Chinese New Year is almost upon us! With all the exhausting festivities and frantic organizing, relax and refuel with some Yoga
Yoga is a powerful discipline that can help you:
...ease the tension accumulated from days of sitting at the computer
...quieten the chitter chatter that goes on in your mind
...tone your body and lose weight
...detoxify your system
...be stronger, more flexible, more balanced
...feel inner peace
...discover more about who you are
...live a better life.
Yoga teacher Yonnie Fung is here today to share her story with us
Australian Yonnie is a certified yoga therapist, a qualified yoga teacher and a qualified lawyer.
More than 1500 hours of training in yoga anatomy, physiology and adjustment techniques
Three years of training in yoga therapy from the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation and the Viniyoga Healing and Yoga Foundation in Chennai
More than 5000 hours of teaching experience in both Australia and China.
She is experienced in using yoga to heal students with conditions including:
Spinal disc herniations, post knee surgery recovery, post natal recovery, arthritis, depression, anxiety, polycystic ovarian syndrome, early menopause and obesity.
Her mission: to build a healthier Beijing, one class at a time!
Stella & Hannah: How long have you been practicing yoga?
Yonnie: I've been practising yoga since I was 12. I'm 42. That's an even 30 years. The practice hasn't always been the same level of commitment. Through my teens and twenties, I didn't realise its full potential. It took working in a pressure cooker for me to realise its full value.
Stella & Hannah: Why did you get started?
Yonnie: I started because my gymnastics teacher suggested it as an alternative way to stretch.
Stella & Hannah: What type of yoga do you teach?
Yonnie: I don't believe that there are types of yoga. This is a modern invention. Yoga is a state of being when the mind, body and breath are all in one place. When we are all there and not scattered and disembodied. There are different ways to express yoga. Different teachers have taught yoga in different ways, there's Iyengar, Ashtanga, Viniyioga, Bikram, Shivananda etc. But they are all different forms of the same Hatha yoga. In essence it's all one and the same.
Stella & Hannah: What do you prefer/enjoy about this particular form of yoga?
Yonnie: I don't stick to a single form. I teach according to the individual standing in front of me. If they are young, athletic, healthy, and can move well, I'll teach a dynamic form to reinforce and maintain their health. If the person in front of me is injured, or stressed, or has hypertension or very tired, I'll teach a slower and gentler form to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, to calm and soothe. I believe the most effective yoga is that which is tailored to the individual. Our environment is constantly changing around us and it leaves its mark on us. I think it's important for our yoga to be responsive to those changes to constantly bring us back into balance.
Stella & Hannah: At what age can one start practicing yoga?
Yonnie: I have a two year old who started basic postures when she was one. She did it on her own, I don't take any credit for her doing it. Lots of yoga postures are natural to children. Downward dog happens when they're learning to stand. Cobra happens when they're learning to crawl for example. Kids are naturals. They live in the moment. When they're happy, they're all happy. When they're sad, they're all sad. They play and explore and are open to everything life presents to them. If anything, kids are the ultimate gurus. So kids can start yoga at any age, but the kind of yoga presented to them needs to be adapted to their developmental stage.
Stella & Hannah: Are there any kinds of people who shouldn't do yoga?
Yonnie: I teach people who are young, old, fit, unfit, skinny, overweight, injured, healthy, tired, sick. I especially enjoy teaching people who have pain doing the simplest movements. Yoga is for everyone. It's just that the kind of yoga needs to be intelligently adapted to suit their needs. My teacher teaches people post heart surgery. But they're not jumping around. They're learning to breathe efficiently and moving very gently. The kinds of people who shouldn't do yoga are those who don't want to. I often see well meaning people wanting to drag their spouses along. If their spouse is genuinely wanting to come along then great. But doing it under sufferance is not going to bring about anything positive. Better people do what they are drawn to.
Stella & Hannah: Do you have an inspirational story about a yoga student of yours that you could share with us?
Yonnie: One happy story that comes to mind is a yoga therapy student in her mid 30s. She wanted children but was told by her doctors that her tests showed she'd never have another period, would never have children, and should consider adoption. She came to me distraught and overcome with grief. Her attitude was that she would have nothing to lose by trying. Her build was athletic. But she carried a lot of stress in her nervous system. At an emotional level, there was a lot of pain from a recent relationship. I gave her a practice that took all of this into account. Within two sessions, her period came back and she continued to have her periods throughout the rest of the year. I don't claim credit for this change. She did all the work herself. But I do hope that people understand that not all medical tests are always conclusive. It can pay to go on trying.
Stella & Hannah: What is a lesser known fact about yoga that you'd like to tell our readers?
Yonnie: I'd like people to know that yoga has benefits that are much more far reaching than improving the physical body. When taught well, it touches our emotions, our intellect, our physiology, and the essence of ourselves too. Good yoga can't be demonstrated by holding a picture perfect hand stand. It can be seen in the way we relate to others in our world, and most importantly, in our relationship with ourselves.
Stella & Hannah: What has yoga done for you as a person?
Yonnie: I've stuck with yoga because it works for me. I come from a long line of very angry people with quick tempers. It's a pattern in my family. And this anger is both very infectious and destructive. Yoga has enabled me to see my own patterns of behaviour clearly and has given me tools to decide how to interact with the world and those around me. And this changes everything.
Yoga with Yonnie!
2018 Class Timetable
New Year Session 22 February - 6 April 2018
For more info: http://www.yonniefung.com/class-timetable--session-dates.html
WeChat ID: yoga_with_yonnie
Mobile: 13520 429 129