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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  • Urban Ashtangis – Real People . Real Inspiration : Debbie Chua

    By Satya Yoga | February 28th, 2017

    Debbie (aka Bee) is seen as one of the early birds at The Yoga Shala for her regular practice before she heads to her nearby office. Always quiet and focused, sometimes I wonder if she is actually half asleep.

    Morning scene in the shala – everyone is rushing in and out through the door. We do briefly exchange morning greetings a few times before we head off to conquer the rest of our day.

    We were surprised and delighted that Debbie finally made her first Mysore trip by herself. We caught up several time over of Indian breakfasts and realized that Debbie is chatty and has a great sense of humor. I guess it might have been the effects of Masala Dosas!

    Besides her regular job, Debbie extends her relationship with food and cooking from the kitchen to sharing her knowledge and recipes on her recent food blog:


    1) From exploring different styles of yoga to committing your time to the Ashtanga method, when did you realize that this method works best for you?

    When it gave me the motivation to wake up in the morning! Waking up and getting to work have always the hardest part of the day.

    I’ve tried other styles like hatha, vinyasa, hot and yin yoga. I had no idea what Ashtanga and Mysore class were. Learning it was so liberating because I had never come across a method that encourages me to be really independent and disciplined.

    When I first saw the whole sequence it was quite intimidating but I managed to learn it with the help and patience of my teacher. I’m lucky that I have a practice that I can do anytime, any place or country with no need for fancy equipment. All I need is motivation and a mat! 

    2) Having to cope with work schedule and family, how do you manage to fit a regular practice in your life?

    I don’t know how I manage really – just take one day at a time and try not to think too much. The only time I can fit regular practice in is early in the morning. With more responsibilities at work and home, I try to remind myself to be grateful that I have the chance to practice.

    It can be hard when there are long hours at work and stress. Work doesn’t stop when I get home! So I just tell myself that it is ok to miss the practice sometimes to get enough sleep.

    3) What are the “sacrifices” you feel that you have made in exchange for an early morning practice?

    Waking up early means sleeping early. It also means having a lighter and earlier dinner. Otherwise I’ll feel it during practice the next day! But it’s also important to relax and spend time with loved ones especially if they happened to be night birds!



    4) What is the most valuable gift you have received from the practice?

    It’s hard to describe what is the most valuable. I think that the practice has helped change me a lot in the last 5 years. It taught me to stop thinking too much and just be.

    I’m quite an introvert and sometimes when I feel down or depressed, it really affects my energy level. As this practice is so good for blood circulation, it gives me a lot more energy to handle challenges that are coming.

    5) What is your most challenging aspect of the practice? And why do you refuse to use that as an excuse to give up?

    If you mean the physical practice, my weakness is definitely the backbends! Sometimes I feel like it will never get better! But it doesn’t stop me from practicing because there are so many other benefits. I guess with time my backbends will improve too. And hey I can do a lot more than I ever did before so that is good!

    The other aspects of the practice basically entails being a good person which I think is the more challenging part!

    6) Being a Malaysian we know that you love your food and you can bake really well! Tell us more about this food blog and project that you are working on at the moment!

    I came from a family of cooks – my grandma, mom and sisters all love cooking and baking. Cooking is in my blood and I have been doing it for a long time. I still remember my first epic fail baking a rock-hard chocolate cake! Now that I’m married my kitchen is my playground and I’m always cooking and trying new things.

    With all the travelling I did last year, I upgraded my old SLR for a better camera effect. I really enjoy food photography so this food blog ( was a natural progression.

  • Don’t Impress Me With Your Asanas

    By Shirly Oh | February 5th, 2017

    “Don’t impress me with your asana (practice). Show me how you treat others. Let me be impressed by your kindness and how you treat others.” ~ Sharath Jois

    The qualities of a good yogi are not dependent on the asanas or series he or she is able to display or post on social media. Similarly, someone who is practicing the half primary series can be a good and responsible individual who cares deeply for his or her loved ones.

    Yoga is a method, a tool to help us be a better person. Sharath mentioned that if after many years of practice and the mind is still not stable, the practice is wrong.

