Friends of KPY
Never too late to start
Eva‘s doctor first advised her to take up yoga in the 1970s. However, aerobics was all the rage then. Yoga didn’t rank highly on Eva’s list. Come the 1990s where yoga gained popularity and studios bloomed across Singapore and the UK, the places where she was shuttling between then, Eva managed to develop a more consistent practice. And that habit has continued on till today!
Find out what she thinks about the evolution of yoga and her advice to people who may be starting out yoga later in life.
How long have you been practising yoga?
I have been practising yoga since the 1990s. I was very ill for several years as a teenager back in the 1970s, but I was in the care of an amazingly forward-looking doctor who advised me to take up yoga to improve my health. However, it was difficult to find a yoga teacher back then. Even good explanatory yoga books were hard to come by. In the 1980s, aerobics came along and I was hooked on it. Yoga went on the back burner. Between 1990 and 2005, after I got married and was moving between the UK and Singapore, I developed a more consistent practice. By 2005, when I moved to Singapore, I was spoilt for choice as there were many yoga studios around.
There are so many yoga studios out there. How did you discover KPY? In your own words, what do you think is different about KPY?
I’ve tried several studios, both small and large, but never felt totally comfortable. I came across KPY completely by chance. Our apartment is very close to the studio at River Valley and I saw the ad at the bus stop when KPY first opened there. My first contact was with the lovely Jasmine with her warm welcome and the offer of a free trial class.
My experience of most yoga studios since 2005 has been that the general mantra is to challenge yourself, and there’s also often a certain element of competitiveness. It’s more about externalities.
At KPY, teachers have a style of guiding that encourages students to look inside themselves and to listen to their bodies. The teachers all have impressive qualifications. They assist you and give you the tools to achieve whatever you’re ready to achieve on any given day. Every class is a delight.
What was your greatest fear when you first started yoga? And do you think it’s the same fear that is keeping people like you away from yoga today?
I have never been afraid of yoga as I’ve always sensed that it does me good. But I think that people who come to yoga a little later in life worry that they will hurt themselves, or that they’ll never be ‘good’ at it, which misses the point. I don’t think they realise that with good and carefully structured teaching, such as what is offered at KPY, combined with regular practice, you truly can transform how you feel. For example, my illness as a teenager apparently started with a virus in the legs. With KPY, I am finally learning to use my legs and feet to support my practice. I have since said goodbye to lower back pain that has niggled me for so many years because I was relying on flexibility as a ‘prop’.
Do you feel that there is a difference between practising online and in the studio?
Absolutely. At the studio, you can sense a specific energy and a feeling of community that you obviously don’t get online. Having said that, I already had a relationship with the teachers at the studio, so now practising online still feels very personal. Online definitely has its benefits. We go to our holiday home in France for quite long periods of time, and prior to Covid and the advent of online classes, my practice would be interrupted while I was away from Singapore. Now, thanks to livestream classes, I can just carry on as usual, and my body and my mind tell me just how much I’m growing in my practice because of this consistency.
Do you have any advice for people like you who are looking to give yoga a try?
If you take up yoga later in life, don’t set yourself specific objectives. We’re all made differently, so explore different classes to find where you feel comfortable and where you gain the most benefits. For example, right now I’m doing a combination of Yin classes to open up the body and release blockages, and beginner classes to build strength and consolidate my foundations. The most important thing is consistency – just show up regularly on the mat and be amazed at the way change happens, at how much more balanced you feel both physically and emotionally.