Satya Yoga

True to Oneself

We believe there is no shortcut to Yoga — perseverence, focus, and practice provides healthy body and mind. Yoga is a journey of a lifetime and commitment is the key ingredient. At Satya Yoga we focus on teaching the Ashtanga Yoga method.

Adeline Lum and Shirly Oh are certified Yoga teachers and healers.
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Sessions can be conducted at various studios island wide or at the comfort of your home. We also hold special classes, workshops, and events at other suitable venues.

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  • What Your Least Favourite Yoga Pose Can Teach You About You

    By Shirly Oh | May 3rd, 2016

    Anyone who practices yoga has likes and dislikes about certain poses. It is easy to like poses that you are good at. What is challenging is to like the poses you dislike because ironically these are the ones that will give us the breakthrough we need.

    When practicing our non-favourite poses we are being brought out from our comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory. Most of the time it is because of the discomfort and pain that we experience.

    Why would anyone enjoy the unpleasurable experience when practicing (yoga) is supposed to make us feel better or so we think. Despite the saying ‘no pain, no gain’, we don’t have to push through the ‘pain’. Instead, yoga challenges us to work through these uncomfortable moments intelligently and wisely.

    When we dislike a pose it can translate into a deeper meaning.

    The inability to do the pose, the pain accompanying the pose and the discomfort of being in the pose. Sometimes the mere thought or mention of the pose itself can also create fear. Fear of falling, injuring yourself, breaking your bones and overstretching your muscles.

    The important lesson is to understand why. Why do you not like certain poses?

    Try asking yourself these few questions:
    Why do I not like this pose?
    What am I learning from this pose?
    How can I get better in this pose?
    Is there another way I can approach this pose?

    Whatever your reason is, learning to overcome this uncomfortable feeling or emotion can help us grow both in your practice and personal life. Sometimes the thing we dislike (to do) most is often the very thing we need to transform our lives.

    Life’s so ironic. It takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence & absence to value presence. – Unknown


  • Urban Ashtangis – Real People . Real Inspiration : Shan Shan Yap

    By Satya Yoga | May 3rd, 2016

    We first met Shan Shan at the Ashtanga Yoga Conference in Bali. We were attracted by her bubbly personality and enthusiasm towards the practice. After a decade of corporate world experiences, she started An Uplifted Day – an online boutique stocking curated essentials to help women have a better day.

    She is one inspiring and dedicated Ashtangi who shows up on her mat with a zest for life. Here are her very real and insightful perspectives on the practice. 

    1. How did you discover Ashtanga Yoga?

    I first started Ashtanga Yoga around March 2009. It was at The Yoga Shala Singapore where I still practice today and with the very same teachers I started with!

    About 6 months before that I tried Hatha Yoga for the very first time at a studio near my home. I was hooked after the first class. I soon booked a trip to the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala, India for a yoga holiday.

    I mentioned to my roommate at the ashram that I liked Sivananda because the practice was the same every time. She suggested that I also check out Ashtanga Mysore style. That was the first time I heard of Ashtanga.

    When I got back to Singapore I googled some Ashtanga videos and found The Yoga Shala Singapore online. The rest is history!

    2. How has the practice supported / changed your life?

    I think one of the greatest benefits of having a dedicated Ashtanga practice is that it forces you to prioritize and focus on the things that truly matter and nourish you.

    Having a dedicated practice takes up plenty of time and you become more discerning about what you choose to do, eat, who to spend time with and even what you watch on TV.

    To sustain a practice, you realize that there is no space for time and energy-sucking situations and you gradually learn to detangle yourself.

    The end-result is a more fulfilled life aligned with who you are and what you want. Your life will be filled with more of the relationships and activities which bring you joy.

    3. What are some of the challenges you faced over the years of practice?

    For me the mental challenge has always been harder than the physical challenge. There are some poses (ahem, kapotasana) that I just do not like. Every day it’s still a battle with the fear and reluctance to get into these poses.

