First Year of a Holy Yogi


A year ago, I taught my first Holy Yoga Class. From not knowing how to get started, to growing the student database and teaching hours to 3 digits, to media coverage, to workshops… This is a blessed journey.

I still remember my first class of 4 friends in the community room in my estate. God opened doors for me. Then I struggled to find a place to teach and God opened a door again and I held my second public class with 30 people at the Mowbray School hall where I had little teaching experience. I remember having to write down every pose and cue on a sheet of paper together with my sharing and intention for every single class. Class prep consumed my waking hours for the first few months. Now, over 100 classes later, I am far more natural and comfortable teaching without notes. I allow for laughs and tongue-ties when I’m stuck, knowing that students will have grace for me.

I remember making bracelets and praying over those who would receive them, asking God to pour His blessings over them.  Now, these bracelets are part of my memories and although I don’t give them out anymore, they have made a mark in my journey.

I remember the excitement I got when someone who finds my classes online emails me about my classes. Now, I need to set aside time to reply emails about classes and instructor training every second day.

I remember when I wouldn’t have a venue to teach after Christmas because the school hall was going under renovations. God opened doors again and found me a proper yoga studio locally. I didn’t even need to flinch. He just gave me what I asked for. All I needed was patience.

I remember when my donation-based pricing caused tension for students and for me. God again, poured His grace, and gave me a way to introduce fixed pricing. Now, everyone is happy with the pricing. (I hope ūüėú)

I remember wanting to be able to teach at my church. I prayed hard enough that He gave me a volunteer role at the church’s senior school. Now, this time is one of my favourite times of the week; to spend it with the elderly and bring a smile to their face.

I remember when I prayed for more exposure for the ministry here in Australia. I didn’t understand why God sent me down the path of mainstream media, 3rd page of Sydney Morning Herald plus video all over the Internet when I wasn’t prepared for the opposition. I prayed to God for help, only to find more media outlets picking up this controversial topic and my voice, face and words being misconstrued in certain instances. I cried to God for help and realised this was His great plan when a Salvation Army journalist picked it up and covered my story in Truth, finally. And since then, has brought on some more Christians into my class and allowed for my students to come and stand in faith together with me. God graces me. Media coverage with more students? Can’t be right? He is a good good Father.

I remember when my sudden passion and devotion for serving threw my family off balance. Then God sent me a sister to remind me of my priorities as mother and wife. “Family is number one ministry.” She said. And was she right!

I remember when I was called into Holy Yoga Therapy training during this first year and how that added a wealth of knowledge and spiritual depth to my life. Growing up, I’d always wanted a career in health care and wellness. Anything is possible with Him. Even switching careers. God fulfilled that childhood dream. And on the topic of dreams, I really needed one from childhood to be fulfilled

I remember when this Holy Yoga thing consumed me so much that my husband sat me down and said, “Babe, I support you and how our family is serving in Holy Yoga.  But you are one person and can’t do this alone. Either you dial down what you do…” (I nearly stopped him right there)”or you find someone to help you.” We prayed on this together and God sent me a partner to work through this together.

I remember getting upset with my husband on the several occasions he was home late or forgot to inform me that he was going to be travelling. (Not unusual in this household. But really something that gets to me). Yet God’s grace shines upon me and I learned to share that grace on others. So, I addressed it with my husband with patience and compassion.  My husband learned grace too. He received and gave it back. Often.

I remember the occasions when I had to deal with conflict. Some of which were interpersonal. Some of which were intrapersonal. I experienced, first hand, the power and impact of prayer on my life. I learned about letting go and leaning in.

I remember at points when I felt lonely on this journey in the past 12 months. I remember about the enemy trying to get through the cracks and his dumb illusions. God rescues me by reminding me of this community I am part of. Church, friends, family… My hubby has been so pivotal in this. Together, we stand strong for what we believe and lift each other up when the other falls.

All of this is part of only a beginning.

My biggest joy in serving is being able to touch the lives of those who love yoga and being able to share Scripture with them along the way.
Thank you to my dearest friends and family who have supported my calling and entrusted in me to lead your yoga classes.

God has taught me a thing or two about leaning in to Him, faithfulness and opposition. This Holy Yoga thing has really given me a taste of what the fruit of the Spirit is – love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness & self-control ‚̧ԳŹ
For as long as God allows, I’ll serve in this way. Thank You, Heavenly Father!

