CHAT­TING UP… MAS­TER SAUMIK

The Real Yoga founder tells us what’s had him hooked on yoga since he was five.

Shape (Singapore) - - Contents -

He grad­u­ated with a de­gree in ac­count­ing, but Mas­ter Saumik, 34, de­cided to pur­sue his pas­sion for yoga as a full-time ca­reer in­stead. When he first started prac­tis­ing yoga as a kid, he found it chal­leng­ing com­pared to the other sports he did. His mum, an avid yogi her­self, in­tro­duced him to the age-old prac­tice. As he got older, yoga be­came a chan­nel for him to have fun and ex­per­i­ment with poses while also help­ing him find in­ner calm and peace. That’s when he knew he didn’t want yoga to be just an­other hobby, but a big­ger part of his life. We find out what ex­actly got him hooked on the prac­tice.

● Why did you de­cide to start Real Yoga? Yoga is my pas­sion. I’ve prac­tised it my en­tire life, and have even taken part in com­pe­ti­tions. In 2005, I took home the gold at The Yoga World Cham­pi­onships. Af­ter that, I was in­vited by a Sin­ga­pore fit­ness chain to join them as a yoga in­struc­tor.

My teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence gave rise to the idea of be­com­ing my own boss. I felt that there was much more I could of­fer my stu­dents and the com­mu­nity as a whole if I opened my own stu­dio. And that is how Real Yoga was born in 2008.

● Which as­pect of yoga got you hooked and why? I love and re­spect yoga for its hu­mil­ity and hon­esty, as well as the many prin­ci­ples that it ad­vo­cates. Yoga is about hon­our­ing one’s body, mind, and spirit. It helps you to re­lax and stay pos­i­tive. Prac­tis­ing bal­anc­ing poses also helps you to gain self-aware­ness and bet­ter con­cen­tra­tion, which is help­ful in your daily life, too. ● What is the most chal­leng­ing as­pect of yoga? The most chal­leng­ing part of yoga would be find­ing com­plete calm­ness amid all the stres­sors and noise we have to deal with daily. Also, I be­lieve one is ei­ther nat­u­rally bet­ter at flex­i­bil­ity or strength – it’s hard to equally em­body both. For me, I am def­i­nitely bet­ter at strength, so it’s more chal­leng­ing for me to do poses that re­quire flex­i­bil­ity. But I am cer­tain that as long as you have the right mind­set and prac­tise of­ten, you’ll be able to achieve the poses in no time.

● Do you prac­tise yoga daily? Yes. It helps me re­main lim­ber and mo­bile. I find this to be an im­por­tant as­pect of health and well­ness, es­pe­cially as you get older.

● What is your mo­ti­va­tion for prac­tis­ing yoga? Over­all well­ness – body, mind, and spirit. I feel empty if I don’t do it.

● What is your favourite pose, and why? I don’t have a favourite. I ap­pre­ci­ate all the poses and the ben­e­fits they pos­sess. But I work on stretch­ing and strength­en­ing poses more of­ten, and I med­i­tate daily. Even if it’s just for 15 min­utes, med­i­ta­tion is im­por­tant as it helps to clear my mind.

● What is the No. 1 rea­son peo­ple should start learn­ing yoga? Yoga is not just a spir­i­tual prac­tice, but a sci­ence that can help you to live hap­pier and health­ier. Nu­mer­ous stud­ies and Hol­ly­wood celebri­ties can vouch for it. They fully agree that they see a dif­fer­ence with this change in life­style. Peo­ple who prac­tise yoga live longer, are hap­pier and look younger.

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