently and a good yoga teacher should be able to accomodate to your needs rather than his or hers.

3) Yoga is about "Mission Possible" not "Mission Impossible". Don't be fooled by anyone telling you,"practice makes perfect" i.e yoga is not about getting your foot tangled behind your head. Yoga is knowing how to listen to what your body needs and how you connect your mind and body to your breaths. It's not about how long you can hold your headstand for the next 1 hour.

It's about you feeling good physically and emotionally after the session.

4) A good yoga teacher is someone you are comfortable with when he/she adjusts your poses. You trust them to take care of you and the other students during the session. Know that no one should push you beyond your limit. "The mind soars sky high in thoughts, but the body stays grounded and knows it's capabilities."

5) A good yoga teacher is someone who's open to ideas and not stagnant in his/her practice. His/her continuance of attending different workshops and courses helps him/her update her knowledge on yoga. This will also help the teacher explain to the student how to get in and out of the pose safely.

6) Most yoga teachers should know your medical background from previous back pains, anaemia, high blood pressure, joint injuries, e.t.c This helps the teacher to inform the student which poses are best suited for them.

7) Does the yoga teacher see and hear you? Does he/she notice any struggles you might be experiencing? A good yoga teacher will have a feel of what her students' energy is like for the day and works accordingly to the experience and mood of the class. Each yoga class should feel personalized and meaningful, even if they are teaching the same sequence or poses, it is how the teacher brings awareness to the poses.

8) Any hands on adjustments should be done with loving kindness in their hands and hearts, without strain and without force.

9) A good yoga teacher walks around to check the students poses.

10) Importantly, you need to ask the teacher what type of yoga does he/she teaches. There are various types of yoga being taught in each studio. Some very physical, some physical but relaxing, some solely on breathwork, e.t.c In Brunei, we are limited to just two types, Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. Both yoga are based on postures and breathing exercises. If you have any physical limitations, pure restorative yoga is probably better. Do not start a class without knowing the type of yoga the teacher offers.

11) Most of all, enjoy and all about feeling well and good

See you later crocodiles......

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Yoga Conference 2009 :- Evolution

I haven't been good at blogging lately since the arrival of my nephews. Bless their little hearts. I love em' but they are such a handful, adorable but a bunch of mischiefs. I don't know how mothers stay sane when they have to look after their kids 24/7. I mean we are pretty fortunate to have housemaids here in Brunei to look after the munchkins. But for those 'round the clock' mums, a big thumbs up to you guys! I really admire the patience and love they have. I haven't got any of the little menaces yet (and yes, I do plan to) but like Peter says,'Looking at our nephews makes me feel pretty exhausted already!

I am so glad my sis had my nephews first, at least I can see the 'to do's and not to do' situation with kids.
Anyhow, just to let you guys know there's a yoga conference held in Hong Kong in June. The programmes are pretty good and the price for the passes are reasonable. So, if you're interested to know more, go to

Some of you might be thinking the conference are meant for yoga teachers or advanced practioners, it isn't. If you have a keen interest in improving your practice, or a yoga enthuasiasts, then do join.

Here's what Evolution suggest in ' Who can attend?'

With more than 100 classes of different levels and styles, Evolution allows students to choose sessions that cater to their interests and abilities.The conference is suitable for anyone striving towards a balanced and healthy lifestyle. We expect to see a diverse range of participants including:

Beginner, intermediate and advanced yoga students
Fitness instructors
General sports enthusiasts looking to gain a competitive edge through yoga
Individuals approaching yoga for the first time
Masseuses and physiotherapists
Personal trainers
Pilates teachers
Yoga studio owners and managers
Those in the wellness and holistic industries
Yoga teachers