Sunday, 1 February 2015

Why I love Vivre Active Wear



This post is dedicated to the wonderful ladies at VIVRE ACTIVE WEAR. Thank you for supporting me since the beginning of my yoga journey. 

Most of the time, we look at brands as a whole and forget that companies are actually run by people. And can I just say, that as a person who has worked with a lot a lot of clients, the ladies (Sylvia) at Vivre is by far one of the easiest people to work with. She's super on the ball and replies with very detailed emails within a couple of hours. Plus Vivre designs their own activewear and are super supportive of the local yoga/active scene. SUPER COMMENDABLE CAN? #SUPPORTLOCAL

Let's just be clear about something first, I'm not paid to say how awesome they are but I'm saying it because I honestly feel that way and I think ya'll should know it too! <3

Vivre has their own range of sports bras and tank tops and the best part about them is that they have inbuilt shelf bras. PHEW for people with typical asian boobs like me. The fabrics are so soft and comfortable I actually wear yoga clothes to sleep. Hehe. They also have a whole bunch of other stuff from capris to yoga mats and towel. Okay enough talking, go check out Vivre Active Wear, use "SRTVIVRE" for 10% with a min of $50 spent, and enjoy these set of photos taken by the super talented @Sha.halim (The Yoga Co. Operations Manager and apparently also part-time photographer) hehe. And perhaps I'll see some of you at The Yoga Co. sometime. ;) <3

































x

Monday, 24 November 2014

Yoga Teacher's Training (Week 1,2,3 of 6)

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

So I began my Yoga Teacher's training with Tirisula Yoga 3 weeks ago and if I can just say, the past 3 weeks have been the most tiring, most fulfilling, most exciting 3 weeks I've experienced being back in 'school'. This is going to be a rather long post because I'm going to try to summarise 3 very eventful weeks. Hahaha.

WEEK ONE

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

I was super super super excited to start my training and I told myself I was ready for anything. But the first week was like ninja training. Full of conditioning, a dozen 1min planks, 3 min L sit handstand against the wall, 3 min headstands, about 5 billion leg raises and crunches... No pain no gain right? Simple reason for conditioning is that if we ourselves are unable to perform the asanas, how are we to teach. haha. So thus crazy conditioning. 

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

On the very first day, the teachers/masters cleared up a lot of the questions I had in my head regarding  yoga and religion. Here's my insight so far, hopefully it helps many of you who have been asking me questions about this topic on my ask.fm.

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

'Yoga is a tool. There is no faith involved, it is not a religion.'

The biggest misconception of yoga is that it has it's roots from hinduism. FALSE.
Yoga comes from the sanskrit word 'Yuj' which means union.
 Most modern forms of yoga stems from Hatha Yoga which premise was simply the union of movement ( asana ) & breath ( pranayama ). Many religions used yoga and established it as part of their practice but yoga in it's essence is just a tool. And you cannot worship a tool, like you don't worship a hammer. (well I'm pretty sure that there are people that do, but let's not go there)
Yoga has evolved over the centuries and there are now many branches of yoga, some true to the root practice and some more fanatical and "religious" than others. 

Is Yoga spiritual to me? 
Yes. 
But what is your definition of spiritual?
'Spirit' stems from the latin word 'Spiritus' which means 'Breath'.
So yoga to me simply means being with your breath.

If I do a camel pose, am I worshiping the camel? 
The reason why many of the poses have animal names is because when the ancient people who started practicing yoga wanted to communicate the poses, there was no written language then; thus the poses were transcribed in depictions of animals and things that were common to them. Like hieroglyphics or the ancient ancient chinese language.

There's a lot more to yoga but it is basically a combination of philosophy and physiology.
But in the end, I would urge you to do your own research and to come up with your own educated decision as to whether you should practice yoga or not. 

Why do I practice yoga?
The asanas are great exercise that's for sure. haha. They challenge me because there are a lot of poses I cannot do and it helps me to increase my flexibility. And together with the breathing techniques, I find that it helps me to become more centred and focused. 

--OKAY MOVING ON FOR NOW--


Sandra Riley Tang Yoga Week one was like exploration week for me, among other things, I found out that I could put my leg behind my head with a bit of help from Master Paalu. I was used an example for demonstration purposes and I couldn't stop laughing because it was the first time I had my leg behind my head and it was such a funny thought. I was super amused but also very pleased. Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

Week Two

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

So here's the fun week where I fell during bouldering and tore a ligament in my ankle over the weekend. Yay. 


I had to be really careful not the aggravate my swollen ankle so I had to skip a lot of the poses but the teachers were conscious and mindful enough to help me out by giving me a variation to do instead.
Our usual days are about 2-3hours of asana (and pranayama ) practice, break time and then an hour of theory.


A huge part of being a yoga teacher is knowing the Anatomy of the Human Body.
So we learnt (re-learnt) about the skeletal system, digestive system and muscles. SO MUCH INFORMATION. OMG. The human body is seriously complicated. haha. But I've always enjoyed biology because it is such a practical subject. I also learnt that I have a ridiculously tight I.T Band and Gluteus Medias (among other muscles), and this prevents me from getting into a Lotus pose. 

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga
Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

We did a lot of partner work learning how to help each other stretch with proper technique. I have hips tighter then a pickle jar so I just died when we did the 'Frog Pose'. But it felt soooo good after.

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

Week Three

This was the week I started my juice cleanse. I'll do another blog post on my juice cleanse experience soon. But in short, yes I've heard a lot of polarising opinions on this whole juice cleanse thing but I'll never know for sure if I didn't try it myself. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who exercises rather intensively everyday or has 18 hour days. haha. But more on that another time.

