Unlike most students who have their usual day and practice time, Sharon would turn up for practice at random times and days of the week. She always seems to be rushing in and out of the door like a ninja! We then understood that due to the nature of her work in the healthcare industry, not having the luxury of time, she comes in for practice whenever she can. On days when she does not have to rush off, we get to chat about her pet doxie, Coffee.
1. How did your first yoga class happen?
I am a pediatric neurosurgeon with a special interest in childhood brain tumors. When I started working back here in Singapore, I stopped practicing because of time-constraint. When I restarted yoga, I did try out several styles of yoga under various teachers. Each practice is defined by the practitioner – you can do very little, enough or too much. Nonetheless I would say that I only started a truly consistent Ashtanga practice from 2017.
2. How has Ashtanga Mysore method become your choice today?
Yoga has been part of my life since medical school days in Australia. My first class was a pranayama-based practice focused on breathing and simple stretches. It helped me to have more clarity in my thought processes and physical self-awareness. However I was unable to find a style that I can identify with on a personal level.
My first encounter with the Ashtanga method was in 2012 – its routine yet progressive sequences, observed silence and most importantly, flexible timing were its main attraction. I realized very quickly that we are seldom in the same physical state doing the same asana on different days.
3. In your own opinion, what is considered as an advanced practitioner?
Over the years I am privileged to have met great teachers and friends from yoga whom I am still in contact with today. To me yoga is an evolving journey that is personal to each practitioner. I enjoy (most of) the challenges of the practices. For now I am grateful that the Ashtanga provides me with the asanas to develop my own mindspace.
4. What other activities/ interests do you engage in besides yoga?
I try to enjoy any free time I have with those I care about – family, friends and my dog.
5. With your busy and erratic work schedule, how do you plan your time to keep a regular practice?
Owing to my work schedule, practice timings are uncertain and mostly ad hoc – that is, whenever I can. I am fully cognizant that it is difficult to juggle work commitments and a regular practice. But I tell myself that a short practice is better than no practice.
6. Some words of wisdom that you can share with us?
As a medical professional, I am reminded regularly that life is short. Hence limited time on this Earth should be spent meaningfully.