Can you introduce yourself?
Hi! I'm Angie. I was born in Taipei and started journeying around the world at the age of 3 months. I grew up as an "expat kid" and lived in the US, Australia, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong before graduating high school! I attended uni in the US, and worked in the US after graduating before moving to Shanghai, then Bali and now San Francisco! Growing up, I seemed to always participate in physical activity: ballet and modern dance as a child, competitive swimming in high school, competitive ballroom dancing during uni and for 5 years after, and now yoga! I completed the 6-week plant based nutrition course on eCornell last year and currently subscribe to a whole food plant-based lifestyle for a variety of reasons: because those factory farming/fur/leather videos make me cry, for the environment, for the future generations, and for health!
How and when did you start practicing Yoga?
I stepped into my first yoga class in 2012, when my then roommate/colleague and now best friend took me to a class that she would attend weekly. I was awful at it; I had no upper body strength, I had lost my flexibility from ballet days, and I couldn't even think about synching up the breath in my first year of practice. In spite of all this, I had fun! I was inspired, and up for the challenge.
What does your passion represent in your daily life?
I find that yoga is relatable to every circumstance that I find myself in. Since diving deeper into the practice during and after my teacher training in January 2017 and reading other scriptures afterward, I feel a sense of peace and surrender in my daily life. It's hard to explain... it's not a passive feeling - like I'm sitting and watching life go by - but more of a trust in the process, in karma, in tuning in to your true self and in manifestation. Does that make sense?
Do you have time to practice while you travel?
I always travel with my yoga mat, and find that there's always space and time to unroll and flow. I get tingles in my hip flexors if I don't stretch them out, especially when I'm traveling and sitting on an airplane for hours. My favorite thing to do is go to a really challenging class within 24 hours of a flight and be sore and like jello during the flight.
What is your favorite YUJ product?
I have one of the t-shirts that says "Happy Yogi" on it. Not only is the statement true, but the shirt is soooo soft and I find a reason to wear it in any circumstance.
What is your favorite country so far?
For those who know me, they know this question is SO hard for me. I love to explore new places and try to get to at least 1 new country every year... I love Bhutan for the beautiful nature, spirituality and culture; I love Kenya for the raw wildlife, delicious food and white sand beaches; I love Cuba for the music on every street corner, the culture of dance and fun, the simplicity of life; I love Europe for the beautiful architecture, historical significance and lifestyle; I love India for the peace and compassion, delicious food and of course this is where yoga originates! And and and... I could keep going!
Can you share with us you favorite spots to hang out?
I joke with my best friend that we don't need furniture because we always end up hanging out on the floor of wherever we are... often it's the kitchen floor, but it can be the living room, the bedroom, a yoga studio , in a grassy park, poolside... So, is it weird to say "the floor"?
What is your "The place to be"?
For me, the place to be is to be surrounded by family and best friends. Because I've moved around so much, all of my best friends are scattered all over the world and it would be a dream come true to have everyone together, in one place. At that point, it wouldn't even matter where we are.
Let's talk about movies, who are your favorite actors/actresses?
My favorite types of movies are usually mystery/suspense/thriller (but *not* scary!). One movie I can think of right now is Miss Sloane with Jessica Chastain (because female power!). I like Idris Elba, and was excited when there were reports that he could be the next James Bond (but I don't think that's true anymore). And movies that bring to light true stories like Hidden Figures and Spotlight.
Which quote suits you the best?
I've been reading "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer, and I love so many of his quotes. This simple one is a good summary: "The truth is, everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything."
What does a day in your life look like?
I just moved to San Francisco, so I don't really have a set routine yet! Usually I wake up and make a turmeric/black pepper/lemon tonic before anything! It's great to kickstart and detox the liver... Then I'll soak some chia seeds in homemade cashew or almond nut milk and set it aside while I step on the mat for a short stretch/flow. I just finished a 1-month yoga anatomy online course and would spend a few hours doing that before meeting a friend for lunch or making something at home. Since I'm new to town, I've been trying to walk around and get to know the city, so I'll explore a new area of town. Evenings are usually one of these: cook at home, meet my partner somewhere for dinner, meet my best friend for a yoga class at a new studio or teach a private / assist in providing adjustments in a yoga class. I also learned how to draw mandalas recently and use that as my meditation because I can get lost in a mandala for hours!