From being an introvert at the gym to being a renowned Yoga icon: 2018 SHAPE Fit Girl recounts her roller coaster journey in Yoga
She stumbled upon Yoga by accident. In her first year in college, Roxanne Gan struggled between juggling her studies, having a part-time job and healing from heartbreak.
So in an effort to cheer her up, Gan's mother decided to share a one-month Yoga pass with her. What she did not expect, was that her daughter would love Yoga so much that she would eventually spend all her time on it.
She shared that it took her mom her while to embrace her newfound passion, but she has since become very supportive of Gan and her lifestyle choice.
"I immediately fell in love with Yoga because when I went for classes, my mind would be pre-occupied for that one hour - and whatever that is bothering me would immediately stop bothering me," she shared.
She wasn't immediately a natural at it however, and recounts how she had very bad muscle aches after her first class, and even struggled getting up and down the bus after.
But it was a new challenge she welcomed, and she started noticing how flexible she was getting over the months.
"My mom said: 'I regret bringing you to yoga, now you spend all your time there and never study!'", Gan said with a laugh.
After graduating from college, she went on a one month training trip in India, an idea her mother was initially reluctant to support, but she went ahead with it anyway.
Not wanting a 9 - 6 high heels lifestyle, Gan continued to spend time teaching at various gyms looking to hone her craft.
"My mom wanted me to give up everything, and to work in a bank with a good salary which is more stable, but she realised over the years that I really enjoyed what I was doing, that I was doing great and is now very supportive of me."
And what of her teaching Yoga?
"I was initially an introvert, and wouldn't even say hi to people at the gyms I went to," she admitted. "Teaching didn't come naturally to me but slowly with more experience under my belt I became better at it."
When asked why she places a huge emphasis on alignment and on a low teacher to class size ratio for her classes, Gan revealed that she suffered many injuries over the years while learning Yoga because some of the teachers at the studios she was practising at did not correct her as they had too big a class to manage.
She said: "I fell trying quite a few things while learning yoga. That's why I think having a good teacher to student ratio is important, and it's not just about having a big class."
"Over the years I've had students telling me they have done Yoga for 4-5 years but when I looked at their alignment it was all over the place," she continued. "So that's when I decided to place greater emphasis on alignment as part of my coaching philosophy."
She concluded, "To grow stronger, and to protect ourselves in whatever sport we do, alignment is important. The right technique even in fitness: be it for bench press, or for squats... if you don't have the right technique what happens next? You get injured."