Classic Yoga in 2019

Time flies and we will be wrapping up 2019 in about a month’s time.
Before we welcome the new year, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to people who have contributed to the growth of Classic Yoga and also,  to do a proper introduction of myself to all readers :)
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I am Kim and have been managing Classic Yoga since 2017. I was still holding a full time desk bound job at that point of time, and teaching yoga on a part time basis. Earlier this year, I decided to take a leap of faith to run Classic Yoga full time i.e being a full time yoga instructor, entrepreneur (I had the “if not now, then when?” moment after I turned 30  😀 )
It is both fearful and exciting at the same time. I went ahead anyway, not knowing where this path of entrepreneurship will take me.  It has been a humbling and blessed experience so far, despite some challenges which I know I had learnt and grew from them.
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In October 2019, Classic Yoga ran its first full yoga retreat in Harris Barelang Batam with Michelle from Rebalance – an old friend of mine. All of us brought back valuable knowledge and experiences, both in and out of the yoga classes. Thank you to all retreat students who came with an open mind, I am very grateful for this opportunity to meet each and everyone of you.
Thank you to all my private students, who trusted me to be part of their fitness journey. I am also incredibly grateful for the support and understanding given to me, especially during a difficult time of my life.
A big thank you to my corporate clients too – for having patience and trust in a small start up like Classic Yoga.
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Last but not least, I am immensely grateful to my family 
  • My mum who is always the first to sign up for my yoga retreats and workshops. Making sure I am well, eat all my meals, and taking care of my son when I have to teach.
  • My younger sister who always supports me by sharing my yoga retreats and workshops to her clients and social media. Pushes me to do what I believe in instead of giving in to self-doubt or external opinions.
  • My son who always wakes up early with me when I have to teach morning yoga classes. Not throwing tantrums when I do not have much time to spend with him.
  • My partner who silently supports me through acts of services. Encouraging me to push through the stressful times.
Thank you, thank you everyone. I will be spending some time with myself, and my family respectively in the last two months of 2019. Looking forward to recharge myself for the new year of blessings and unknowns ahead.
Namaste,
Kim :)

How to support someone when they have anxiety

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We often read about how to handle our own anxiety attacks. But what if you are someone who has never experienced an anxiety attack, how do you give your support to someone close to you who is experiencing an anxiety attack? Or are you giving the appropriate support?

I have never had an anxiety attack till I am 29 years old. And before that, all I could say to someone having an anxiety attack is to “just calm down and breathe”. And sometimes, I cannot understand why they cannot calm down, the world is not ending (or so I thought). But boy I was wrong and sorry to all my friends who probably think I am a bad support in the past! After experiencing my first anxiety attack, the world can feel like it is ending or my life is ending at that point of time.

Hence, whether or not you have had an anxiety attack before, and you would like to give support to people close to you, this article (CLICK HERE) is worth the read.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is – attributed to Albert Einstein

 

Namaste,

Kim

Mindful Breathing Exercises for Beginners

There are many types of breathing exercises in Yoga, Meditation, Therapy etc. Honestly, I have not tried all because there are too many, and I feel it is more important to focus on breathing properly first.

Most people tend to take shallow hurried breaths, or we just simply forget to breathe at all. Most students will remember me nagging at them in class to “keep the breath flowing” or “don’t forget to breathe”.

In yoga classes, breath helps our muscles to relax when we are in passive poses, and helps us to get through “tough” poses where it requires more physical ability to hold the pose longer.

In life, breath helps us to calm down when we are experiencing overwhelming emotions (anxiety, anger etc). It enables us to be more mindful of our emotions as we learn how to breathe better.

