Mindfulness Singapore


December 1, 2017by ohmsantihyoga

“If we could encapsulate Mindfulness into a pill, and take one every day for instant clarity and calmness, wouldn’t that be blissful? Unfortunately, Mindfulness is actually a lot of hard work.”

Mindfulness programs are all the rage these days, as we are in desperate need for a quick-fix remedy to relieve overwhelming anxieties in our increasingly fast-paced and high-stress city.

If we could encapsulate Mindfulness into a pill, and take one every day for instant clarity and calmness, wouldn’t that be blissful? Unfortunately, Mindfulness is actually a lot of hard work.

We break down Mindfulness for you:

What it is – The Basics

Mindfulness is simply about knowing what’s on your mind at this very moment. It means to be in the here and now, living the moment, instead of drifting off into thoughts about the past or future.

First Step – Create Awareness

So if you’re eating a muffin, you are aware you’re eating it. If you’re at a work meeting, you’re focused on participating and actively listening. If you feel frustrated that your kids are yelling at each other, you’re aware that you feel frustrated. If you’re excited over the new iPhone X, you’re aware that you’re excited. Ok, but how does this help us with our stress levels?

Second Step – Be Present

Our mind is often described as the “monkey mind”. Just like how we can browse different websites and switch from app to app in minutes, our mind is capable of jumping from thought to thought in a split second. This is the problem: it’s far too easy for the mind to be hijacked by distractions in everyday life – a jumble of thoughts of past events that you repeatedly run through in your mind, perhaps of regret that you could have done things better, and constant worrying about future things that have yet to come.

A simple analogy: Pulling out a loose tooth. When you take the string, there is no pain. When you tie the string around the doorknob, there is no pain. When you tie the other end of the string to your loose tooth, there is no pain. When you tug to pull the tooth out, there are just a few seconds of pain. After that, the pain subsides. But our mind dreads the prospect of pain so much, that from the moment we realise our tooth is loose, we start to worry. As we take the string and tie it, we continue to worry. This creates mental pain that lasts far longer than the physical pain. Just like how stress overwhelms us nowadays.

Breath Awareness Technique

This is a simple way to help us be present. Sit or lay down comfortably, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. When you feel at ease, bring your gentle focus to the breath going in, and then going out. Continue this focus. Whenever you realise your mind has wandered off, gently direct it back to the breath awareness. Gradually, your mind settles down within a few minutes and you feel more grounded.

Third Step – Accept Yourself

When we worry or fret excessively, we judge ourselves or others, and these give rise to negative emotions such as guilt, anger, anxiety and more. We beat ourselves up with high expectations and feelings of inadequacy. Of course, we can try to be more positive, but in stressful situations, it’s beyond tough to change negative thoughts into positive ones! Try telling your irate colleague to keep calm and think happy thoughts – she’ll probably snap at you instead.

Mindfulness is about accepting our thoughts and emotions as they are, hence accepting ourselves as we are. Remember the animated film “Inside Out”? The character of Joy inside the mind of teenage Riley didn’t want Sadness to occupy any part of Riley’s life. Yet, it is in accepting sad events that we learn about our own vulnerabilities, and how they make us imperfectly and genuinely human. And the same goes for difficult emotions such as jealousy, fear, and more. This is how we develop mental resilience to last us for a lifetime.

Body Scan Technique

This Mindfulness technique goes deeper to cultivate awareness of your body sensations and emotions. Sit or lay down comfortably, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. When you feel at ease, take your time to observe each part of your body, starting from the top of the head. At each part, observe any physical sensation that may exist. Don’t dwell on it, and move on. Along the way, observe any feelings that crop up, and how they change along the way. Gradually the whole body relaxes, and this helps to dissipate difficult emotions.

Lastly – Practise Regularly

If you’re new to this, it’s best to attend a Mindfulness program. Most courses in Singapore are closely guided by teachers, and their instructions keep you focused and engaged. When you first try to be mindful, you would realise how wild our thoughts are! Distracted by what we ate for lunch earlier, worrying about work emails, feeling discomfort from sitting in one position for a while, or that irritating fly buzzing around… Roughly 90% of our thoughts are repetitive ones, and we fall back into the habit of having past or future thoughts and need to continually direct our awareness back into the present moment. Sometimes the mind wouldn’t even stay focused for more than a few seconds before being distracted again. Frustrating, isn’t it? We learn each time to gently accept it and redirect our awareness back once again. Applying this to our everyday life context, it helps us to better manage stressful situations, let go of tension and negativity more easily, and cultivate a greater quality of life.

You may like to check out our upcoming Mindfulness Workshop in Singapore on 17th December 2017.

Contact Us For More Information!!



November 14, 2017by ohmsantihyoga

Bullet Points – We give you the points, concise and fuss-free, straight up as it is.

Brutally Honest – These are THE critical determining factors, as surveyed among newly-graduated teachers.

A Brief Overview:

With yoga studios and classes popping up on literally every other street in Singapore, you might wonder where did all these teachers come from? You could even be half-contemplating to invest your time to take up the basic 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Course as well. But which style of yoga? Which school does it best, value for money? How sincere and authentic would the teaching be? And most importantly, whom can you ask for a genuine and useful guide on this? In merely a few years, the number of Yoga Teacher Training Courses available has mushroomed in Singapore, obviously due to a rising demand as yoga gains mass awareness and popularity. But not all programs are created the same, even if they are certified courses with Yoga Alliance, which is the authority on this. And with the huge time and money investment required, not to mention mental and spiritual, you really need a brutally honest opinion on this that cuts through all the murk. That’s us.

