Trading corporate life for Yoga: Erin Ong

Pursuing her passion in yoga has brought this Yogi a greater sense of empowerment and ownership

PHOTO: ERIN ONG YOGA & FITNESS


In August 2019, Erin Ong left her corporate job to pursue her passion as a full time freelance yoga instructor.


The move was daunting at first and felt unstable, but Ong convinced herself that there was no right time for such a move. If she did not do it this time, she may never have the courage to do it later on when more commitments set in.


Not long after she made the leap of faith, Covid-19 began. In spite of the numerous challenges she has faced that came with pursuing her passion, she counts herself lucky to be able to turn her passion into a career.


PHOTO: ERIN ONG YOGA & FITNESS


Ever positive about the fluidity amidst the pandemic, Ong turned what could have been a threat to her career into a window of opportunity instead.


She shared: "The first few months were really tough as studios and gyms had to shut down and there weren't any virtual classes yet."


"This definitely affected me financially because I lost my only source of income with monthly rent and bills to pay. Even during these tough times, I am grateful because circumstances made me explore other ways of teaching."

She resorted to filming online classes and tutorials instead, given the many restrictions that greatly limited class attendance.


Beyond that, she also learnt to increase her social media presence, and created her own brand called Erin Ong Yoga & Fitness. All this while picking up video and photo editing skills along the way.


She admits however, that given a chance she would always choose physical classes over online classes.


"I have always enjoyed the face to face interaction to build deeper connections with my students. Physical classes allow me to correct postures and adjustments of my students, which I find that students really appreciate," Ong added.


"Nevertheless, virtual classes are an excellent opportunity for me to connect with students internationally, for me to share my practice to a wider audience."


She draws inspiration from Ashley Galvin's and Patrick Beach's practice on alomoves, and as someone who seeks challenges her favourite types of classes are Power classes.

PHOTO: ERIN ONG YOGA & FITNESS


"I used to enjoy Vinyasa classes (movement based), but now I am starting to appreciate Hatha classes (slower paced with more holding) because of the physical and mental challenges that arise during the holding of postures," she said.


Her journey into yoga was later than most, first stumbling upon it in 2014 in a boutique yoga studio in Tanjong Pagar. Being less active back then, she went to yoga once to twice a week as a form of exercise and some stretching.


What she found out was that yoga classes helped her stretch out tight muscles from all the bodypump and bodycombat classes she attended at True Fitness.


She only decided to pursue a deeper practise in yoga when she found out about arm balances and inversions in one of the advanced classes taught by a Master she truly admires.


PHOTO: ERIN ONG YOGA & FITNESS


Being someone who relishes a challenge, she was amazed at what the yogis in class could do and the amount of body strength they had.

That led to her undergoing her Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) with Yoga+ in 2019, and the rest as they say is history.


For Ong, the beauty of yoga lies in the fact that it is something for everyone, and she is grateful she did not have to overcome any major obstacles on her way to becoming a yogi.

PHOTO: ERIN ONG YOGA & FITNESS


"I took up yoga teacher training not only to deepen my knowledge and practice in yoga, but also to share the benefits of yoga to everyone else and show them how yoga could empower their lives like how it did mine."


Judging by how it has helped her become a more resilient teacher and person today, perhaps yoga really is for everyone.


To find out more Ong's practise, visit Erin Ong Yoga & Fitness Facebook, or her YouTube Channel.


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