Here’s to striking a few poses and having fun!

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Throw Away Your Health Goals, please!

Have you ever:
1. said to someone, “I’m on a diet”?
2. typed this into Google “how to lose weight in 5 days..”

Google Search -Lose Weight

3. have you looked at Before and After photos and thought, “yeah, I want to try that workout.”?
4. have you wished you enjoyed working out or was more athletic like that girl back in high school?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of them, then we have something in common and in this post I want to share with you something that changed my life. ¬†I talk about it a lot in themes of my blog but probably not enough.

It’s literally throwing away setting ‘health goals’. It’s veering away from ‘I can do it’ with willpower. ¬†It’s replacing this model of being a ‘goal-kicking achiever’ to being ‘willing’. ¬†And then? No, ‘and then..’. ¬† Yup, that’s it. ¬†Just being ‘willing’.

This was how I started my talk at a recent workshop – Vision Casting & Life Strategies run by Fideliz Cruz.

I vividly recall the look in the audiences faces as I introduced this new concept of not having to ‘rely on your own willpower’ ¬†(not ALONE anyways) and replacing this concept with ‘faith’ and ‘willingness’. ¬†There were confused faces, skeptical faces and raised eyebrows. ¬†Until I showed them this….and then people¬†were interested in what changed my life.

WillingnessOverWillpower

The left was when I was pregnant (I tried to find photos of post-pregnancy but I couldn’t find any. Surprise! And frankly it doesn’t make a difference because I looked practically the same) and the right was when my first born was 1 years old.

I was¬†filled¬†with willpower to lose my 25 kilos. ¬†And I did it. ¬†You see, I eat willpower for breakfast. ¬†In fact, it’s my biggest enemy. ¬†Because of this false sense of security, aka willpower, I have suffered from bulimia, anorexia, depression, anxiety and ended up in hospital many times in my life. ¬†But at least twice¬†for suicidal attempts.

My experience has told me that ‘willpower’ and kicking ‘health goals’ doesn’t sit quite right. ¬†I’m sure some can relate, and others are like, “I kinda prefer to have your willpower.” And perhaps you sit on the other end of the spectrum, where you dream of your goals and never seem to be able to achieve them.

This is where I fault the system.  Relying on willpower sucks.

Willingness, on the other hand, is powerful. ¬†It’s not judgemental. ¬†It’s kinder. ¬†It fits well for those who kick goals and those who don’t do so well with goals. ¬†Either ways, we’re trying. ¬†You can’t fail if you’re still trying, right?

Now, of course the questions is then, willingness to ‘what?’ ¬† I can’t answer that question for you but it must be something that is greater than your own being. ¬†It must be sustainable. ¬† Mothers can relate to this easily. ¬†You are willing to sacrifice your needs for your children.

For me, it’s surrendering my willpower to control, to change things, to do things in My plan, My time, ¬†My will ….to God. ¬†You saw it coming, didn’t you?

Yup, here I am preaching again. ¬†And get this. ¬†I do it not because there is any specific gain. ¬†It’s not a goal I’m kicking. ¬† I preach because my life has changed since I’ve really picked up the cross and followed Jesus. ¬†And I passionately feel it to share with you.

I’ve realised that He loves me in whatever shape, size or form I am. ¬†He loves me no matter how many goals I kick or not. ¬†There is no scoreboard. ¬†In fact, because He loves me so much, it doesn’t matter if I put on a kilo or two every now and then. ¬†He teaches me about balance and learning to love my body so that I am WILLING to treat my body with love and care. ¬†Bring on a juice detox and do it with joy! Bring on a degustation and eat it with joy! ¬†If you turn your eyes on Him, you’ll KNOW how important it is to stay healthy.

With this new lifestyle, I’m so thankful that my Vision is clear and my Lifestyle Strategy is rooted in a good place. ¬†Everything I do, I turn my eyes to God and really trust in His health plan for me. ¬†Not my own.

Today, if you’re wondering whether you could explore something different for your health goals,¬†take time to ponder¬†this verse from the Bible:

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking,¬†but of righteousness, peace¬†and joy in the Holy Spirit,” ¬†~ Romans 17:14

Further to this, a genuine feeling of emptiness can sometimes be real and needs attention, too. Read more here.