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Yogi of December – Aven Chan

My first encounter with yoga was more than ten years ago. At that time, I thought of Yoga simply as a good stretching exercise. Later I became a member of a corporate yoga studio. Many yoga sessions were scheduled everyday, so it was convenient for me to find the time to attend classes. The rooms were always packed with people, sometimes more than 30 students in each class. Practicing in a stuffy room with smelly air did not stop me from working hard because I wanted to exercise and keep fit. Unfortunately this style of teaching, with demanding and challenging poses, left me with many strains and injuries. As a result, I developed a fear of going to classes and stopped practicing altogether. I was afraid of more injuries.

About one and half years ago, I saw a new yoga studio in my neighborhood in Tien Mu. I dropped in out of curiosity. The outside of SPACE is simple and elegant. The inside is tranquil and cozy. My first experience at Space was a Restorative class. The combination of spacious rooms, zen-like atmosphere, and the teacher’s mindful instructions infuses the air with a feeling of peace. I immediately knew I had found something I really needed.

I also tried the hatha and flow classes. What I enjoy most is lying in Savasana at the end of a sweaty class. All of the accumulated stress from work and too much thinking are washed away. On my way home my steps get lighter and my mood becomes more relaxed.

Last May a new teacher, Michelle, arrived to join the SPACE family. At first I went to her class because it happened to be at a convenient time. She emphasizes creating a solid Yogic foundation by concentrating on alignment and breath. Slowly I have started to feel my body opening and becoming more vibrant and full of energy.

Michelle's sweetness reminds me of nature. She has a sunny smile and a flowing teaching style. She tenderly attends to each student’s circumstances and needs. She guides each movement with gentle instructions. She does not say a lot yet meets every student’s needs.

During the meditation practice, she always teaches us to focus on the breath. By focusing on the breath, the body opens up naturally and we are reminded that we are alive. Meditation reminds us that the past is gone and the future has not come. Yoga is not simply a workout. It is a way of life.

The symptoms of depression and anxiety that plague modern people originate from worries about the future and regrets about the past. Practicing yoga helps unite the body and mind and while training the mind to focus on the present moment.

Yoga has become an important part of my life. I have truly begun to understand the union of body, mind, and spirit. I enjoy practicing yoga daily. I want to share this passion with my friends, so they can also feel the benefits. I want to thank the creators of Space for giving us such a beautiful environment to practice in. I thank each teacher for their heart-centered teaching. Space Yoga has given me the opportunity to have this precious, transformative experience.

Namaste

Aven
Each month we will honor a SPACE student for his or her passion and dedication to the practice of Yoga. May their stories serve as inspiration to us all!
Asana of the Month
We will focus on a different Asana every month and delve deep into and explore all its inherent possibilities!

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