Erica Lin (Right hand side)
Yoga was love at first sight for me.
First time I tried yoga was seven years ago. It was summer time and I was back in Taiwan. My oldest sister, Maggie, took me to an Ashtanga class taught by Ming. There were lots of poses that I couldn’t do, but I was so intrigued by the practice, it naturally became a part of my everyday life. Back in France, I was able to find an Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga studio nearby my home. The classes were taught by Gérard Arnaud, in a 1930’s style building with a center courtyard and a stairway filled with lush plants and flowers. It was a simple studio that did not have much inside. There were no air conditioning, no shower, just a small unisex locker room (where both men and women could change inside), a bathroom and some yoga books and props on the studio floor. The interesting thing was all different kinds of article of clothing would appear in the studio, workout shorts, sweater, T-shirt, or even pajamas. It was a very easy going, nonjudgmental place. No matter how strange or weird one might be, it will not attract much of attention. It was so wonderful to practice yoga in such free and open environment.
In 2010, I moved back to Taiwan for work. Soon I joined SPACE because I liked its environment and the energy between the teachers and students there. The biggest impact yoga had on me was not its asana practice, but its influence in the way I looked at life. I often share this metaphor with friends. Everyone is born with a big bag filled with many gifts. It is not a clear, see-though bag and the sequence in which you open the gifts is preset. Today you may open a good gift and tomorrow a bad one. If these gifts were already prepackaged, what is the point getting too upset when we receive a crappy gift and overly excited when receive a good one? Why don’t we just face life’s changes with an even mind, courageously and proactively welcome each challenge, passionately and romantically enjoy this journey? Yoga to me is about having this attitude.
After years of persuasion, my other sister, Joyce, started practicing yoga six months ago. Yoga became one of our most talked about topics amongst us three sisters. I especially like Sean’s professional and flowy sequence of poses and his thoughtful selection of music. I also like the humor and fun Axl injects in the all too often serious Ashtanga class. I am thankful for all the friends and teachers who had appeared in my life. Perhaps we all came from a different place, but we are all heading towards the same destination.
Joyce Lin (Left hand side)
I’ve been practicing yoga for about half a year now. When I was little, my aunt had a dance studio, so all of us, the three sisters, had plenty of dance experience. At the time being very limber, all the moves that required flexibility, such as splits and backbends or so were certainly not a problem for us.
Because of my busy work schedule, “ no time to exercise” was always my excuse. That was the case until I started having back aches. After my sister, Erica’s, many prompting, I started to practice yoga. It was then that I realized all my childhood experience in dancing was of no use. Since I haven’t exercised for such a long time, my muscles were weak and tight. I remember when I first had to practice the sun salutation sequence, my arm muscles were so weak that I couldn’t even hold myself up in plank pose and my chest would just drop straight down to the floor. When I practiced lunge pose, I didn’t know how to engage my hamstrings and my legs would just start shaking. And now having been practicing consistently for awhile, my strength and stigma has improved. Even though at times, my back and thighs are still sore after practicing certain poses, but I learned to accept it as part of the normal course.
I want to thank Sean for his professional yet humorous bilingual teaching. Through him I learned the importance of Ujjayi breath. I also like to thank Jay for demanding us to practice asana with precision and flow, allowing me to experience the endless possibility of physical transformation. Yoga is not just a challenging physical exercise; it is a way in which we can learn to let go and settled our mind.