How did your journey begin?
Elaine Ee: I began practicing yoga under the tutelage of my former university lecturer, who was also a yoga instructor. Sometime later, Diane Lee of Bikram Yoga City Hall introduced me to Bikram Yoga. She persuaded me to take on the 30-day challenge, which requires you to attend a Bikram class everyday for 30 consecutive days. For some insane reason, I decided to do it. It was a really tough but really good experience.
Tara Moralez: My story is much simpler. I was accompanying my aunt who was too nervous to try it on her own; and I loved it, right from the very first class.
We hear practicing yoga regularly brings great benefits. What positive changes have you seen in your body?
EE: What positive changes haven’t I seen! I have so much more strength, flexibility and stamina. My lung capacity has improved tremendously and my breathing is more powerful. I have gained muscle tone and improved my upper body strength, balance and control. My spine and hips are also more aligned. Perhaps the best change is this: Since I started practicing Bikram yoga, my metabolism has been like a furnace; it just burns up everything I eat!
TM: My body is in better shape than it’s ever been my whole life. As a dancer, I was physically fit but still suffered from joint pains. With yoga, I am more aware of my body and know exactly what to do to “fix” the discomfort.
What does it do for your mind?
EE: It’s made me more confident and positive, with a stronger sense of self belief. Rather than see strength as something external that I need to gain, I see it as something already in me that I just need to harness—that’s a powerful perception shift.
And now, both of you are participating in a yoga competition! What does it take to win it?
TM: In order to win, one must perform a posture to their maximum with grace, focus and concentration. Each posture must performed so that their characteristics are prominently displayed, which is what the judges look for.
What do you hope to achieve next on this journey?
EE: This is my second yoga competition. My next step is to train to be a yoga teacher, which I hope to be able to do as soon as time and money allow!
Find out what it takes to be a yoga champion at the 4th Annual Yoga Asana Championship on Oct 30, 1pm at Willow Stream Spa, 6/F Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Rd., 6339-7777.