Strong is the new sexy and fitness is the new party. With society leaning towards health and fitness, Yahoo's #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to all inspirational women in Singapore leading active lifestyles. Know of any who deserve to be featured? Hit me up on CherylTay.sg and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (cheryltaysg).
Liv Lo (Instagram: @livvlo)
Occupation: TV host and yoga instructor
Diet: Practises intuitive eating, trusting her body to know what it wants and needs; takes everything in moderation and within balance
Exercise: Teaches 6-8 yoga classes a week, including 3 hot yoga classes in a row; cycles to the studio or does a 20-minute HIIT routine in the park
How did you discover yoga?
I don't remember the day when I got it into my head that I wanted to practise. I don't know even know where I heard it from. One day, when I was living in Montreal, this desire just kicked in and I suddenly wanted to try. It wasn't until I returned to Taipei that I started practising. It was in a boutique studio at 7am in the morning. I didn't know what I was doing, but I liked how I felt after, so I kept on going. Ten years later I have taken two yoga teacher training (YTT) courses and have practised in Australia, New York, Tokyo, Bali, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing and Thailand.
How was your first yoga experience and what made you go back to it?
It was confusing, but the teacher paid a lot of attention to me. The only pose I remember doing is downward dog as the teacher John kept adjusting me in the pose. I think for anyone practising yoga, the teacher is key. It depends on the teacher to provides students with a good first experience and I keep that in mind when teaching any newbie until today.
What made you decide to take up the teacher training course?
The timing was right. The first training I took in Pure Yoga was with Copper, a hot YTT focusing on the Bikram series. That experience inspired me to start StretchCity.com. A website to introduce newcomers to Singapore on up-to-date news on events, places to eat, practise and shop for yoga apparel. My second training was this year, in April in New York at Strala with Tara Stiles. I felt it was time to start teaching and I have always wanted to visit New York. I made that trip to make the transition.
How has yoga changed your life?
Today, people are turning to yoga for many reasons. Those reasons range from managing one's stress to preventative health measures, or perhaps simply because it's "trendy". For some, it has been prescribed as therapy for an ailment or injury, or it is the means to achieving a desired physique - "the yoga body".
The truth of the matter is, yoga can and does serve many, if not all, of these reasons, but the real purpose of this practice is far from the physical. Physical strength may be developed, but the ultimate purpose of yoga is the inner journey, unique to each practitioner. In this way yoga is unique to myself. I cannot explain all the aspects that it has helped me in, but I can say that it has been a constant source of support in my life.
How do you hope to use yoga to inspire others?
Teaching students allows me to share positive energy and teach them the lineage of yoga. Hopefully, through the practice, they are able to gain knowledge to help them on their journey.
What yoga initiatives have you come up with?
I’ve just launched a limited edition yoga-inspired collection with Love Bonito, #Liv4LB, which is completely designed by me. I’ve also made a YouTube series with yoga routines to better your life; videos with tips on how to incorporate yoga into your day-to-day. Think "Yoga for Detox", "Yoga for Beauty", "Yoga for a Good Mood", "Yoga for Nerves”, etc.
Have you always been confident about your body?
When I used to model in Japan and Taiwan, I was constantly observed and criticised for my flaws. Still, out of it all I had to learn to embrace, love and take care of my body, ‘cause it's the only one I have.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
A good friend of mine said: "I always feel there is nothing to complain about; do something about it instead of complaining.” So if I feel down, I get off my butt and do some stretches.
Why should people make an effort to lead an active lifestyle?
Because their health is important to leading a long life. If not for yourself, do it for those you love. If you stay active, your later years will thank you for it. We are not made to live sedentary lives. Our bodies are made to move, breathe, sweat, and smile. It's proven that exercise produces serotonin boosting our happiness. Lead a longer and happier life in good health by taking care of yourself and your body.