    I’m also trying to make my practice more meditative these days. I am learning to be present with each breath, to simply accept and not respond to all the emotions and thoughts which can arise during practice.

    Unfortunately it’s not very fun on days when your mind decides to act like a tantrum-throwing toddler.

    Shan Shan

    4. How do you find time to balance between work, practice and everything else? (We know you just launched your own business!)

    Ha! I don’t! But I’ve come to a point where I’m starting to feel that it’s ok.

    After a decade in the corporate world I started my own business, an online boutique stocking curated essentials to help women have a better day. It was inspired by how busy and fast-paced life is in Singapore and how having the right things can help you have a better day.

    When it’s your business, it’s a little harder to separate between work and the rest of your life. There have been days where I’ve woken up to go the shala, gotten dressed and decided to respond to some emails. I got lost track of time and did not make it to the shala – all still in my practice clothes.

    I think the key is not to be so hard on yourself if you have to skip a practice or even stop for a while. The practice should support your life and not the other way round.

    Practically a good trick is to plan all evening work calls and social engagements on the eve of moondays or your rest day.

    And above all, always be grateful. It is a privilege and a real blessing to be led to the Ashtanga Yoga (or any other spiritual practice or passion). When you find yourself being overwhelmed, be thankful that this is a good problem to have.

    5. How do you keep yourself motivated with the practice?

    Unless it’s a special occasion I don’t meet my friends or attend anything on evenings before I practice so that I can get to bed on-time. It’s taken some time to enforce this discipline but it really helps to develop a consistent practice and saves you from agonizing over whether you should be out or not.

    I used to feel guilty that I wasn’t spending enough time with my friends and family but soon realized that practicing actually makes me a better wife, daughter, sister and friend even if I might not be able to hang out all the time.

    I always pack my bag and clothes the night before so it’s easier to get up and out of the house in the mornings.

    Having the right diet for your body type and not over-eating also helps as you will feel less sluggish and more energetic.

    But the best way to show up consistently on the mat is to recognize that the days when I practice are always sweeter, lighter, kinder and more productive than the days I do not. If you want a joyful, fulfilled and compassionate life, keep this end-goal and feeling firmly in mind and you’ll naturally be guided to do what it takes to get there.

    Ashtanga is not something we have to do. It’s something we’re blessed to do!

    >>> Check out her inspiring collection HERE.

  • Savor Your Practice

    By Adeline Lum | April 3rd, 2016

    I have a habit of watching interviews or reading articles before bed and work. Words and ideas shared by leaders, motivational speakers and teachers from all walks of life.

    One morning, I came across this video by Robin Sharma, Savoring Life. Savor in everything that we are engaging in.

    I thought he made a very good point of how we often tell our students about being in the present (now).

    How often are you thinking about emails, lunch appointments, breakfast options, checking out others’ practice while you are on the mat?

    So often we catch our minds running off somewhere else. It is as though we are the most boring person on earth that we can’t even bear to spend a moment to sit with ourselves.

    I’ve observed too many students going through the motions on the mat because they think they have to (including my own practice!).

    But why do we often do things half- heartedly?

    Why do we always feel the need to rush to complete a task and often miss to experience the process?

    Have you noticed that you usually patronize the same café every morning? You walk into the café looking forward to a cup of handcrafted coffee. You take a moment to enjoy the aroma before taking a sip. In that short period you probably felt a sense of  ‘simple joy’. And you may even think,  ‘Ahhhh! Happiness can be so simple.’

    Why would you make an effort to buy that cup of coffee from the café when you can make it at home?

    Probably because you appreciate the barrister who puts full attention just to make a worthy cup of coffee just for you.

    Bring that same appreciation of yourself on the mat. Learn to see yourself as the person who is paying full attention to your own practice.  

    When was the last time you were totally with yourself doing the practice?

    That you were not thinking what’s behind or searching what’s ahead. You are simply riding on the flow of your breath through the whole practice.

