Be Good To Yourself

How Yoga found Nora

I found Yoga at a point in my life when I felt like there's a void in my life and even though I was in a good place in my life, something still felt amiss. I have tried a few Yoga classes before when I was in college, studying in the States but it never really stuck; it didn't interest me at all. I was more into surfing and dancing and theatre. When we moved to Hong Kong about 8 years ago, I found myself struggling professionally, having left a career in theatre and TV in Singapore/ Kuala Lumpur. That was when I found Yoga, or Yoga found me. Everything just made sense this time round and it compelled me to take my first teacher training, the first of many to come. It was the esoteric side of Yoga; the philosophy and literature, which really reeled me in. The transformative shift I experienced awakened me. I felt alive again and that motivated me to share my practice with others.


What is your daily source of inspiration? 

I practice and teach Jivamukti Yoga, a practice that strongly believes in compassion as a way towards enlightenment. That all beings deserve to be happy and free and that our thoughts, words and actions can somehow contribute to that happiness and freedom for all. That is my inspiration, to be able to contribute in some way to serve and uplift all beings, not just two legged beings but all beings.


What is one life lesson you've learnt in your pursuit of fitness? 

The pursuit of physical fitness and strength no doubt is important but the pursuit of a strong, unwavering mind is even more important. We use the body to discipline the mind and we use the mind to discipline the body. If it stops at a physical level, the highest intention of Yoga, to know oneself truly and recognize the Divinity in ourselves and all others will sadly be lost.


Do you employ any unconventional or conventional ways to motivate yourself to stay fit and disciplined? What are they? 

I don't really use any particular methods and even though it seems ironic, my meditation practice motivates and disciplines me. As a student of Yoga, staying fit allows me to really sit and just be with myself in meditation for extended periods of time. The other motivation is to be able to serve my students in classes so I may support them and hold the space to allow them to express themselves in classes with ease.


When did you first start consciously thinking about your nutrition and why? 

I stopped eating meat more than 10 years ago, stopped eating seafood about 6 years ago and stopped dairy and eggs about 5 years ago. There are many articles and studies that have proven that meat causes a whole host of physical ailments and that the human digestive system isn't suitable for meat intake. Many of these animals and also those who provide by-products like milk and eggs are also injected with hormones to encourage faster growth and production which are not beneficial to the human body. Also, many of these animals are put into highly stressed environments and I do not wish to put this negative energy in my body. The mistreatment of animals in commercialized dairy farms and chicken coops is one of the biggest reasons why I chose to stop dairy and eggs.

Having said that, I do respect the opinions and lifestyle of others and will only share my views leading by example and living my life the most authentic and compassionate way.


In 5 words, what piece of advice would you give your younger self? 

Live passionately and with compassion.


What is your biggest indulgence? What's your favourite way to unwind?

Vegan dark chocolate and vegan ice cream... YUM! 

I am blessed to be living just on the beach. Sitting out on the balcony, listening to and watching the wave’s crash onto the shore never fails to put me at ease.