Urban Ashtangi : Shawn Tan

Urban Ashtangis February Shawn Tan

In search of a more functional physical routine, Shawn started from doing weights to calisthenics and eventually finding some meaning in the Mysore method of Ashtanga Yoga in November 2019.

Making his first step to this practice was like an onion waiting to be peeled. Though he tends to look at situations merely like a puzzle to be solved, he in fact has more introspection to share than he portrays. 

Well, still a man with few words.

1. What interests you most about the practice?

I like how one can adopt a problem-solving approach in breaking down the asanas (postures) and how teachers can approach the same asana differently; it’s an art and a science at the same time

2. What are some new discoveries about yourself, which you didn’t before? 

I had the notion that trying harder or using more strength will help me to catch or bind in some asanas but teachers have pointed out that it is in fact counter-productive. 

Drawing parallels to other aspects of my life, I realize there were things not within my control and trying harder doesn’t make things better. I am learning to take certain things in my stride.

3. Seeing yourself as a person with very little emotions, would you want to remain status quo or wish to learn how to deal with emotions?

I examine my emotions in order to try to understand why I feel a certain way and am cautious not to let emotions overrun reason. 

Just like yoga is teaching me to loosen up and not grip too hard physically, I am learning to find ease outside of my emotional armour.

I was feeling burnt out and idealistic then, happier and less idealistic now.

4. What would you say to men who think yoga is a women’s activity?

There are a lot of myths about yoga. 

A major one would be associating it as a ‘females’ practice’; perhaps perpetuated by commercially-driven advertisements. 

The fact that most females tend to be more flexible, though eventually the practice benefits the well-being of both genders.

Just give it a try and find the type of yoga that suits you best.

5. If there is one thing you want to make peace with yourself, what will that be?

I don’t have to be too hard on myself and feel guilty about not doing enough in various aspects of my life. Practise stilling the thoughts of my mind in order to connect with myself.

Ease up, expect less and live a little

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