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Yogi of August - Hannah Chen
As a student, I wanted to find a physical activity that would keep me in shape and at the same time I was looking for ‘something’ that would make me more quiet. I am easily anxious. Like many people, I am not good at handling stress. I was living in Tienmu at that time, in 2003. Not far from my place, there was a ‘yoga studio’. I was not sure what that was, ‘yoga’. On the other hand, I knew that it is important to do some exercises everyday. It is important to avoid putting on weight, to make our internal organs such as heart, lungs and the digestive system work properly, and to be able to sleep well at night, at the very least. So I went to that studio.

For a while, I had a good time, and I actually learned a lot, but the practice was too repetitive. The teachers were always selecting the same poses. I left. For about two years, I practiced at home what I had learned. It was good, but I didn’t know many poses, especially strengthening poses. My body is very flexible, but not that strong. I need to strengthen it again and again. Thus thinking, one day I found out about another yoga studio. I found some good teachers and my strength rapidly improved. My arms became strong enough to perform most of the once-out-of-reach arm balancing poses. In Steeve’s class, I even successfully performed headstand and handstand. My legs also became stronger and in only a few months I managed to perform with ease the new and challenging standing poses.

One year and a half later, when teacher Steeve left that studio to teach at Space Yoga, I followed him. Space Yoga is a real sanctuary of peace and well-being in the heart of Taipei. I feel as comfortable at Space as in my own house. There are many people and it is not possible to know everyone, but the staff, including the teachers, is always friendly, warm-hearted. The teachers really know a lot of poses and even though I have been practicing for almost ten years they can still surprise me with new poses and moves. They also explain more than in the other studios. I think it is essential to learn how to practice well and to avoid any injuries.

I also prefer to practice 75 or 90-minute classes. I think that to practice yoga only for one hour is not enough. The teacher, in that case, has to remove the relaxation or the meditation from the practice. For me who practices yoga not only to stay in shape but also to relax my mind, such a removal is sheer non-sense. It would be like playing football without a ball. While practicing at first to stay fit, I discovered that at the end of a session, I felt more peaceful, as if refreshed, ready to start working again or to perform any kind of task.

When I am not working or practicing yoga, I enjoy to walk or cycle in nature. I also like reading, especially novels. I try to live in the present moment and not in the future like many young people or in the past like many older people. The past is finished and cannot be changed. So why trying to live there? It is as if living in a house where the doors and windows cannot be opened. What a life! The future does not yet exist and since we can die at any moment we are not at all sure to see its colours. So why trying to live there? It is as if trying to live in a house that is not yet built. Not sure that you will stay dry when it rains! It seems that the best option is to live in the present. To live in the present, I accept every moment as it is and as if it was the very last. By being welcome and by being the very last, each moment becomes beautiful.

Namaste

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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