Well I clearly survived the juice cleanse, albeit a lack of energy to go through the Ashtanga Primary Series. But I was fine, I did lose water weight but I also broke out on my face after the 4th day. :/ Honestly, it depends on what you want, but if you're looking to lose weight or reduce bloating, there are a lot of other healthier options like a proper diet, exercise or fennel seeds. :D 

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

This week we focused a lot on ALIGNMENT. Which is another important aspect of becoming a good yoga teacher. Can I just say that I am super annoyed because I was taught how to do 'Warrior 1' wrongly and I have been doing it wrong for the past 7 months. And no teacher has corrected me. dislfj knasl jdfkn fhdasl fjsadlk

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

In Warrior 1 or Virabhadrasana 1, hip are squared (facing forward), so feet has to hip width apart. I was told to have my heels in line. That was why it was impossible for me to ever square my hips in proper alignment without possibly causing strain to my back knee. UGH. 

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

If you don't do a pose with proper alignment, you are risking yourself to injury. 

So if you're a beginner and just starting to practice yoga, I would suggest going to a professional teacher/class to learn proper alignment or wait for me to finish my teacher's training and then come to my classes. hehehe

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

I've made many new friends from different walks of life and from different countries, so thats awesome too. (: 
Will check in again in the next 2 weeks to update on you guys on my yoga teacher's training with Tirisula Yoga. But so far so good! Im getting used to waking up at 6.30am every morning. Maybe because I'm also actually looking forward to go to class. hehe. For the first time in my life, I actually can't wait for the exams. Haha.

Btw everything I'm wearing in these photos are by Urban Slings. I love love love their designs. Check em out and if there's anything you like, use 'srt15' to get 15% off all items except Artheletic Wear and Sale Items. YAY!

Okay. So Phew, long post over. Will update soon! (:

X



Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

Sandra Riley Tang Yoga

 Sandra Riley Tang Yoga



Saturday, 1 November 2014

#DesignYourPack

"I am so thankful that I am able to do my art professionally; that people appreciate and enjoy my creativity. I cannot be more thankful. 3 years ago, I began my journey exploring the options of visual art and design with RileyArt. It has not been the smoothest of journeys, there were many times where I would doubt myself. "Am I even good enough? What if no one likes my art?" I still struggle with this. Fact is, I don't think I will ever think I'm good enough. There are so many other amazing artists around me that I sometimes feel really inadequate. And as much as art is subjective, I know I have so much more to learn; so much more to grow as an artist. But this is why I am so grateful for the people who has stuck by me and encouraged me since the very beginning. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for believing in RileyArt."



So about a month ago, I had the awesome opportunity to get involved in the Design Your Pack campaign with Tic Tac alongside The Killer Gerbil. (If you've not heard of him, you NEED to check him out here. I've followed this amazing graffiti artist ever since I was in school, and he's now successfully created his own Killer Gerbil empire.)

This is either my serious interview face or my 'I only had 2 hours of sleep why you ask me so many tough questions' face. 
Anyhoos,  I was super excited to design a Tic Tac Pack because:
Number 1: I actually love Tic Tacs (Did you know each Tic Tac is only 2kcal?) and
Number 2: I love the challenge


I literally sat with a Tic Tac box for days just staring at it, trying to brainstorm ideas of how I should design it - should I paint on it, draw on it, do calligraphy or lettering, do a collage, stick some fabric on it etc. The possibilities were endless. All I knew was that I wanted a design that would embody my  personal creative style as well as as the awesomeness of Tic Tac. So one fine day when I was annoying my boyfriend for ideas, he suggested going vintage. I thought that was absolutely perfect. That was when I decided to do my take of a Tic Tac box right out of the 1950's.



TAH DAH! 

 The process of creating something is always the most painful/tiring, yet the most fulfilling.

This is my process and hopefully some of you will find it helpful;

1. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND- How would you want the final design to look like? What feel does it have?



2. SET A DEADLINE- I feel this is crazy important. Because I'm a procrastinator (Don't judge me, you're probably one too), if I don't have a deadline, I'll take my own sweet time and there'll be a really high chance that it never gets completed.

3. RESEARCH- Google is your friend. There are tons of inspirations out there. Don't plagiarise someone else's work obviously, but play with the ideas and the techniques that others have used.

4. DO IT- Don't procrastinate. Start. The more inspired you are, the easier it is for you to create momentum once you've started working on it.


5. ASK- Stuck? Ask for a second opinion, or a third and a forth. An outside perspective always helps you to see past your tunnel vision.

6. SLEEP ON IT- Take a break and come back to it only when you're fresh. Sometimes you work through the night and think you've done the most amazing work. Then you go to sleep, and when you review your work the next day, you're like, "Holy crap! What was I thinking??" 


7. KNOW WHEN YOU'RE FINISHED- Girls will understand when I say it's like doing your make up, there will always be something to add. But a good gauge for me is asking myself if I'm proud of the work and then asking for a second opinion from a professional, or someone with good sense that you trust. If both answers are 'Yes', then congratulations, it's time to clean up the gigantic mess you've made. Or time to finally take a shower. (:

You can join the Design Your Pack Campaign and design your own Tic Tac box by going to http://designyourpack.com/sg. You can do it digitally like me, or print it out to do whatever you want with it and then scan it back for submission. A trip for 2 to Melbourne and even an iPad Mini is up for grabs okay!! I also want. I asked them if I could compete as well but they said, 'No'. :(  BUT YOU can totally win that on my behalf and when you go to Melbourne, just send me a picture when you find a Quokka thanks.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?