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Urban Ashtangi : Fangqi

Many events in life happen when the timing is right; just like how a naggy backache made Fangqi start looking for a solution. Plugging into her company event made her decide to explore a yoga class. 

1. What is your story? 

My profession is a project coordinator as Life Support at Innate Motion, a regenerative purpose agency helping businesses to make the world better, with empathy as the driving force.

I never liked exercise and led a sedentary lifestyle with a desk-bound job which led to backaches. I was also going on my first company pilgrimage where the day would start with a choice of exercise. Yoga was the one I could best see myself doing so I decided to take a class before the trip.

In 2015, a friend encouraged me to join her at Amore Fitness. I still remember when the teacher said to rest in the downward dog and my arms were already trembling.

2. Why did you build your practice with the Ashtanga Mysore method?

I moved to a new neighborhood and went on a 2-week trial at the now-defunct Art of Yoga. I must have attended at least 20 yoga classes – including a Ashtanga Primary Led class but not a Mysore class because the concept was so unfamiliar. 

Unsurprisingly I got stuck at Marichyasana D both times I attended Primary Led and the friendly staff encouraged me to try the Mysore class. I’d never sweat much but I sweat so much until I was sliding around on my yoga mat during the first lesson. I was hooked. I like how it is both rigorous and requires mindfulness with a focus on the breath. These days I pretty much only enjoy Mysore classes!

3. What are some areas / lessons that you can use from this practice to cope with the challenges you encounter in your life?

How I need to ignore negative thoughts and worries, not think so much, just plan and take action sometimes. I dread waking up early for class but I always enjoy it and it’s always better at the end! I wouldn’t say there were magical moments but there were certainly lots of funny moments and friendships made.

4. What is the biggest challenge/antagonist with yourself in life/ in practice?

Going to bed early 😛

5. How has your expectation of this practice changed over time?

From progression to sustainability. I used to want to progress in the sequence when I was practicing daily. Now I’m happy just keeping the rhythm of my weekly practice. 

6. “Life is a race”… do you agree or disagree, and why?

“It might be short but it’s not a rush and not a competition.”

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