Success is…Having the courage to follow your heart and trusting in your gut rather than listening to what’s going on in your head.
What is it that energises you when you wake up each day?
I am generally not a morning person and take a while to really wake up. If I don’t meditate for at least 10-20 minutes every morning as soon as I wake up, I feel like I’ve gotten out of the wrong side of bed and tend to feel pretty groggy. Also, this might be TMI, but I am generally very regular and if I don’t have the time to “evacuate” first thing in the morning before or after my meditation, things just don’t feel quite right!!!
What is your personal definition of ‘success’?
Having the courage to follow your heart and trusting in your gut rather than listening to what’s going on in your head. Looking within and discovering your passion and true purpose in life and then pursuing whatever that might be in spite of any external adversity or internal resistance.
Share with us an act of kindness you experienced in the past week. How did this influence you?
I have a good friend who I have only known for a short while, but feel like I have known in another lifetime. We have an undeniably strong connection and always seem to be going through similar experiences. She recently gifted me a beautiful drawing of Kali, one of the Hindu goddesses. I am going through a few changes in my life, and this drawing showed me that whilst Kali is often seen as a destroyer, she also represents change and creation. It was a timely reminder to let go of some of the things holding me back to make space for new opportunities and growth.
What’s something kind you’ve done for yourself this week?
I treated myself to a massage instead of going to a 2 hour Yoga asana workshop. My mind was telling me to go to this workshop so I could learn more skills, techniques and add to my teaching toolbox, but my body was screaming at me to slow down and rest. My body won, thankfully!
If you can only preserve one memory from your childhood, what might this be?
Cuddling up to my mother. Yes, I was and still am a mummy’s boy! She is my light, my love and my inspiration even if I don’t see her as much these days (nor do I fit on her lap anymore!)
What is your favourite sound, smell, or sight to wake up to / fall asleep to?
I’m becoming a massive essential oils groupie! Lavender for falling asleep, Peppermint, Sweet Orange or Lemon for waking up (after my morning meditation and poo of course!) and Frankincense for yoga and meditation.
What’s something that rejuvenates you even when things are tough?
If I have the time and space, taking a few deep, conscious breaths in Child’s Pose or Headstand help me re-ground, re-balance and refuel.
What is a pose that you have always found challenging, and how have you grown from practising this pose?
I have always found handstands and inversions challenging. Not just physically, but also getting over the fear of being upside down and believing in myself and my own abilities. It has taught me persistence and being more present to the breath and thoughts in moments of doubt or fear.
Share with us two other activities you explore just for fun 🙂
I am currently exploring gymnastics and Shamanic energy training. These are helping me explore my physical capabilities and spiritual awareness which I believe will help my practice, my teaching, and quality of life.
When it comes to looking after yourself, what are your non-negotiables?
Taking time to recharge when I feel depleted. Whilst teaching Yoga is so rewarding and enjoyable, we are dealing with a lot of different people and energies on a daily basis. Sometimes I am good at conserving my energy and finding the balance between giving and receiving, but every now and then everything gets a bit out of whack!
These days, I can usually tell before I get to this stage and preemptively take the steps required for me to rest and restore. This might include spending extra time in meditation or practising yoga, having some alone time without any other distractions, spending time in nature, having a session in a float tank, booking in a massage, and much much more. For me, this is non-negotiable because if I am worn out and drained, I can’t possibly give 100% in my teaching, which would be unfair to my students. I take my job very seriously (sometimes too much!) and aim to give my all to each and every class. I don’t like to disappoint or deliver a substandard class if it is within my control.
Where in nature do you feel most at home and why? (e.g. mountains, oceans, snow)
I love the beach or anywhere coastal. The sun, the sea, the sand, the salt all seem to be so healing for my body and soul. Most likely because I am a water sign, but there is something about water that seems to really resonate with me. I believe in the ocean’s ability to cleanse the body, purify the mind and reconnect you to the universal flow of life.
What’s something you would say to your 20 year old self?
GROW UP and GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!!! In a nice, non-judgemental, non-condescending, loving, compassionate way of course 🙂
Imagine yourself in 2037 (20 years from now). What will your ideal world be like?
Yoga and mindfulness will be more prevalent in schools, prisons and rehabilitative centres. People will be taught to rely less on external medicines and quick-fix remedies and listen to their own gut and intuition instead. There will be less emphasis on looking good and a greater focus on feeling great. Humanity will be entering a new age of consciousness with stronger connections to Spirit and more empaths and healers channelling light and love.
What does it mean to be a great teacher? How has your perception of teaching changed since you started?
Creating a safe space and environment for the student to learn, grow and develop at their own pace in their own way. Initially, I believed that being a great teacher was teaching students everything they needed to know and making sure that they fully understood the teachings. However, now I believe that a teacher’s real job is not to force their own teachings upon the student, but [instead] to help provide the necessary catalysts that stimulate the student’s own growth and learning, empowering them to find their own unique path.
What does it mean to be a real life yogi?
To me, it means that I live and breath Yoga in everything I do. It’s not just something I practise when I go to a studio or come onto a mat. It is my way of life, my philosophy and thus the basis for the way I think, the way I interact with others and relate to the world around me.
I was born and bred in Melbourne and love everything about it except for the weather. My mum is from Taiwan and Dad is from Hong Kong. My dad teaches Tai Chi, most of my family follow Buddhism, and my grandparents are Chinese doctors and acupuncturists in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. They have all influenced my upbringing in their own ways and contributed to my passions, interests and teaching style.
I like to think I am generally a cheerful, easy-going person with a caring, considerate nature. I was brought up to be polite, well-mannered and respectful towards my elders. I was drawn to Yoga at a time when I needed it the most. Growing up, everything was always planned for me or handed to me on a silver platter. Whilst I lived a very privileged and fortunate childhood and adolescence, I had little independence and really didn’t know who I was until after finishing University. Yoga helped me to discover who I am and what I want out of this lifetime. To this day, what I have learned through my studies of yoga and self-practice continue to help me tremendously on and off the mat.