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Building greater self confidence through Yoga: Angelia Ong

After Taekwondo, Gymnastics and Horseback Riding; private yoga instructor Angelia Ong has found her calling as a yoga teacher

PHOTO: ANGEXYOGA


Despite being multi-talented, Angelia Ong initially found it hard to execute many of the moves in her yoga class and found herself comparing herself with others during practice.


With the help of other practitioners, she realised it was more important to turn her focus on herself, which shifted her perspective of practice entirely.


The private yoga class instructor, who has also done Taekwondo, Gymnastics and horseback riding over the years as a student, first started yoga in 2015 as a way of taking a break from her competitive sport of Taekwondo.


She chanced upon a yoga class while still on a gym membership, and after a very positive experience where she felt rejuvenated both mentally and emotionally, she challenged herself by enrolling into a yoga school to deepen her practice.


Her regular practise of 3 to 4 times a week carried on even as she headed overseas for her studies in the UK, before she eventually decided to take the leap of faith by taking on the yoga teacher training in 2019.


"I really wanted to spread good practice to friends around me, and also to increase my knowledge about yoga. I enjoyed the positivity that could be felt after class during my teacher training," she said enthusiastically.


"I am glad I made the decision because it allowed me to identify a part of myself with something I enjoy that is outside my work life, and it gave me time away to be myself, be natural, be comfortable in my own personality, and in my own style."


She shared that she initially found teaching yoga tougher than she imagined it to be, having the need to multi-task in correcting her students' postures, to think a few steps ahead and to flow through the various poses.

PHOTO: ANGEXYOGA


It was only with more experience and regular practise teaching classes that she eventually found her confidence.


And has her time practising taekwondo and gymnastics helped her with her transition into yoga in any way? Ong certainly thinks so.


"Taekwondo strengthened me physically and helped me build my endurance, while gymnastics helped me with my strength and flexibility. Some advanced yoga asanas require a balance of strength and flexibility," she shared.


And while Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the local yoga community, Ong can count her lucky stars that she is still able to pursue her passion by conducting smaller sized private classes, as she has a full-time job to rely on as her regular source of income.


Even then, juggling between a full-time job and teaching yoga can be tough, particularly on weekdays where work demands are high.


"Time management is really a much needed skill here. As much as teaching yoga classes is something that I enjoy, my full-time job takes priority. On weekdays, I try not to teach after work because it may affect the quality of classes that I am going to deliver," she said.


PHOTO: ANGEXYOGA


She added: "I teach on weekend mornings as well, and I try to set aside time for myself, my family and friends on weekend afternoons. The 'me' time I get throughout the week is really important as well because it gives me a balance, time where I do not have to follow a schedule."


Having taught yoga part-time for two years now, Ong has never felt that teaching yoga was something too much on top of her work schedule. She attributes that to her discipline in only committing to classes she is confident of delivering.


She currently teaches three morning private yoga classes on alternate weekdays, and three private yoga classes on weekends.


While she has not taught any online yoga class out of personal preference, Ong believes there is demand for online classes, and it could serve as a good way for full-time teachers to prevent a loss of income during trying times.


When asked who her yoga inspirations were, Ong shared that she draws inspirations from students and teachers alike.


She said: "I am inspired by many yoga practitioners: students who commit to regular practices and having me witness their improvement over time. All these experiences really contribute to me keeping to my role as a yoga teacher."


Having previously practised at Platinum Yoga due to its convenience and the variety of classes on offer, Ong then started teaching at Tirisula Yoga for approximately two years, before coming out to establish her own practise with Angexyoga.


"I wanted to build my own community and teach private yoga classes because I wanted more flexibility in terms of my teaching schedule," said Ong.


In spite of a global pandemic, interest in yoga has certainly grown in recent times with the Singapore yoga community coming on in leaps and bounds.


Whether students intend to deepen their practice or simply to enjoy stretching out, Ong hopes she can continue to deliver suitable classes that will cater to different needs so that students can feel good about themselves after class.


For more on Angelia's private yoga class offerings, you may visit the Angexyoga website or Facebook page.


#SportPlusSG #Yoga #AngeliaOng #Angexyoga

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