Putting his best foot forward as a yoga teacher: Ang Shao Jie

Having experienced how yoga benefited his sporting lifestyle, becoming a yoga teacher felt like the most natural next step for this Freedom Yoga instructor

PHOTO: FREEDOM YOGA


Ang Shao Jie’s journey with yoga began as a way to complement his active sporting pursuits. A mix of high impact sports like handball, running and football over the years resulted in him accumulating a series of niggling injuries.


Realising that he needed to address these issues if he wanted to keep up with his active lifestyle, he read up on what could help his body and signed up for his first yoga class.


Three years after attending yoga classes regularly, signing up for Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) felt like the most natural next step. He was curious not just about the physical poses and practice, but also the spiritual and meditative sides of yoga.

PHOTO: FREEDOM YOGA


Having also experienced how yoga had benefited his sporting lifestyle, he was inspired to share this with other students and friends around him through teaching. He applied for a position at Freedom Yoga and has been teaching there since 2019.


Being a male practitioner in a female-dominated practice though initially daunting, did not deter him. He learnt how to be comfortable being the only guy in class sometimes, and later on being one of the few male instructors.


Ang recounted being able to tailor a series of classes for specific themes such as strength-based poses, yoga for men and functional movements as one of his earlier highlights as a yoga instructor. He shared that these opportunities given to him at Freedom Yoga were a way for him to further his own teaching experience and grow as an instructor.

PHOTO: FREEDOM YOGA


What does he enjoy most about teaching yoga?


“I enjoy holding space for my students and feel the happiest when students leave the class feeling a bit more than when they entered, both physically and mentally.”


He shared that the concept of "holding space" in the context of teaching yoga is where the teacher does not just instruct a set of poses like a personal gym trainer, but also does it mindfully.


“What I like to do is to ask my students to observe their breathing as they are moving from pose to pose, and then observe how that makes them feel. Over time, this builds a deeper connection between the mind-body-breath and cultivates a more mindful practice”, said Ang.


When asked to describe what yoga meant to him in one word and why, he said, “Discipline. To always put my best foot forward for my students, the studio, community as well as my own practice.”

PHOTO: FREEDOM YOGA


Ang’s advice for someone thinking of taking up yoga for the first time is to go in without expectations and be mindful of how you feel before class, check in with how you feel after and to keep observing the changes in your body and mind as you continue to attend classes. He added, “Let the results surprise you rather than chase for results”.


An important reminder that yoga is a journey that requires practice, patience, being present, and putting your best foot forward.


You can catch his classes at Freedom Yoga.


Freedom Yoga has two studios at Holland Village and River Valley. The Holland Village studio is located at 25E Lorong Liput, Holland Village, Singapore 277736. The River Valley Studio is located at 407 River Valley Road, Singapore 248305.


To find out more about the studio you may visit their official website here.


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