Hello, everyone. This is Mai.
Thank you so much for joining our Keep Moving program from August 16 to September 10, 2021. I was so blessed to have this opportunity to do yoga with you and I completely enjoyed it!
Today, I would like to share my journey about how I became a yoga teacher.
During the circuit breaker, one of my friends introduced me to “Forever Now Online Studio”.
It was the beginning for me to practice yoga almost everyday. I still remember that I commented to Grace, “I’m too stiff and I can’t do too many poses.” But she kept encouraging me to keep practicing and explained to me that flexibility and strength will come gradually. Celebrate every tiny victory.
Initially when this pandemic happened, I was really sad and I totally missed my home, family, friends, food, and even the beautiful seasons in Japan. But once I knew that this pandemic would stay with us for long term, I wanted to make full use of the opportunity that I needed to be based in Singapore full time to achieve something special.
With regular practice, I started to feel much more energetic, healthier and more positive from mind to body. Although it was during the pandemic, I probably became the healthiest in my life. I then realised that yoga has become an essential part of my life. I started to want to learn more about yoga.
I was very fortunate to have met Grace and Jimin as my yoga teachers! They are always smiley, happy, positive and humble. I admire them. Jimin suggested to me a few times to go for YTT but I honestly believed that YTT was far beyond my abilities. However the seed that she planted in my mind started taking roots. One day, after attending Jimin’s yoga class, I went out for lunch with her. She said that her YTT instructor, Dr Venky, was coming to Singapore to train yoga teachers. When she told me that my dear friend, Debbie, was joining the training, I immediately responded, “I want to go for it too!”
YTT was an eye opening experience for me. I used to like power yoga and all the advanced challenging poses. But after I had better understanding of yoga, my mindset for yoga has changed. Yoga helps us to be healthy not only by asana practices but also by breathing techniques and meditation. In addition, I learnt a lot about our body anatomy and physiology. After learning all these, I realised the importance of authentic yoga practice, like hatha yoga.
After graduating from YTT, we were offered the opportunity to teach yoga in the Keep moving program on zoom. Initially I had a tough time. I’m not good at computer at all. And as a fresh YTT graduate, I had no teaching experience. I struggled a lot to find my way around so I worked extra hard. The rewarding experience was totally worth all the efforts. Lucky for me, I had my YTT batch mates to go through this together as a team. I am very grateful to Debbie, Iris and Wei Pei -- my YTT batch mates and yoga buddies -- Grace calls us the Yogi Spice Girls. We always discuss, communicate, and help each other to make this happen.
Although we practised teaching yoga almost everyday, I was very nervous till I had my very first class. But once I started the class, I could enjoy doing yoga with everyone and it was so much fun to interact with others through yoga! Many of my Japanese friends supported me by attending my class. It was happy moments for me to catch them up online by practicing yoga together during the pandemic. It makes me very happy when people told me that they enjoyed my class and they felt refreshed and great after the practice. Oh! I also enjoyed creating my own yoga sequence. I feel like a yoga disc jockey mixing and matching various poses to string together a proper yoga symphony flow!
This pandemic greatly signifies the importance of health. Hopefully I can keep improving myself by teaching yoga and learning more to help other people to be healthier and happier through yoga.
Thank you so much for your support once again and I hope to see you on the mat in real flesh one day!