    Often we can get so caught up with asana and series chasing that we forget the other important limbs of yoga – yamas (self constraints) and niyamas (moral observance).



    This is not to say asana practice is not important. In fact, the way we practice defines our inner thoughts and behaviors. Can you laugh at yourself when you fall out from a pose or do you get irritated with your fellow practitioner who is struggling with his or her practice for distracting you?

    When we conduct ourselves in a honorable way (especially when nobody is watching) it reveals the essence of our yoga practice. Is it just for aesthetics or for true transformation?


  • Urban Ashtangis – Real People . Real Inspiration : Chelsea Ngoh

    By Satya Yoga | February 3rd, 2017

    We first encountered Chelsea at The Yoga Shala Singapore many years ago and she came across as someone who is serious and has that ‘don’t-mess-with-me’ look! But we soon discovered that beneath the aloofness lies a warm, fun loving and generous personality.

    She is easily one of the most grounded, down-to-earth and selfless teachers we have met! A dedicated and disciplined Ashtangi, Chelsea has inspired many through her years of teaching.

    Chelsea shares her struggles and what inspires her practice.

    1. Why did you shift from IT to teaching yoga? What was the trigger?
    I got burnt out after being in the IT industry for many years. I decided to quit my job and was searching for a new path. I have been practicing yoga as recreation for a couple of years and saw a Yoga Teacher Training Course (TTC) advertisement. That was when I started my training as a Yoga Teacher.

    After the 200 hours TTC, I couldn’t find any yoga teaching job as I had no contacts so I continued to train in India. I started to
    advertise to teach private yoga classes after I came back.

    2. What makes Ashtanga Yoga different from the other styles of yoga?
    Ashtanga Yoga is both strength building and works on our flexibility as well. All the jump backs / through and chaturangas help build great strength. While some other styles of yoga call for instructions all the time, which can be too disruptive for a inner self practice, Ashtanga Yoga is a very calming and meditative method.

    3. How do you maintain your motivation and consistency for the practice?
    I love my practice and I have my teacher to thank for always being there as I meet my most challenging poses. If he never gives up on me, why should I give up on myself? If we are patient with ‘failure’ in learning the pose, we simply have to keep working on it and that is how we can keep our motivation going.

    My practice is important to me so I will find the energy to work on it consistently. Sometimes I see my students working really hard and I find inspiration from them as well.

    4. What is your biggest AHA moment on the mat?
    That happened when I was able to do my first drop-back. I struggled with that for months even though my friends at the shala said that I should be able to do it. Letting go of control to regain control in the drop back and come back up is very humbling and great for a egoistic person like me!

    5. Share with us one of the most difficult asana (posture) you have encountered and how it has shaped your practice!
    I have always struggled with Laghu Vajrasana and Kapotasana (Intermediate series involving deep back bending). Both poses test my patience and keep me humble to my practice. I have been practicing these poses for years and yet they are still work-in-progress. It is a love-hate relationship with these poses but having faith in my practice is my greatest motivation.

    Keep practicing…and they are getting better. It is a long, long journey…


    Chelsea is currently teaching at The Yoga Shala Singapore and makes time to deepen her practice annually with Sharath Jois at the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (Mysore, India).

  • Ashtanga Makes My Blood Boil!

    By Adeline Lum | February 3rd, 2017

    In the Ashtanga method, to get heated up and sweating is a very important process. However, external heat (pre-heated room) is strongly discouraged, unless in winter.

    This practice requires us to generate internal body heat through our own efforts. With proper breathing and movement one can already start sweating by doing Surya Namaskar B.

    << Every drop of sweat you generate with internal heat is very precious. It is your own effort. >> ~ Sharath-ji

    That’s the beauty of this system. It teaches us to be honest and diligent before we can enjoy the sweetness and benefits of our efforts.

    In the city life, stressful people come into yoga with the hope of finding some peace in their hectic life. We want everything to be fast & quick but we are not ready to invest time in a regular practice.

    We sign up for spiritual crash courses, weekend retreats, healing programs and detox sessions as catalyst to gain health & peace. This will not work for sure.