You do not have to master extraordinary breathing techniques to calm down or benefit you. In the Hack Spirit article below, the 3 mindful breathing techniques below are those that I myself use frequently, and encourage you to practice – see if it works for you :)

  1. Equal Breathing
  2. Belly Breathing
  3. Alternate Nostril Breathing

3 mindful breathing exercises

Namaste,

Kim

5 mistakes people make when trying to get to sleep

We’ve all experienced a restless night of no sleep; it seems that no matter what you try, you find yourself watching the clock, unable to fall asleep. If this sounds like you then you’re not alone, as 63% of people surveyed claimed to be unhappy with the amount of sleep they get each night. However, there are certain measures you can make to revolutionise your sleep routine; here are five common mistakes people make when trying to get to sleep and tips on how to stop making them:

 

  1. They don’t alter their bedroom temperature

Temperature is a big factor when it comes to getting a great night’s sleep as your body can use a lot of energy trying to alter your core body temperature, which can leave you feeling groggy and exhausted when your alarm goes off. 60-75F is the optimum room temperature if you want to get the best night’s sleep possible, so you should take every measure possible to keep your room at this level; fans and internal air conditioning are one way to do this during the summer months.

 

  1. Too much screen time

It might be tempting to check your social media or work emails before bed, but this can be costly for your night’s sleep. Research suggests that the blue light emitted from our technology can really disrupt our sleep pattern; participants in the study had significantly lower levels of sleep hormones if they were exposed to blue lights before bed. Swap your technology for another pre-sleep ritual and use the time to fall in love with reading or even to talk more with your partner.

 

  1. Not enough exercise

You might struggle to fall asleep at night simply because your body isn’t tired enough. This is particularly common for people who have inactive office jobs as they aren’t getting enough physical activity to fully tire out their body. Yoga is a great exercise to try out, as it is less strenuous than most other exercises and will prepare your body for sleep; when you practice yoga, your body releases endorphins and encourages the production of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin; this means that you’ll go to bed feeling less stressed and anxious.

 

  1. Hit the bottle before bed

Alcohol has a relaxing and calming effect on the body which is why many people turn to it for an easy way to fall asleep; however, alcohol consumption is probably contributing to your sleepless night as your sleep quality and depth is likely to be impacted; you’ll probably get up several times to go to the toilet and you’re also likely to wake up feeling dehydrated.

 

  1. Going to sleep at random times

Are you guilty of staying awake that extra bit longer to finish a TV show, or “catching up on sleep” at weekends with a lie-in? If so, you could be disrupting your own sleep pattern. The secret to waking up feeling refreshed is by establishing a consistent sleep routine that doesn’t end at the weekend. By sacrificing your lie-ins and being more strict with what time you go to bed, you could reap the benefits of a more productive workday that you can power through without any caffeine.

The Importance of Rest

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Rest is essential for the mind.

The mind needs rest to recharge, and that is where self care comes in.

We are usually quite aware of self care routines for our physical bodies – vitamins, exercise, sleep etc. And while it is true that these also helps our mind to rest, it also got me thinking…

How often do we really let our brain rest?

How well do we know our own brain? 

When I first started making yoga an essential in my life, my end goal was to lose weight and look better. Savasana (corpse pose) was considered a waste of time for me. Why spend 5 minutes lying down and do nothing? While my yoga teacher back then preaches us to breathe and rest, my brain was thinking of how fast I can pack up so that I don’t have to queue for the toilet showers later (Singapore’s kiasu spirit i know). My brain does not rest at all.

Now, I enjoy the 5 mins of savasana in my own practice. I take that time to look closely into my brain, “making friends” with it to understand it better.

Our brain is pretty amazing – I read somewhere that we can have more than 1000 thoughts a day without us realizing. So do we just brush all thoughts away, rush through each day in a daze and when we finally plunge into our bed at the end of day, we feel exhausted but we have no idea what we have done or why we are doing all these?

We can all make a conscious effort to know our thoughts better by practicing mindfulness. When we befriend our brain and spend time with it regularly, we will increase our self-awareness. Having self-awareness increases our mental clarity and daily productivity in all aspects of our life. We learn to process our emotions (derived from our many thoughts) in a healthy way and not judge our whole life based on our present emotions.

I encourage you to spend some time with your brain, preferably 2 times a week to start off. Start with a pace where you are comfortable with. If it means just one minute each time to focus on the rhythm of your breath, that is also alright. Most importantly, it is a pace that works for you.

There are also many mindfulness apps to download – Calm, Simple Habit etc. My personal recommendation will be Simple Habit.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a personalized practice to rest your frenzied mind, we also conduct private yoga sessions which focuses on mindfulness and other forms of meditation.

“When the mind rests, the world will also rest” – Haemin Sunim

Namaste,

Kim

 

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