1. Class Size

Be it in Singapore or other countries, you would frequently see Yoga Teacher Training Courses comprising anywhere from 10 to 30 participants for each intake. That seems fine if you merely sit and take notes or practise a sequence. But what about adjustments of poses? Understanding the structure of your own body first? Having the space to voice out your queries and concerns? A Yoga Teacher Training Course is much more than just being a proficient practitioner – you have to be actively aware of the holistic nature of yoga, as it applies to you first, and then to others who would be your future students. It is personal growth that extends beyond the self to that of developing others. And guess what, the traditional setting of yoga is one of a small and intimate class size, akin to a mentorship. The teacher closely monitors the personal journey of each and every individual, with much interaction and guidance. So yes, having a smaller class size matters.

2. Style of Yoga

This would have been a laughable point in the past as Yoga is simply Yoga, peculiar to the place and culture, but traditionally authentic. However, modern society has chosen to categorise various styles of yoga, which is a reflection of how widespread it has become, and we are fortunate to be able to access such a great variety in Singapore. Hence, most practitioners choose the style they are most familiar and comfortable with. And as you narrow down your Yoga Teacher Training choices, the best way to determine if you like their teaching style is to go for a trial class! Try a class as a student, and that should be loud and clear if it speaks to your heart. If you are able to, try a few classes by different teachers, and that would give you an even better idea of the synergy of the studio, which you would be part of once you join the course.

3. Credibility of the Teacher

Most Yoga Teacher Training programs would highlight the teaching credentials, vast experience and expertise of the teacher conducting the course – which essentially makes or breaks the whole experience. We say, have a good chat with the teacher in person to suss out how you feel about his/her credibility, and whether you feel comfortable to be placing all of your 200 hours of training in his/her hands. Even better – attend some of the teacher’s classes and that should demonstrate if he/she walks the talk. If the teacher is able to clarify all your queries and even dispel those lingering doubts in your mind, that’s the one you’ll feel reassured to be spending all those hours with for the next few weeks or even months. And if it’s true to tradition, only one guru guides his/her students closely for the entire course, so he/she is able to holistically integrate asana, anatomy and physiology and even yoga philosophy for you. If we expect to be trained in an all-rounded manner, shouldn’t we expect our teacher to be able to teach as so too? Many Yoga Teacher Training Courses have different ‘master teachers’ to teach the different aspects of the course. But think about it, yoga is nothing unless embraced as a whole, and when yoga learning is divided into disparate parts by different people of different styles, it’s left to you to piece them together somehow.

4. Teaching Internships

This is a rare one. Many new graduates finish their course feeling…lost. Sure, they get in lots of asana practice and sheets of teaching instructions, not to mention all that theory. But they frequently have little to zero chance of actually having hands-on opportunities to teach. Whether it be role-playing in class, or observing and co-teaching the actual classes at the studio, such practical hours are rarely part of the Yoga Teacher Training Course. Most of the time, it’s up to you to find your own ‘students’ to practice on them or to find time to practise with your course-mates. So zero in on the ones with internships, and even better if it’s part of your assessment, as it means you would be evaluated on your teaching and that is valuable feedback to get you started already!

5. Curriculum

This is the last one, only because if you’ve got the first 4 points all covered, then that already paves a solid foundation for a curriculum that has depth and exciting challenges in store for you! With the personal growth in mind, the curriculum should go beyond the standard aspects (asanas, anatomy and physiology, philosophy), and take you to discover your own spiritual awareness as well. Spirituality is not Religion. It is simply about realising your own purpose in life, and how you relate to others as we are all part of a bigger whole. And it’s also about giving back to others – that’s why we aspire to teach, isn’t it? So meditation and mindfulness should be a grounding part of the curriculum, and that is really how a yoga teacher is able to understand oneself and others better for a life-long journey.

Contact Us For More Information!!



October 9, 2017by ohmsantihyoga

As Mindfulness becomes the buzzword in offices and even schools, what exactly is Mindfulness and what are its benefits?

Well, take a look at the alarming statistics showing how most of our children admit they feel stressed even at a young age, how they are bogged down with never-ending homework and compulsory activities, and how they feel pressurised to keep up in our competitive environment. Adults feel overwhelmed with our workplace demands; our kids experience it in schools too! Taking on challenges and learning more knowledge is not the problem itself; the crunch comes when young minds are unable to strike a balance between study and rest, and fail to build mental and emotional resilience to deal with difficult issues.

Through consistent practice, Mindfulness gives us practical and simple ways to better manage our stress levels, gain clarity, and stay grounded to deal with day-to-day challenges. Through Yoga poses, breathing exercises and engaging activities, we aim to guide parents and children to directly experience the benefits of being physically supple and at ease. The best way to integrate Mindfulness into your child’s life is to practise it together with him/her.

This workshop is suitable for parents with school going children who are searching for simple and effective techniques to help their child manage stress and improve their ability to focus.

Details
Date: 17th December 2017 (Sunday)
Time: 10am – 12pm
Fees: $80 (1 parent and 1 child)
Location: 50A Bussorah Street, Singapore 199466