ARAO loves stories of women on their journey towards a brighter version of themselves. With that, we had a little chat with yogi and ARAO ambassador Tingting Chen on her experience with practicing yoga, and how this has helped her grow into the strong and confident woman she is today.
Tingting began doing yoga in 2003 where she first focused on Hatha, the traditional branch of yoga where all the other forms stem from. She then shifted her practice to focus more on handstands around two years ago. With almost 20 years of experience, she is a professional yoga instructor, and teaches both Hatha yoga and hand stands.
Yoga’s Benefits on Both Body and Mind
With continuous and regular practice, she shared with us how yoga has played a big role in keeping her strong, both physically and mentally. For her, it is an avenue to relax and clear the mind, leading to more efficiency.
Yoga has even helped her during her daughter’s birth. “Smooth pregnancy and fast delivery” were how she described it.
Around this time, she experienced a lot of change in her life. Besides having her first daughter, she also just moved to Hong Kong, a new environment where she didn’t know anyone. Her coping mechanism became yoga, which gave her inner strength and confidence.
Out of the Comfort Zone
Tingting never imagined that she could ever do a handstand, until her teachers and friends encouraged her to try it. After taking a chance at it, she immediately fell in love with the practice. “It’s hard, but I really enjoy it,” she expressed. She emphasized the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone in order to grow.
When asked what the most challenging part of practicing handstands is, she shared that it’s actually choosing to begin. In her words, “the most difficult part is to go to your yoga mat to start.” It’s easy to make excuses, but once you take the first step, the rest just follows, and you’ll realize that it was all worth it. This, she says, applies to everything, not just yoga.
Her key ingredient to doing difficult poses: just keep practicing. Once you get the ball rolling, it will become easier, and you will become stronger. She personally practices at least two to three hours every day. “Sounds difficult, but everybody can do it,” even beginners, in her opinion.
Doing Yoga Today
When the pandemic struck the whole world, Tingting and her family chose to quarantine with her husband’s parents in France, where she stayed at for seven months. Luckily, her in-laws were there to take care of her daughter, giving her more time for her practice.
But even after so many years of yoga, she still sometimes struggles. “Why am I doing this? I could sit on the couch,” she ponders to herself. Then, remembering all that yoga has done for her, teaching her to be strong, positive, confident, and healthy, she begins again.