    We should never skip the process of consistent efforts (which may seem too long) if we really want to develop spiritually.

    Asteya: non- stealing.

    << 2 hours asana practice on mat, 24 hours doing yoga in life. >>

    Asteya is one of the virtues in the Ashtanga method we should observe while functioning in this fast-pace society.  

    While on the mat we can see and understand that no matter how much effort we make, we cannot steal, take or buy the benefits from other practitioners.

    We cannot buy spirituality in kilograms;
    We cannot purchase peace in packets.

    With the same mindfulness and self- consciousness off the mat (and out to the world), we should also maintain the same practice. For to be in great success of ourselves, the sweetness sweat is enjoyable only through our own efforts.


  • Urban Ashtangis – Real People . Real Inspiration : Ann Lee

    By Satya Yoga | December 4th, 2016

    Ann dances (clumsily) to her own tune in life. She believes many of life’s problems can be solved simply through self-inquiry and observing nature. She appears nonchalant about most things but has a beagle-like mentality towards the few things she loves. An outdoor enthusiast, Ann chases sunsets, gazes at stars and finds solace in the majesty of mountains. She also goes gaga over silly things like fluffy bunnies, chocolate ice-cream, waffles, sashimi… well yes mostly food.

    1. What is the most common myth about practicing Ashtanga Yoga based on your personal experience?

    I think most people with little-to-no yoga experience tend to view Ashtanga Yoga as an intense and challenging form of yoga meant for advanced practitioners. The practice is challenging for sure, both physically and mentally, and this is true regardless of yoga experience.

    However, it is definitely not meant for advanced practitioners only. You can be a complete beginner and be given specific instructions on how to move through the practice. You just need to be open and have a little patience. People with the stiffest bodies (me included!), injuries, different ages and abilities, all practise in the same room. Put simply, everybody can practise ashtanga.

    2. How has the practice of Ashtanga Yoga changed your life – e.g. the way you live, your priorities, your values etc?

    I guess the biggest benefit is some clarity on who I am, and I say “some” because this journey of inquiry is never quite a straight line. Oftentimes it takes a detour and you find yourself more confused than ever.

    It has also taught me to be present in the things I do. It’s not about how many things I’ve managed to complete or achieve, or ticking the boxes off a list. These days it’s more about being fully involved in everything I do. It’s about seeing things I would normally miss, going deeper into what I see (and sometimes this can be uncomfortable), creating beautiful and meaningful memories, finding joy in simple things and being grateful.

    The practice is an allegory for life. How you hit the mat is also very likely your approach to life. The realisation of that is the start of change.


    3. How do you manage between work and practice? (any tips or advice?)

    You need to make practice a priority. Once you decide on the days and times you want to practice, stick with it. I started practising two days a week, then three and then slowly building up to a five / six-day practice. Start small but be committed. I don’t let regular work or social gatherings get in the way of practice unless absolutely necessary.

    These days I also look forward to the eve of Moon Days (full moon or new moon days in the lunar calendar where Ashtanga practitioners traditionally take rest) because that means I can make plans for play and feasting! Practising in the morning helps since there’s less chance for distractions and you start your day feeling energised.

    4. What is your biggest obstacle in your practice and how do you overcome this?

    Fear and ego. I don’t think I overcome them. Every day is different. I enter my practice as a blank sheet of paper and try my best to observe how I feel physically and emotionally. At some point in the practice, you will notice contention. A simple example is when I move into a pose and feel stuck. Do I try to inch deeper or is it time to back-off? How do you make the call and are you at peace with your decision?

    Some days I feel strong enough to arrest fear and ego. Other days I crumble and succumb to them. You might win today and lose
    tomorrow. That’s why it’s called practice. It’s a never ending process. But there is always hope. I think the most admirable thing
    about Ashtanga practitioners is the will and courage to face this whole cycle over and over again, every single day.

    5. Mysore or LED (which do you prefer?) and WHY?

    Mysore. You get to dictate how you want your practice to be – fast/slow, work more on certain poses etc. But most importantly, the time and space for inward growth and self-discovery.