Featured Teacher: Bhakti
Blessed with a spiritual name meaning 'devotion', Bhakti became hooked on yoga after her first class. She's come a long way from her previous corporate lifestyle of busy work travel to now sharing yoga with the world through joy and compassion.
Where are you originally from?
Good question. I lived in 4 Southeast Asia countries before I turned 5. Does that qualify me to say I'm from Southeast Asia?
How long have you been teaching?
Since January 2004.
Who was your very first yoga teacher and what was he/she like?
For asanas, Frances Gairns - she is beautiful and inspiring! Otherwise, it's my father. He taught me about life and living.
How long have you been practising?
Many lifetimes, for yoga is yet another tool.
Originally, what attracted you to yoga?
A convenient way of exercising for my previous jet-setting lifestyle.
What motivates you to practise today?
Taking the time to dig deeper within and to tune in to the Universe.
How would you describe your personal practice?
Insightful. Spontaneous. Reflective. Grounding. Meditative.
Before you became a yoga teacher, what did you do?
Regional marketing manager for an international news broadcaster.
What do you love about teaching?
I love sharing yoga. That's why I became certified to teach. I wanted to share the amazing world of yoga to anyone who is interested. Because by doing the physical postures, I was able to find inner peace, and I wish to share that with everyone!
What do you find challenging about teaching?
Finding the energy. Sometimes I just feel so depleted and tired, yet somehow, after the initial few moments of silence, the Universe takes over and I am just another vessel.
Describe your ideal class (as a teacher).
The moments when everyone's energy is flowing smoothly, rising steadily, and the final OM resonates deeply and serenely.
Describe a class that you would find challenging or difficult (as a teacher).
A couple of years ago, I used to think that it would be a class filled with drunks, who had stayed up all night, smoked a whole lot, and came to a hot class naked. Just imagining the stench gave me a headache! Anyways, so when I was on one of those tropical islands where people probably did all those things all day long, I decided to attend one of those yoga classes where people practised in their birthday suits. And after that, it wasn't all that bad. So now I have the mentality of "Whatever happens, whoever walks through that door, is meant to be, and I am grateful and will learn from it." That is the real yoga.
What teacher has had the biggest impact on your practice?
Yogi Vishvketu. At one point in my life, I was searching for a spiritual teacher, and asked him how I should go about finding who my spiritual teacher is. He replied, "Everyone and everything around us is a teacher."
What is your most embarrassing moment in the studio (as a teacher or student)?
I don't know about embarrassing, but unforgettable - it had to be my very first class. I wanted to start off on the right note, so I planned to wear my brand-new all-white yoga gear to teach my first class. At least if I looked good, I should feel more confident. What I didn't' realise was my water bottle had not been shut properly, so it had leaked onto my red coin bag which then bled onto my beautiful white outfit! So I then rushed to buy yet another set of expensive yoga gear. Class started and just at the end of the beginning pranayama sequence, one of the students in the first row fainted! It was a hot class. I was like,"Oh my gosh! Is the temperature too hot? Is she a new student? What happened? What did I do wrong?" In the end, she was fine. I survived my first class, and so did the rest of the students. Whew!
Where is the strangest place you've practised yoga?
In the hospital delivery room.
Aside from yoga, what other hobbies or interests do you have?
I love diving - it is another form of moving meditation for me, delving into the hum of the deep blue.
Describe your most profound yoga experience.
Being a mother, for it is a continuous opportunity to love unconditionally, forever.
If you weren't a yoga teacher, what would you be?
I am a full-time mom, a devoted wife, a filial daughter, an earnest yoga student, and so much more!