a) When did you start practicing yoga and how did you get in to it?
To answer this question, I need to trace back to my childhood. I was quite an over-active child with a lot of imagination and energy for mischief: throwing handfuls of flour into the air and pretending it was snowing, or throwing poker cards at my sister pretending it was ninja death-darts. One day my mother came home from her new-found yoga class and wanted to punish me for my unruliness. Instead of my usual time-out in front of a wall, she made me sit in the lotus pose with her. I was 8 years old.
b) Do you remember who taught you? Does anything stand out from what you learned at a young age?
My yoga learning started with my mother, It was kinda funny as we were both struggling with the lotus pose. I couldn’t put both my feet up onto the lap at first, but as I received more "time-out’s" it became easier, that was when I witnessed my body changing and learning to do things which were not possible before. Not long after that I started going to my mother’s yoga teacher Miss S J Chiu who was a hard-ball Hatha yoga teacher, I remember she commended attention during her classes and the atmosphere was very austere. Kind of like how yoga is still taught in India where the teacher commends the utmost respect and the student only follows.
c) Who is your teacher and when do you study with him / her?
Over the years I have studied and practiced with many teachers: BKS Iyengar, Andrei Lappan, Sharon Gannon and David Life, Rolf Naujokat, David Swenson, Kino McGregor, and many more and I feel blessed to have always come away with some new understandings or inspiration. However, I believe ultimately we are our best teacher, and if we learn to listen and communicate with our ‘Self’, we can enjoy being ourselves in a much more profound and rewarding way through life. Yoga is the perfect tool to learn about ourselves. I have two Gurus that I visit in alternate years in India, Acharya Ventakesha in Mysore and Andiappan in Chennai. Both of them are Hatha yogis but with very distinct styles of practice and teaching, all the same I am always humbled and inspired just being in their presence.
d) Tell me a little bit about yourself off the mat.
I enjoy spending time with friends, but also cherish some alone time. I have just returned from a 13 years stint in Europe and now really looking forward to setting up roots in Australia again. I love traveling, cooking, learning and exploring in all senses. I try to live in a way so that I am slightly an improved version than who I was yesterday. Apart from my time spent on the mat, I teach the piano and treat various types of clinical patients with traditional herbal medicine and acupuncture.