    Savor your practice;
    Taste every sweetness and bitterness;
    any flashes of excitement or dullness;
    For not a moment you spend with yourself is ever wasted,
    When you savor every up and down of your practice.


  • How Long Are You Willing To Stick To The Practice?

    By Shirly Oh | April 3rd, 2016

    Ashtanga Yoga is not popular. It is hard and only for the ‘elitist’. You have to be fit and strong. You have to be flexible. You must have a strong core (strength). This is what most people think.

    Do you know the difference between ‘ideal’ and ‘reality’?

    Ideally, anyone who practices Ashtanga Yoga is fit and strong. In reality anyone can practice the sequence except ‘lazy people’.

    In the beginning, you need to learn the sequence. Then watch the challenges come in – poor memory, fear, frustration, repetition, boredom and confusion etc. You will struggle with the poses. You will encounter stumbling blocks – arms too short, hips too heavy, core muscles are weak, no strength in the arms or legs etc. Every imaginable excuse comes alive as if we never knew that they existed.

    Maybe you might sustain a Ashtanga Yoga injury. Perhaps the practice is too hard or not suitable for you because you are too ____________________ (fill in the blank).

    After many years of uninterrupted practice, one day the mysore magic takes place. Something within will click and the pandora box opens. The once impossible becomes possible. You wonder why? The practice is still the same (remember it is a structured sequential practice) but somehow you have changed.

    Your body changes. Your mind is open to possibilities. Suddenly it is not about touching your toes or bending backwards. You begin to enjoy the process (although it is still challenging) and look forward to that day of the practice. You start to see the practice as a way of your weekly routine. The one hour on the mat has become your little oasis to rest and explore your body. Savasana (corpse) feels much easier and peaceful.

    The practice will teach you about patience and connecting with yourself. It is like the wifi connection. You don’t see it but you know it is there. It is a transformational journey and everyone goes through the same process. Nothing happens overnight.

    The practice doesn’t favour anyone except the willing. The strong bodied will learn flexibility, the bendy bodies will need to build strength and focus.

    Ashtanga Yoga is for everyBODY as long as you are willing to step on your mat and work through the challenges – physically and mentally. Some days are good and some days not. But stay with the practice because it will change your life in a way you would least imagined it to be.

    1228-Bruce-Lee-Quote-I-fear-not-the-man-who-has-practiced-10-000-kicksSource HERE.

  • Why Do We Repeat The Same Sequence?

    By Shirly Oh | March 5th, 2016

    Many students often wonder why we repeat the same sequence over and over. Ashtanga Yoga is a systematic, structured sequence-led practice. One remembers the sequence and practices up to the last pose given to them by the teacher. Everyday is the same sequence.

    The intention is to train the mind and the body to attain steadiness and cultivate mindfulness over a period of time. As there is no anticipation to the next pose so this will allow the student to focus on the breath and gazing (dristhi) point. This minimises distractions and anxiety to what’s coming next during the practice.

    Practicing the same sequence will also allow the student (and the teacher) to observe the progress of the practice. At the start of learning a new pose, one may struggle with the breath and remembering the proper vinyasa. As the practice progresses, the same pose may be more manageable and one will experience breakthroughs – more flexibility, strength or ease with the vinyasa (jump back or jump through). We become better through (mindful) repetition.

    Students may also find themselves caught in a rut of boredom. Often this is when the mind starts to get distracted and that is when self doubt sets in. ‘Is the practice working for me? This is getting boring! Why do I have to keep repeating the same sequence?’ It is important to remember repetition builds habit. Perhaps you should ask – ‘How is the practice making me better? What is the practice helping me to cultivate? Am I more calm and happier after the practice?’

    Do you question why you have to brush your teeth, eat, sleep or drink? You don’t because these are daily acts that keep you alive. Similarly practicing the same sequence daily will help you to cultivate focus, concentration, increase the quality of your life and build a healthy body. Boring (maybe) at times but an essential for your mental and physical wellbeing.